Recently a new model has been released by Favorite, formally known as Kinto, and it has caused quite a stir on the dinosaur toy scene, not only for its quality but also because it is a museum exclusive and thus already rare before it was released. So is it worth all the hype? Is it worth tracking down? Well, let’s find out.
Sculpted by Hirokazu Tokugawa and produced for the Museum of Nature and Human Activities in Hyōgo, Japan, the model represents an as yet unnamed sauropod simply called the Tamba sauropod or Tamba dragon. According to the packaging the model comes in, the Tamba sauropod is an early Cretaceous titanosauriform about 40-50’ in length. Finding information about this dinosaur is difficult because it has not been officially described yet. Searches yield a few news stories and a lot of talk about it on our very own Dinosaur Toy Forum. News reports from 2009 indicate the animal is known from 50 individual bones including parts of the tail, spine, ribs and braincase. The discovery of this sauropod is apparently a big deal in Japan where dinosaur fossils in general are quite rare.
Measuring 11” long the model falls into the 1:40 scale range. Without knowing much about the dinosaur itself it is hard to say how accurate the model is but in comparing to other titanosauriforms it stands up quite well. This is no surprise given the sculptor involved and the amount of care put into the model. It does not suffer from the many inaccuracies that plague other toy sauropods. The nostrils are placed correctly on the snout, not on top of the head. The horseshoe shaped front limbs stand on pillar-like hands with a single claw on each while hind limbs have the correct three claws each arrangement. I know, we always go off on a tangent about dinosaur hands and feet in these reviews but dinosaurs were weird animals and quite often the anatomy of the limbs is weird itself. This is especially true for quadruped dinosaurs who can trace their ancestry back to bipedal animals. The figure stands in a typical side-profile pose, nothing fancy or dynamic but it works great to showcase this sauropod.
The overall model is generally lacking in detail. All the important stuff is there including nicely sculptured musculature but the model itself is fairly conservative. The color is especially bland and maybe the poorest attribute of this model. It is mostly green which blends into some gold color laterally with white on the underside. The model is also very shiny in typical Favorite fashion which does take away from the otherwise life-like sculpt of the dinosaur. No scales are present but shouldn’t be at this scale anyway, wrinkles are sculpted aplenty.
So where does this leave us? The model is a bit bland and even generic but I’m at a loss to find anything else worth complaining about. This is in fact a masterfully sculpted, elegant and accurate model of a titanosauriform. The fact that it represents an unnamed species from a place generally lacking in dinosaurs and is a museum exclusive all help make this model something special. If you collect rare and obscure genera, museum exclusives or sauropods in general this is something you’ll want to have. If you’re a more casual collector (like myself, honestly) than it might not be worth dishing out the big bucks. But should you be presented with an opportunity to get one cheap, don’t pass on this beauty.