Review and Photos by Dan of DansDinosaurs.com
Safari Ltd. released their first Brachiosaurus figure in 1989, and it remained the largest prehistoric figure in their entire collection for two decades. Despite the changes in paint application, its mold has been unchanged to this very day. Our image of the Brachiosaurus has changed a bit since that time, and thanks to the animal’s appearance in Jurassic Park, it has become a popular species among casual collectors.
For their Wild Safari dinosaur line, Safari created a smaller Brachiosaurus figure, presumably one that held greater playability among children. This figure has been released in both yellow and green paint schemes. For this latest 2010 release of the Brachiosaurus, Safari has echoed some of their earlier color palettes, but updated the figure with an entirely new sculpt.
Immediately noticeable is the posture of the new figure’s neck. Previous incarnations of the Brachiosaurus from Safari displayed the animal with a “periscope” neck posture, held straight into the air, perpendicular to the ground. More recently, we’ve come to believe this animal carried its neck like many other sauropods, further in front of its body. This would still allow the animal to graze from dizzying altitudes on leaves that would have been inaccessible to most other herbivores. As such, the 2010 Wild Safari Brachiosaurus carries its neck at a 45 degree angle to the ground.
Traditionally seen as pudgy, sloth-like giants, sauropods are now more often depicted as graceful creatures. They were not fast animals certainly, but when you’re the biggest thing on the plains, you’ve got far fewer predators to flee from. This entire figure displays a leaner, cleaner design aesthetic. The legs are powerful and well-proportioned, substantially thicker in the hind limbs, which are also appropriately shorter than the clawed forelimbs. The feet appear to be the dark and sullied, an excellent touch of realism rarely seen in mass produced figures.
The body has some great texturing with wrinkles and folds, and natural musculature around the limbs and chest. The tail tapers quite elegantly, though the head is perhaps the most pleasant surprise. The jaws are lined with individually sculpted spatulate teeth, while the ears and tongue and plainly visible. Rarely are sauropod figures lavished with so much attention to their heads. With its neck outstretched and its jaws agape, one can easily envision this animal reaching out for a tasty conifer morsel. The eyes are dark and glossy, which really enhances the animated quality of the figure. Being able to look the animal in the eye makes it that much more believable.
The only noticeable problem I had with this figure are the nostrils, which are conspicuously absent from an otherwise tremendously detailed head. It was once thought that Brachiosaurus had its nostrils on its crest, and they are now believed to be positioned further down the snout, yet in neither spot can they be seen on this figure. The figure’s foot has “1109” printed in white on the bottom, the first such inscription to be found on a Wild Safari dinosaur, while the ventral ID stamp includes “2008” in addition the usual information. It is a little known fact that this Brachiosaurus was originally scheduled to be released by Safari before 2010; the cause for this delay is unknown.
The 2010 Brachiosaurus is about half the size of the Carnegie Brachiosaurus, but it still towers over all other dinosaurs in the Wild Safari collection. The beautiful sculpt and attractive coloration make it one of the finest reproductions of the species to appear in figure form, and with a surprisingly low price point, there’s really nothing to stop me from recommending it to collectors everywhere.