Apatosaurus, with its great size, great neck, and even greater tail, is the quintessential sauropod. Along with Stegosaurus, Triceratops, and Tyrannosaurus rex, it is one of those iconic dinosaurs that everyone recognizes instantly. Although it was long thought to have been the same animal as Brontosaurus, a 2015 study has concluded that the two were in fact separate genera.
The 2015 Papo Apatosaurus is meant to represent a juvenile. As such, its main body is slighter smaller than that of the Triceratops. But don’t get the idea that this animal is a runt. Far from it. From the curve in its neck to the tip of it tail, it measures 46 cm long. This makes it the longest prehistoric figure in the Papo line to date. You’re going to need a good length of shelf space to display this one!
As with nearly all Papo products, the Apatosaurus‘ colour scheme is nothing to write home about. Its main colour is medium brown with light brown for the underbelly and black wash stripes running along the length of its back. Its eyes are dark brown, its teeth are white, and the inside of its mouth is dull pink. The claws are unpainted, disappointingly.
Detail-wise, Papo once again knocks it out of the park. The many wrinkles on the skin of this growing giant give it a thick, leathery appearance. The tiny, peg-like teeth lining the front of the mouth are finely sculpted. The barely visible nostrils have been placed on top of the head, which is not in keeping with recent reconstructions. The neck is lined with rows of thick bumps to denote the huge bones beneath the skin and the tail terminates in a thin, whip-like tip. And unlike the Brachiosaurus, the Apatosaurus has the correct number of claws on each foot.
My fiancée, whom I always love to show off my new models to, doesn’t like the Apatosaurus. She feels that the neck is way too fat and disproportionate to the rest of the animal. And indeed, the neck does look odd. On the one hand, it’s extremely thick just like that of A. ajax. On the other hand, it’s also very deep like the neck of A. louisae. Perhaps the idea is that, as a juvenile, its proportions are supposed to be off. Or perhaps this individual is a hybrid. Either way, you really can’t get away with passing this toy off as Brontosaurus. The curvature of the neck is also intriguing. Some scientists have concluded that sauropods had very stiff necks. Others, however, argue that there was a much greater range of flexibility. The lack of soft tissue and cartilage make it virtually impossible to be certain. Personally, I prefer a flexible neck like this one.
This Apatosaurus is in a lumbering pose with its left heel raised slightly, its massive neck craned to look back over its right shoulder, and its mouth wide open. It could be turning its head to munch on some choice greens, but it could just as easily be bellowing in agitation and fear as a hungry Allosaurus pursues it. Will it be able to get to the safety of its herd in time? Could it fend off the predator on its own? Its fate rests in your hands!
The Papo Apatosaurus is small enough that it won’t put too deep of a hole in your wallet, and won’t require a particularly tall shelf, but it is also big enough to still be imposing. And aside from the nostrils and possibly too big a neck, it’s one of the more accurate dinosaurs Papo has released thus far. Children and adults alike should be very pleased with it indeed. Available from Amazon.com here.