Vault Tales 123 ToyTrio Doedicurus, Tarsier, Daspletosaurus

Today is another Toy Trio, this time featuring a really…really…weird assortment. I suppose if we want to connect them, they all have a Japanese origin of some kind? Let’s go with that.

Kaiyodo Dinotales S6 Doedicurus

Our first stop is another excellent little figure from the Kaiyodo Dinotales series. This Doedicurus figure is number 102 in the original Dinotales series–and by this time, every series generally consisted of 2 versions of each animal, so mine is 102B. I believe it was from series 5 until…7?…that the series usually consisted of 12 figures in two colour schemes. The figures were always great of course…but I would rather have 24 distinct animals. As it is, I rarely chase down multiple colour schemes of the same figure (unless it’s an animal or scheme I really like) so I just have this one.

As is typical of Dinotales, there is a great deal of detail packed into this small (7cm long) figure. The scutes of armour are individually sculpted, and there is a wash over them to highlight the spaces. Around the face, where the animal would be exposed without armour, there are fine details of hair and highlights around the mouth. The legs are a little rough, with the rear toes appearing painted differently for some reason. It is overall well done though, with a pleasing taupe colour, decorated with some spots along the back to the mace-like tail. Glyptodonts are one of those groups that appear in and out of toy sets, and given the crazy spiked tail, Doedicurus is a common favourite (Dinotales had previously released a Glyptodonas well). So while it is very much worth tracking down (like all Dinotales, this one has been out of production for some time) there might be options. I just can’t say they’re better options…

Furuta ChocoEgg Pygmy Tarsier

Next up we have a Pygmy Tarsier made for the Furuta ChocoEgg series 7. This one is number 38 in that run. I have mentioned a Furuta figure before, I think from the previous ChocoEgg series. As before, these were part of a continuation of figures by Takara after Kaiyodo Animaltales and Furuta parted ways. And as with other ChocoEgg figures, it is very well done but sometimes they seem to just be missing a little bit of the Kaiyodo excellence. This tarsier, however, is really very nice. And the use of a branch as a base is a nice touch (admittedly, even the original Animaltales generally didn’t have bases). It allows for a much more natural look to the figure–which would normally spend a lot of time vertically cling-and-leaping in the trees.

The design of the figure is also really well done–the fingers and toes are actually sculpted into the branch, and the pieces of the figure are then fitted along the branch. This allows the tariser to be more seamless than some other ChocoEgg figures. They’ve also really captured the giant-eyed expression of a tarsier very well; given the brain-sized eyes of these little primates, that is important. I don’t personally have a lot of primates in my collection, but I feel like this one is a must; tarsiers do not get made very often as figures, but are important and interesting little animals in their own right. Plus, a figure like this can flesh out dioramas or displays of middle Tertiary fauna as well (it’s not perfect…but omomyid figures don’t exist at all, at least the order is the same). As always with these figures, the tarsier is no long in production but is often found on auction sites.

Playmates Dino King Daspletosaurus

Finally, we have a third animal from Japanese inspiration, another Dino King figure from the show/game series of the same name. Interestingly, along with the previously discussed Maiasaura, this Daspletosaurus was my first Dino King miniature from the first Playmates series. They actually came packaged together as a pair. Over time I was able to get the rest of series 1 (missing some of series 2…dang it) but it meant tracking down 2 and four packs–so it turns out that the only doubles I have are the Maiasaura and Daspletosaurus. Which is fine. They’re decent figures for what they are and all.

Of course, with the Dino King series, there’s good and bad. For example, it is really exciting to see a Daspletosaurus figure being made; like most other large (but not Tyrannosaurus) tyrannosaurids, this animal does not get much time as a figure (there are a couple out there though). It’s hard to judge the accuracy since, again, it’s based on a very stylized cartoon depiction. It does at least look different enough from the Tyrannosaurus in the set (and not just because of the purple colour). From a collection point of view, it is some nice variation. From a ‘serious’ dino collector point of view…the choice of colours could be a bit of a annoyance (also, some of the figures, but not this one, have a variety of extraneous parts that I think are supposed to be feathers). Personally, I’m happy to have these little bursts of colour on the shelves. Plus, given that they all have bases and are tough figures, would be just fine for kids to play with. If you could have found them about ten years ago. It’s much harder now.