Kinto Favorite Desktop Spinosaurus Model
Review by Dan of DansDinosaurs.com
After a fairly prolonged dry spell, the Favorite Company of Japan (formerly known as Kinto) has unveiled a new dinosaur desktop model. This model features the highly-popular Spinosaurus aegypticus, a theropod whose name became famous after appearing in a certain feature film. Consequently, the Spinosaurus has been popping up in collectible form much more frequently. This leads to a somewhat awkward admission of ignorance from a paleontological perspective – we have only sparse fossils to indicate what the creature looked like, and yet reconstructions are now showing up everywhere.
What little we do know about the Spinosaurus relates to its skull shape, which is elongated and closely resembles the skulls of predators like Suchomimus and Baryonyx. Based on this similarity, the animal now tends to be reconstructed with a somewhat gracile build, and enlarged claws on the forearms. Favorite does have a substantial history with this species, having already released a full skeleton model, and another fleshed-on model featuring the predator plucking a garfish from the churning current. Not surprisingly, this latest release appears to be their most striking version.
One of the first things observers will notice is the animated posture of the carnivore. Since the animal is attached to a rock-like base, the sculpture is free to stand in any pose the artist desires. In this instance, the Spinosaurus is seen in mid-stride, its bird-like footing reinforcing the avian qualities of theropods. Throughout the sculpture, one can clearly see the contracting of powerful leg muscles and realistic wrinkles and folds in the skin. The hide is scaly, almost crocodilian, with broad osteoderms lining the flanks. The large forearms are carried with the palms inward, and the tail remains parallel to the ground for balance.
One noticeable flaw can be seen in the jaws of the animal, where the distinctive subnarial gap seems to lack the proper prominence. Given the strong emphasis that is placed on this area of the skull morphology, as well as the substantial history Favorite has with this species, the discrepancy is somewhat disappointing. That being said, much of the skull is still very impressive. The teeth appear long and conical, the jaws are narrow and long, and the distinctive crest can be seen on the top of the head.
This Spinosaurus also has one of the most impressive paint schemes of any model released by Favorite. The body is draped in a charcoal and blackened base, while the ventral surfaces have a contrasting yet traditionally pale hue. Vibrant patterns of yellow and orange are speckled across the flanks, slicing across the back, and virtually bursting from the signature dorsal spine. The combination of warm tones with bluish highlights almost resembles the flicking of flames, truly an indication that the Favorite Spinosaurus utilizes its sail for display purposes, if nothing else. The dorsal surfaces are also adorned with protruding spines, not quite to the extent of Todd Marshall’s interpretation of the beast, though still a mature design aesthetic that warns: “Careful. I am not some child’s plaything”.
The desktop model, like others Favorite’s line, comes with a wooden base and brass name plate for display purposes. Despite the problems with the jaw, this is certainly one of the most impressive finished Spinosaurus models on the market. At the time of this review, the model is only available in Japan, which makes acquiring one a somewhat tricky and costly venture. Hardcore enthusiasts may wish to wait until a more accurate and affordable model is available, but this is still one of the finest Spinosaurus models around.