July 15, 2004 / by Anime News Services / News / No Comments

ANS Review – Dinomania Hand Painted Miniature Dinosaurs And Prehistoric Creatures

By Jonah Morgan

Japanese Model-Maker Kaiyodo, confectionary giant UHA Mikakuto and San Jose based Prototopia and first annonced their deal to distribute the Dinomania Hand Painted Minature Dinosars and Prehistoric Creatures collection in the U.S.A, Canada and Mexico on May 18th of this year. After Selling 20,000,000 units of the set in Japan there are high hopes this set may take off in the North American Market. Japan has historically set the trends for the U.S. collectors’ market and the idea with the release is to appeal to both collectors and educators across all age groups.

Late last week ANS recieved a package in mail from Prototopia with a few random samples from the first 24 piece Dinomania set for review. The first thing that strikes you about the packaging is it’s triangular nature, the box itself is fairly small, only weighing 5 grams. Very colorful eyecatch graphic on the front. The set is packaged alot like baseball cards, you have no idea which dinosaur you are going open in a particualr box. So a very cool mystery element for the collector. Open the box and 3 chromofoil wrappers fall out 2 smaller ones containing candy and the larger one with a “limited edition” seal containing the model pieces. Business coming before pleasure, the choice was made to assemble the model first. Tearing the top of the pouch a bit too quickly I saw a flurry of tiny plastic pieces hit the carpet along with a fact sticker on my dismembered dinosaur and a sheet listing others in the collection.

With the adult hand in mind the pieces to some of the models can be incredibly tiny depending on what creature you end up with. The assembly is totally intuitive, no stage 5 complexity warning needed here, there are no instuctions required for assembly. With the model completed I found myself looking at the aquatic dwelling Hemicyclaspis. It’s resemblence is a bit like the modern sucker fish I have seen in some aquariums. Now I know why the hand painted nature of the models is so heavily touted, the attention to detail in the paint color and detail is striking, and the engraving, simply incredible, easily the most detailed dinosaur models released in America at the scale retail pricepoint.

A great virtue of this first release is if you’re the dino fan out there who thinks you’ll wind up with same household familiar dinosaur names that have become movie stars you’re sorely mistaken. Because at this point when I was holding my new Hemicyclaspis it occurred to me that I had never heard of nor seen this creature before and I thought I knew dinosaurs pretty well….. Looking at the full collection roster again there was only one dinosaur in the set of 24 that I could honestly say I recognized, Plesiosaurus…. Some of these creatures I never thought could exist on the Earth…. the almost alien Pieurocysties or Hallucigenia….. Some of these creatures looked like animals walking around today…. The Pelican like Tapejara Imperator or the Copeteryx which has the head of a Duck and the body of a Penguin…. So the set has the potential to be a great educational tool, it makes one see the relations in life existing on the Earth now and in the distant past and marvel at things that may never be seen by human eyes until landing upon on another world perhaps. The final part of this review will end on the 2 pieces of Chocolate candy that come with each collectible, it’s pretty good.

The Dinomania collectables are sold at museum, hobby, educational, comic, and specialty retail stores throughout North America. DinoMania Series-One is a limited-edition collection featuring 24 unique dinosaur models plus one additional “secret” dinosaur, each sold separately. For more information on DinoMania go to www.dinomania.com, www.promotopia.com, www.kaiyodo.co.jp and www.uha-mikakuto.co.jp.

All Stories, Graphics And Material © Jonah Morgan – Anime News Service Unless Otherwise Cited