Although Brachiosaurus remains one of the most popular dinosaurs, in large part due to once being heralded(incorrectly) as the “biggest of the big,” the reality is that very little is known about this Jurassic giant. Only scant fossil remains have been found in North America, and what was once thought to have been an African species is now recognized as a separate genus, Giraffatitan. Interestingly though, SMA 0009, a nearly complete skeleton of a juvenile sauropod from the Morrison Formation, may actually be a baby Brachiosaurus!
Safari Ltd first released their Brachiosaurus Baby figure all the way back in 1997. This repainted version came out in 2013, at least according to the date printed on its tummy. Its main colours are grass green and sandy yellow with orange eyes, a pink mouth, and black claws. It’s a simple but bold look, appropriate for a children’s toy. The little giant proudly stands 7.5 cm tall and measures 8 cm long.
The Brachiosaurus is sculpted with its neck reared back and its head turned to the right. Being such an early Safari product, it lacks the magnificent sculpting detail that we’ve come to expect from their figures nowadays. The skin has a very basic wrinkled texture all over, a soft ridge of vertebrae runs down the back and tail, and a keel runs down the front of the neck. The proportions are pretty much what you’d expect in a baby sauropod toy: an oversized head, a relatively short neck and tail, and stout, stubby legs. Indeed, with its large, round eyes and decidedly friendly expression, this little sauropod looks quite, quite cute! You almost want to offer it a slice of grape or a fresh spinach leaf.
There are a couple of major inaccuracies to be found here. First, there appear to be no visible nostrils anywhere on the head. And second, the front feet each have five claws, whereas the real animal would only have had claws on its thumbs. I have no doubt that the overall proportions are off as well, but given the age and simplicity of this toy, I see little point in dwelling on them. And again, we don’t know for certain yet what a juvenile Brachiosaurus really looked like.
Overall, I find the Brachiosaurus Baby to be an endearing little toy in spite of its shortcomings. Young children especially should adore it.