Parasaurolophus walkeri is one of the most widely recognised and much-loved hadrosaur species, and no dinosaur toy line is complete without it. (Sorry, P. tubicen and P. cyrtocristatus.) It’s only proper, then, that Favorite include it among their ‘soft model’ lineup. As (almost) always, they’ve done an excellent job.
I’ve critcised the Favorite ‘soft’ dinosaurs in the past for their bland, uninspired paint jobs – tending towards greyish brown and brownish grey (with dark green as an occasional special treat). As if to make up for it, their Parasaurolophus is an absolute colour riot. The bright red pompadour is, of course, just traditional, but I absolutely love the vibrant greens and yellows and spotted back on this model. The only thing stopping this figure from receiving top marks in the paintjob department is a slight sloppiness with the fine details – specifically, on the hands. While all the digits on the left hand have painted claws, the right hand lacks them entirely (see below). Still, this is only a very minor fault, probably peculiar to the one that I own.
Anatomically, it’s hard to think of any mass-produced plastic Parasaurolophus figures that are better than this one, or even the equal of it, except for the sadly long-discontinued Battat. Unlike many Parasaurolophus figures, this one does not have a super-skinny, swan-like neck, and is therefore more in line with modern thinking on the anatomy of these dinosaurs. The proportions are excellent, although the spine may be a little lower than it should be over the hips. In addition the shoulder girdle might be rather too high – see this Scott Hartman skeletal from last year – although this sculpt is a few years old now (I was going to credit Niroot for pointing this out to me via Twitter, but have you seen the size of that guy’s ego? It’s ENORMOUS).
I’ve always liked the Favorite models for their very crisp detailing and clean finish. As is common to all the Favorite ‘soft’ models of scaly-skinned dinosaurs, this Parasaurolophus has all-over scalation. One could argue that since the scales on the real dinosaur would have been much, much smaller than this (to scale), such detailing is actually unrealistic. In the past I have tended to view the scales as a plus in that they help give a better impression of the scaly nature of the animal’s hide, and fade into obscurity when viewed from a distance anyway; however, it’s all a matter of personal taste. This is also true of the creature’s mouth, which on this model has been rendered cheek-free. I’ve always favoured ‘cheeks’ for no particularly good scientific reason, but that issue would appear to be unresolved for the time being. In any case, since the mouth is closed this hardly detracts from the figure overall.
I’m waffling far too much about tiny, nitpicky things again, though. Taken as a whole, this is an excellent figure and a worthy addition to anyone’s hadrosaur collection. What’s more it is, as a plastic figure, cheaply available where sold. Recommended.