Review and photos by Marc Vincent aka Horridus
For many collectors of plastic dinosaur merchandise Invicta’s green behemoth has long been a firm favourite, often taking pride of place among their sauropod assemblages. It remains an impressive and imposing figure well worth seeking out, as much as time has detracted from its scientific accuracy. (It should probably be also referred to as Giraffatitan, but we’ll let that slide for this review…)
Dating from 1984, this Brachiosaurus is less archaic in appearance than Invicta’s older models of Diplodocus and Apatosaurus with their dragging tails, and has managed to stand the test of time better than their 1988 Mamenchisaurus, with its implausibly erect neck. Nevertheless, it has its flaws by modern standards. The feet are unquestionably incorrect and the neck might just be a little too graceful and upright, although it is still far superior to the later Carnegie Collection Brachiosaurus in this respect. Also, on most modern restorations the nostrils are not placed as high on the skull, and the short mouth seems to indicate that this Brachiosaurus has been given cheeks!
Of course, for a figure this old, and one that has weathered so well, this is nitpicking. In its time it was the best Brachiosaurus by a country mile, and even now only the new Wild Safari model seems to have any chance of surpassing it. It is posed very convincingly – not rearing up but striding calmly and purposefully, its neck curved so that its excellently rendered eyes are imperiously surveying the landscape below it. Another positive aspect is the tail, which as with many of the more recent Invictas is held out rigidly straight behind the animal, and is of course clear of the ground. The detailed skin, muscle tone and even veins help convey a massive, powerful creature. This Brachiosaurus may be 1:45 scale (approximately), but it succeeds impressively in portraying an animal that was unimaginably huge.
In spite of its aforementioned inaccuracies, I also love the head of this figure. Its drooping eyelids and down-turned, frowning mouth give it the superior air of an old English gent, with its nasal crest standing in for the bowler hat. It gives the figure real charm.