Vault Tales 96 Kaiyodo Dinotales Anomalocaris

The first superpredator? Maybe. This may be the most glorious version out there.

This post is going to go back to the Kaiyodo Dinotales, a series that I’ve spent quite a bit of time discussing. Hardly surprising, since I have at least one of every model…and there are a lot of models! This Anomalocaris is from the Dinotales 2 series, number 046 in the run. The series as a whole seemed to be tougher to find, having first showed up in about 2000-2001 or so (the dates are a but murky) and I am not sure how long they were around, but not long. Unlike the Series 1 Dinotales that were re-released with revisions, the second series was a one and done. Obviously they are no longer available except in aftermarket sales–and for a while, the Anomalocaris was one of the more costly figures in the set.

It is so flat! And has so much attention to colours and details

I was lucky to notice these figures when I did, and to start collecting them. At first, I was mainly focused on a few groups (prehistoric mammals, fish, weird reptiles…some things haven’t changed). After receiving a few others, and seeing more of them, I decided I should have the entire sets. This would have been around 2002 or so–there were still sellers in Japan with readily available models, even if they were from a few years earlier. I have mentioned having contacts in Japan before, but with this first interest I became a bit of a source myself–many people in grad school with me at the time ended up with at least a few figures through me. We would do big bulk orders, I would send the money, and the redistribute. I didn’t make anything off of them, just cost recovery. But thanks to me, there are more of these spread out in Canada than there would have been!

The dappling and shininess is especially nice. I forgot to picture the bottom, but it is also fully detailed and painted.

Which brings us to this figure. It was part of that late-decision-period. And it was hard to track down. I of course did eventually, but it was a few years after the Series 2 had passed, and even my sources didn’t often have it. I don’t know now, but I’m pretty sure I paid more than I normally would have, just to finish a series. I probably wouldn’t do that now…although this figure is amazing and should be in every collection. It is certainly a bright spot on my crowded Dinotales shelf! I should also mention that price is relative…when Dinotales came out, they were prizes packaged with candy…terrible, terrible candy (think gross tootsie roll balls). The price? 100 Yen, or around $1.25 Canadian! Obviously, most figures were resold for a bit more than that…I think the Anomalocaris would have been around $10 for me (okay…so, again, price is relative), more than their usual. Now, from what I’ve seen, this model ranges from $25 to $50. And mine was in package, these prices are often ‘used’.

I’m trying to capture how the rear finlets are just a little translucent. It’s not easy to tell here.

Giving opinions on this figure is both easy and hard. Easy, because it’s a great figure. Period. Hard because it would be tempting to just go on forever. It’s only 6cm long, roughly 1:17 scale, and may be the smallest Anomalocaris figure available (I have several, but haven’t compared them side by side!). Despite that little size, they did everything they could to get the little things correct, like the number of segments, and the ‘fin’ counts on the side and tail. I think they missed the number of segments in front mouth appendages though. But I’ll let it go. As seen in the photos, the paint scheme can only be described as elaborate–the various parts are painted with fantastic precision, with all kinds of details throughout. The colour choices are also pretty cool, the green body contrasting with the red lateral fins and orange mouth and tail parts. Again, for a candy figure that cost under $2 in stores!

Assuming this Anomalocaris figure is the more ‘normal’ 1 metre long specimen, it’s about to scale with this guy. Who is apparently lying on the sea floor. That can’t be good.

Do I ever not recommend that everyone run out and collect Dinotales figures? If I haven’t convinced you before, and this one doesn’t convince you to track down at least a few (maybe ones that are relevant to your personal interests or research, etc) then nothing will. But then…if you read this far, you probably know. You probably have some. But do you have this one? It’s worth the price (really, I know someone that can get you a full series…just ask). As always though, don’t hand this to a child, clumsy person, or someone you think might drop it. They are breakable, and ones like this have so many tiny bits to lose. Just rest them on a shelf and enjoy them that way.