Category Archives: sauropod

Brachiosaurus 1993 ( Replica-Saurus, by Schleich)

To help set the mood, lets take a moment and imagine ourselves walking among the fern covered floodplains in the late Jurassic.  A muddy stream meanders and snakes across the landscape. There are green spreading fronds of tree ferns, along with cycads and gingkoes. There are numerous tall conifers.  Out in the fields and along the stream banks you can hear hoots, honks and sounds of the many animals living in the area.  While standing in the shadows of the Pterosaurs flying overhead, you look over the floodplain and over by a small copse of conifers you see  a rare animal.  At 40-50 feet high (12-16 meters) it dominates the landscape.  It is pulling the branches on the conifers and striping them of their needles.  With its towering long neck along with its long forelegs and sloping back, forcing you to look high into the air to see its head.  The animal is truly majestic. It is the magnificent Brachiosaurus.

Before anyone rips out some hair from their head and scream out, “That toy is not a Brachiosaurus its Giraffatitan brancai!”  Let me say,  I know.  When Schleich  made the Replica-Saurus line, it was done in close cooperation with the Natural History Museum of the Humboldt-University Berlin. Until recently the Brachiosaurid that is mounted at the NHM of Humboldt-University Berlin was known as Brachiosaurus, and it was obviously the  inspiration for this toy.  In 2009 paleontologist Michael Taylor determined that Gregory Paul was correct and that B. brancai should belong to its own genus, reclassifying it as Giraffatitan brancai.   Back in the 90’s when the toy was made it was still considered a Brachiosaurus, so you really can’t fault Schleich.

With all that out of the way lets take a closer look at this 1993 Brachiosaurus behemoth from Schleich.

About the toy:  Due to being made in the 90’s it is proud and standing tall in a classic periscope style pose. At 34 cm high (13 in) this is a tall toy.  It is one of the tallest brachiosaurid toys out there.  It is only 1 cm shorter than the huge Carnegie version and is taller than its Schleich counterparts.  Its Replica-Saurus replacement was only 31 cm tall and the WHO and COE versions are much, much shorter.

If you are familiar with some of the ugly heads that Schleich has put on some of their models in the past, Examples: (Carnotaurus or Baryonyx,) you know what you are in for and will not be surprised when you take a closer look.  Ugh, what were they thinking.  The skull is poorly done, the circle eyes, and the nostrils are placed in the classic sauropod snorkel position on the large bump in front of its eyes.  In reality the nostrils were forward on their snout.  Another example of shrink wrap anatomy.  I don’t know what you think but with that toothy frown, this girl looks unhappy.

As for the rest of the body it is a rather plain pose.  Just standing there like it is holding still for a portrait or on display at a museum.  The legs are rather straight and thin.  The body is big, but I would still say that this figure looks underfed.  The skin texture looks like dried mud all cracked and disjointed.  There are some skin folds along the body that look nice.  The feet are incorrect but typical of the toys made at that time.  The tail is small and rather thin.  The colors are simple.  Brown, with some dark brown shading.  Its nails on the feet are grey.  The eyes are a dull orange and the teeth are white.

Only the thumb should bare a claw.

Overall:  I recently did a dinosaur talk at school with kids that are 4-5 years old.   I brought around twenty dinosaur toys with me for the discussion.  I let the kids hold onto and look at each toy as I talked about the animal.  I brought models of T-Rex, CarnotaurusApatosaurus, and Triceratops among others.  The toy that the kids liked the best was this Brachiosaurus.  Why?    Well both my kids like to play with this toy so I asked them why they like this toy.  There answer was simple.  The size.  I must agree with them.  This figure inspires awe despite the inaccuracies, ugly face, and bland colors.  It towers over most other figures and can dominate the display shelf.

On the positive side, as a collector I appreciate that “in the U.S.A at least” it is a harder figure to find. Makes it stand out from the regular figures.   It is a big figure which I think really makes sauropods look better.  On the negative side its pose is outdated,  there are many inaccuracies, and the colors are bland.  If you like it, this toy does pop up on e-bay from time to time.

Brachiosaurus (Baby)(Wild Safari by Safari Ltd.)

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.

Brachiosaurus (Conquering the Earth by Schleich)

​Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

With Schleich’s 2017 crop of models consisting of animals that hail from the Late Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous, it is understandable that at least one Jurassic sauropod would be released. Although to be honest, I was hoping we would get a new Apatosaurus, or even Brontosaurus.

The 2017 Brachiosaurus is the 5th model of the creature that Schleich ever released. However, I can’t help but wonder if they are getting lazier when it comes to making their new products. My first impressions are mixed with this model. It is a lot better than the previous World of History version, but it still has its flaws. One of them centers around the legs. They look weird, and remind me of sausages. On top of that, they have the EXACT SAME texture and look as the legs on the Barapasaurus, which indicates that this model may have been digitally sculpted and they simply reused aspects from the other one to save time and money.



When it comes to scientific accuracy, Schleich can at least be praised for their attempt to get the feet right again. The front feet only have one claw each as opposed to the elephantine feet of the WoH model, But this also stems from the fact that the feet are made the same exact way as those found of the Barapasaurus. The first issue that I found on this model is that they based it off the proportions of Giraffatitan brancai instead of an actual Brachiosaurus altithorax. Also, the nostril openings are in the wrong spot again, up by the crest when they should be lower towards the front of the snout. The only things that make this model in tune with modern reconstructions of Brachiosaurus is that the neck is held out in front instead of being held upwards like a periscope.

In terms of detailing, only the top half of the model is decked out with really big scales (which would be a lot smaller on the real animal) while the rest of it is features nothing but very minimal wrinkles. It’s almost like the model was supposed to be covered with the scales, but the sculptor was either running out of time, or simply did not care to finish the job and so Schleich ran with it because they wanted to save time and money. At around 14 inches long, this model would be around 1:64 Scale, making it around the same scale as your average run of the Mill Toy Car by Mattel. The colours on this model are simply different shades of green. The base is light green while the scales are dark green with some traces of light green painted on them. The eyes are orange and the teeth are all painted white, with a red tongue sculpted inside the mouth. The claws are black and the bottom of the figure is painted in a greenish beige.

Overall, I can’t speak for everyone, when I tell you all that i actually like this model. It looks a lot better then the WoH version, but that’s not saying much, as that model was looks very ugly by comparison to this. I would also like to note that, despite the weird-looking legs, this new version looks a lot more convincing as a real member of the brachiosaur family then the WoH one ever did, but I’m sure it will never live up to the very first one they made for the Replicasaurus line back in 1997, or the 2008 remake. As usual, if you want this model, you can find it (almost) anywhere Schleich dinosaurs are sold.