Review and Photos by ‘Tyrantqueen’. Edited by ‘Plesiosauria’.
Continuing with our reviews of the Oldies model series, here we have the 1950s tail-dragging Brachiosaurus sculpted by Kazunari Araki (as is the entire Oldies line). The most well-known species of Brachiosaurus now goes by the name of Giraffatitan brancai (formerly Brachiosaurus brancai). Although Giraffatitan also belongs to the Brachiosauridae, it is different enough from Brachiosaurus to warrant a genus of its own. However, as it is the best known of the two, most historical replicas of Brachiosaurus are actually based on material now referable to Giraffatitan brancai. Since the figure in question today is a retro-styled replica, I would guess that this model is also based on Giraffatitan, although it is not labelled as such.
This replica reminds me a little of the Bullyland Brachiosaurus, but it is much more inaccurate. For example, the Bullyland Brachiosaurus has its tail held off the ground. Unfortunately I have no idea which particular piece of artwork the Oldies statue is based on [suggestions are welcome in the comments – ed]. It comes with the usual wooden plinth that most Kinto/ Favorite Co. Ltd. statues are accompanied with, but I removed this in accordance with my own personal preference.
The skin is wrinkled and elephant-like, with loose folds of flesh collecting between the joints. The paintjob is even reminiscent of an elephant. The front legs are splayed out slightly, which levels out the back and makes it less inclined than in modern reconstructions. Instead of the correct columnal depiction, the feet are sculpted in a plantigrade arrangement. The feet end with triangular shaped claws on each toe. The thin tail is too long and drags on the ground, adding more to the retro-style of the sculpture.
I really like the suggestion of bones underneath the skin, which make this Brachiosaurus look a little thin and frail compared to the more robust reconstructions we are used to. The skin seems to be almost hanging from its frame, and the veins around the head and neck suggest a lack of surface body fat. The mouth is open, displaying rows of nicely sculpted peg-like teeth, and it seems to have an almost monstrous expression to its face (personally I find it to be a bit creepy looking). The nostrils are placed high up upon the face, in their traditional position. The neck travels upwards in a gentle curve and seems to be lacking muscle mass, perhaps hearkening back to a time when dinosaurs were depicted as lumbering, cold-blooded, under-muscled lizards. The head is probably too large in relation to the body but this was probably intentional. The paintwork is satisfactory, the overall colour is a dull greenish grey, and is there is no sloppiness of paintwork that I can see.
With the new Carnegie Collection Brachiosaurus being released shortly, I was prompted to purchase the Oldies model as a reminder of how far palaeontology has travelled. It is a large sculpture, slightly larger in scale than the upcoming Safari Ltd toy. I believe the scale of the Oldies Brachiosaurus is 1:50. Surprisingly, the model is actually lighter in weight than the Oldies Iguanodon.
Although I like this model, it may be more tempting for some to go for the Invicta Brachiosaurus instead, which, while being cheaper and easier to find, still has a retro appeal to it. Nonetheless, I recommend the Oldies model to sauropod fans or retro-lovers in general.
It can be found here http://www.bhigr.com/store/product.php?productid=297