Favorite’s ‘Soft Model’ series is the affordable, plastic-toy counterpart to their more expensive range of ‘Desktop’ polyresin statues, and gains frequent favour for the models’ modern look and the fact that the carnivores stand on their own two feet. So it is with the latest addition to the line, this Spinosaurus. It’s very orange.
The pose and overall look are near-identical to the Desktop Spinosaurus, but of course this one is somewhat smaller – at about 23cm in length – and much, much more orange. In fact, these photos – enhanced as they are due to my camera being an old piece o’ junk – don’t really do the orangeness of this model justice. You can imagine it wearing a short skirt and hanging around a godawful, generic chain nightclub, getting really drunk, throwing up and then being taken home at 3AM by Dave from Essex. In short, much as the wavy pattern on the sail is quite lovely, I’d have preferred a less screaming colour for the body, thanks – something a bit more subtle for such an enormous animal.
Still, the sculpt isn’t bad overall. Most impressively, the model stands sturdily on two feet, its tail held valiantly aloft and the rest of its body – including its feet – remaining well-proportioned. Detailing is typically excellent, with well-sculpted muscles, folds and creases indicating the animal’s movement. The sail merges naturally with the body along the animal’s flanks, in contrast with some other Spinosaurus figures that sport a ‘glued-on sail’ look, and the line of spines running down the back is a very nice touch. There’s an all-over covering of scales, too, and although they would be much smaller on the real animal it does help avoid the pachyderm look. Sadly – and rather predictably – it’s the head where things start going wrong.
Unlike much of the rest of it, palaeontologists know what Spinosaurus‘ jaws looked like, and they were highly distinctive. Still, time and time again, artists and model makers get it wrong. Sadly, the Soft Model Spinosaurus follows its Desktop big brother in having jaws that lack the features that gave Spinosaurus‘ head such a striking look. It’s almost as if someone looked at the real skull and thought “That can’t be right!” – subsequently smoothing out all the bumps and bulges. The teeth, too, are rather bland and uniform and don’t show the variation in length seen in the real animal. At least there’s only one, triangular crest, but it’s too long. Even the paint application is a bit sloppy here. It’s a real shame given how good the rest of the sculpt is.
It seems that the Carnegie effort is destined to remain top of the Spinosaurus heap, even if it has blunted teeth. However, this is still a very good figure that is miles ahead of most of the others on the market. As such, I’d say that it’s worth your money – although you’d better like orange.