Favorite’s ‘Soft Models’ tend to receive acclaim on the Dinosaur Toy Blog and I’ve been promising to review the Plesiosaurus for…well, years actually. Certain members of the Dinosaur Toy Forum tend not to let me forget it! So it will be a weight off my shoulders to finally give this figure the attention it deserves. This review is also timely because of the impending wave of Favorite resculpts including a new Plesiosaurus, presently on the dinosaur toy horizon. One has to wonder if the resculpts are entirely necessary given the excellent quality of the originals, but it will be interesting to compare the old with the new as the fresh models are released. However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves…
The 1:30 scale original Plesiosaurus is excellent. As with all the models in the series it’s clear that a significant amount of research has gone into it. Most companies strive for accuracy, except for Papo who sometimes seem to revel in their disdain for scientific accuracy, and Favorite are one of the companies who have led the way. Notably, the Favorite Plesiosaurus has its neck in an anatomically correct horizontal position. The overall proportions appear slightly off – the neck is slightly too long, the tail and the trunk of the body a touch too short, but these are minor quibbles in an otherwise impressively accurate restoration.
The beautiful slender wing-like flippers are perfect. The fore-flippers are raised slightly and the hind-flippers are lowered slightly, so the animal appears to be sculling slowly along on the hunt for fish. I have nothing but praise for the head, which is superb, especially for such a small figure. It is clearly based on recent reconstructions of the skull of Plesiosaurus, again illustrating Favorite’s serious attitude to scientific accuracy. I’m pleased to see a long-necked plesiosaur with the eyes in the correct position. The temporal fenestrae are delineated by a slight ridge but are still bulked out with muscles as they should be. The mouth is in a closed position with the ferocious teeth interlocked.
The surface texture is generally smooth with faint transverse wrinkles. There is a prominent flap of skin running along the side of the neck and onto the torso between the flippers. I’m not particularly taken with this speculative detail but I don’t mind a little artistic license. The colour scheme is rather plain, dark brown on top with faint stripes on the flanks. It isn’t a slur to point out this Plesiosaurus has a yellow belly, because it is also yellow under the neck, flippers, and tail.
Plesiosaurus is surprisingly underrepresented in toy form, especially given that it is the plesiosaur namesake. When it comes to long-necked plesiosaurs most companies plump for the more extreme body shape of the elasmosaurids (usually Elasmosaurus as default) over conservative types such as Plesiosaurus. Invicta produced a beautiful plesiosaur, which is quite obviously intended to be Plesiosaurus, but for some reason it has almost no details on its head, so comparison with the Favorite Plesosaurus isn’t possible. At only 14 cm long Favorite Plesosaurus is diminutive next to its Safari, Bullyland, and Schleich plesiosaur friends, but the Favorite Plesiosaurus is a lovely little model and I highly recommend it. I hope the rescupt doesn’t undo any of the fine aspects present in this fine original.