Review and photographs by Loon, edited by Suspsy.
Too often, I see people dismiss Archelon as “just a large sea turtle.” Understandably, this makes many toy companies shy away from producing figures of it, since any modern sea turtle figure could be used as a substitute if that were really the case. However, Archelon wasn’t just a big sea turtle; it was one of the largest known turtles to have ever lived, reaching lengths of 15 feet. In fact, it’s not even that closely related to any modern group of sea turtles.
Luckily, Favorite has taken up the challenge and released a version of Archelon in their Soft Model series. What’s more, they haven’t made it “just a large sea turtle.”
Favourite’s Archelon is a very nice rendition of this “powerful early turtle.” The figure features all of the details you’d want, including the thick neck and long front flippers. It’s also appropriately large, measuring around 5 ¾ inches (15 cm) long, making it about 1/25 scale.
Unlike Kaiyodo’s version, this figure’s carapace (the top of the shell) lacks the three ridges found on the backs of modern leatherback sea turtles, instead having the one center ridge known from fossil specimens. The shell also features some slight bumps, so it’s not completely smooth. Also worth noting is that my figure does have an indentation on the front left of the carapace; as far as I can tell, this is just an error on my copy.
To give this turtle the impression of gliding through the water, a small base is included. It’s sculpted with a rocky texture and plugs into the plastron (the bottom of the shell).
Most of the top half of the figure is painted in a dark blue, with the underside being mostly light grey. I can’t exactly tell which of the two colors is the base one. A very sandy tan is used to decorate around the eyes, the front flippers, and the sides of the shell. The same black paint that is used for the pupils is also on the carapace as lines between the tan dots.
So, if you like turtles or have any interest in the non-dinosaurs of the Mesozoic, I’d recommend this figure. This is a very well-done rendition if an animal that doesn’t get much love in toy form.