More Bullyland – and this time it’s their 2005 resculpt of the giant African brachiosaur Giraffatitan (still known at the time as “Brachiosaurus” brancai. And yes, I am going to refer to it as Giraffatitan throughout the review, to annoy you all and because it’s only correct, so there). All told it’s not too shabby.
First impressions are very good – this is a striking figure. Although not the largest Giraffatitan figure (it doesn’t quite reach the giddy heights of the grinning Carnegie behemoth), and certainly not matching the stated 1:30 scale, it’s still an impressive size – approximately 28cm tall, it’s actually somewhere in the region of 1:45 scale and is very similar in size to the Invicta. Like many sauropod figures, the animal is posed as if it has just taken a long stride forwards, its tail held aloft and its neck forming a graceful curve. What I like most about this figure are the colours – while many sauropod figures continue to be released with rather dull uniform grey or brown paint jobs, this Giraffatitan is a vivid green and yellow/brown with a bright orange band running from its snout down its neck. Apparently there’s also a brown version out there, but who would prefer that over this?
Anatomically this brachiosaur’s in pretty good shape. Although the neck could probably do with being a bit deeper, the overall proportions match up well with skeletal reconstructions. The powerful limb muscles are in evidence – this is no classical obese sauropod – and the head is very well sculpted, even if the teeth are only painted on. Perhaps most pleasing is the fact that the nostril openings aren’t located up top, but rather further forward on the snout in line with more modern reconstructions. It’s great to see sculptors taking this on board. The feet appear fine ‘n’ dandy too at first glance, but closer inspection reveals, unfortunately, that they have once again been fouled up.
Although the digits on the hands are correctly arranged in a columnar fashion – with a thumb claw sticking out – the sculptor has succumbed to the seemingly irresisitble desire to give sauropods a full set of fingernails. Quite why toy sculptors keep doing this can only be guessed at – maybe they like to take their sauropods home and diva them up with some glittery nail varnish. Although the feet aren’t as horrendously bad as those on some Schleich sauropods (where the sculptor has given up and just copied an elephant), it’s a shame that they’ve been messed up on what is otherwise a decent figure. The hindfeet are more bizarre still, mostly because they’re asymmetrical. While there are correctly three claws on the right foot (and a couple of erroneous extra blunt ones), the left foot has no claw on the innermost toe. Weird.
In the end, however, one must remember that one has been dubbed the ‘sauropod foot fetish guy’ for a reason, and point out that this is still a very good Giraffatitan figure as they go. Not only is it a decent sculpt of a very popular dinosaur, but it’s a big figure available at a perfectly reasonable price. I’d recommend picking it up if sauropods are your cup of tea.