It has now been two years since Mattel released their Legacy Collection Brachiosaurus, a highly anticipated toy that fans had been pining for since 1993. During much of that time between then and now people had wondered, “will we get an Apatosaurus too?” In my mind the likelihood of Mattel making an Apatosaurus was directly tied to how well the Brachiosaurus sold upon its release and I suppose the Brachiosaurus must have sold well, because Mattel has indeed given us an Apatosaurus. I’m not going to open this review with a nostalgic preamble like I did for the Brachiosaurus though, because, well, the Apatosaurus just doesn’t hit me the same way. Jurassic World didn’t resonate with me like Jurassic Park did, in fact, few movies do. I wasn’t even sure that I was going to get the Apatosaurus at all because I’m not much of a fan of the movie’s design for the animal. But having now reviewed two other enormous sauropod toys I also felt obligated to get this one and give it a fair shake. Could Mattel capture lightening in a bottle twice? Let’s find out.
First off, despite the smaller packaging the toy is just as large as the Brachiosaurus, being a bit longer in length but of course shorter in height. It measures about 42” long and stands about 12” tall to the top of the head. It comes packaged in a nicely illustrated box that depicts the Apatosaurus in a savanna-like setting with some other dinosaurs and a gyrosphere. The toy comes in three separate pieces, the head and neck, body, and tail. The head and neck, and tail, easily snap into the body but cannot be removed once in place.
As I said before, I’m not a big fan of Jurassic World’s Apatosaurus. If you are, all the better in this case. The Mattel Apatosaurus is mostly faithful to the movie’s animals. It surpasses the Brachiosaurus in detail with a lot of small and intricate details, especially on the face. Individual scales are sculpted around the lips and wrinkled skin follows the various contours of the face’s musculature. On the other hand, you could say that the face is heavily shrink-wrapped with sunken eye sockets and prune-like skin. It all depends on your perspective.
The mouth is articulated with nicely sculpted peg-shaped teeth, a textured palate, and wrinkled tongue. From the right angle the figure does have a somewhat wise and stoic expression, but from other angles it looks rather dopy and dim or stoned perhaps, what with its squinting eyes. The jaw is nothing more than a thin flap of plastic and I would have preferred it if it were a bit thicker. Let’s just say, the toy looks best with the mouth closed. The head is articulated at the end of the neck too which allows for some nice 360-degree movement, but it can’t pivot up or down much. Nostrils and ear openings are also present.
Moving down the neck we have additional skin folds and wrinkles and the way the skin sags under the neck is well executed. A ridge running down the back of the neck represents the spine, and the neck appears muscular along the sides. The neck is articulated and can move left and right, but not up and down. I personally would have preferred an up and down motion, for feeding and drinking, like the Tyco Apatosaurus and Mattel Brachiosaurus.
The main body is robust and muscular, with a cracked looking hide and skin folds aplenty. The shoulder region is well muscled, and I appreciate the skin folds around the base of the neck and along the torso and underbelly. Ribs are slightly visible under the skin and the spine is discernible as a ridge running down the back.
There’s nothing to complain about with the legs, although they appear a bit too large, but the feet are one of the toys most offensive features. They’re enormous and disproportionate, reminiscent of the old Carnegie and Playskool sauropod toys. They also have an incorrect number of digits, meaning that Mattel is applying more work than is necessary on some of these toys. The forelimbs all have five distinct and clawed digits. Apatosaurus should only have one visible digit apparent on the forelimbs, with the rest encased in a fleshy mitt. Only three clawed digits should be apparent on the hindlimbs.
Now, before someone reminds me that this is a Jurassic World toy, I would like to point out that on the packaging the Apatosaurus forelimbs are depicted correctly and that even in the movie, they get the forelimbs right. So, to me, this represents a major oversight on Mattel’s part. Consider the Mattel Brachiosaurus which also has five clawed digits per limb, it may be inaccurate, but it’s at least screen accurate, that is not the case here which is why I’m taking it to task. Lastly, I would just for fun like to point out that the Tyco Apatosaurus from over 30 years ago only has three clawed digits on its hindlimbs, and although it also has 3 clawed digits on the forelimbs there are still two smaller, clawless digits, that at least reflects the archosaur condition if not that of Apatosaurus itself. Rant over!
Moving to the tail, it’s really short, but I can forgive that because to make it accurate in length would require a lot more material, and packaging, and risk of breakage. The tail is articulated like the neck and can move left and right. The legs too are articulated and lock in place at various points, but they cannot pivot outwards or swivel completely around. The feet have visible seams but do not rotate. The tip of the tail, which is made of softer plastic, can rotate completely around.
The coloration reflects that of the movie’s animal, in other words, it’s muddy gray. This is another nit pick I have with the film’s animal that of course has to carry over into the toy. That’s not to say it’s bad, the paint application looks nice. The figure is predominantly dark gray, and it fades to pale gray on the underside. Lighter gray splashes and stripes run down the neck, back, hindlimbs, and tail. The eyes are completely black, and the nails are all unpainted.
It may seem like I’m being overly critical of this toy but honestly, if I didn’t like it then I wouldn’t have bought it. I don’t find the toy as aesthetically pleasing, lifelike, or as well proportioned as the Mattel Brachiosaurus but both toys are designed to look like their on-screen counterparts, and I just prefer the Jurassic Park Brachiosaurus over the Jurassic World Apatosaurus. Mattel has done a fantastic job of bringing the Jurassic World Apatosaurus to life and for fans of that movie, this is a must have. Although the Apatosaurus doesn’t resonate much with me, it does play a pivotal and touching role in Jurassic World that resonated with other collectors.
My only real complaints about the toy itself are the screen inaccurate feet and that the neck doesn’t move up and down. Aside from that, Mattel has done it again, they’ve released another gigantic sauropod toy, something Kenner never dared to do and the likes of which hasn’t been seen on toy shelves in roughly 30 years. In terms of detail and color, it does outdo its Brachiosaurus counterpart in almost every way. It’s big, impressive, and I’m happy to now have a trio of large sauropod toys instead of a pair. Now, will Mattel dare to give us a The Lost World Mamenchisaurus? Only time will tell. The Mattel Apatosaurus is new for 2021 and currently available at Target or on Target’s website. It retails for $50.