“Brachiosaurus” brancai comes to the Dino Toy Blog yet again. Of course, it isn’t really “Brachiosaurus” brancai, but rather Giraffatitan brancai, the big old brachiosaur from Africa having recently acquired a genus of its very own, albeit unfortunately a genus coined by Greg Paul on one of his off days (heresy!). If you disbelieve in the reallocation, I would suggest you argue with some real experts. Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, plastic dinosaur.
Although my faith was shaken by the slightly shonky Deinonychus (that was nevertheless feathered and therefore better than most), this figure reaffirms my belief in Favorite as a purveyor of quality dinosaur toys. While smaller than most at 1:80 scale (it would be dwarfed by the happy Carnegie beast), this “Brachiosaurus” is a very impressive figure indeed.
Perhaps the first thing you will notice about this figure is the unusually straight and close-to-horizontal neck, in contrast to most “Brachiosaurus” figures which tend to feature a swan-like or even periscopic neck. Given that the sculpt is a few years old, this is probably based on an infamous study that would have sauropod necks locked in a horizontal position, hardly able to raise up at all. This view has fallen out of favour recently, and I must admit that the ramrod neck is my least favourite feature of this figure. It makes it look like an awkwardly stiff prehistoric see-saw (as well as oddly depressed, in an anthropomorphic ‘I feel sad’ sense). The animal perhaps could jut its neck out in this way, but it lacks the graceful appearance of the 2010 Wild Safari toy or the old Invicta (for a comparison shot with the former, see below).
It’s the body of the Favorite model that impresses me the most and more specifically, the feet. Absolutely no sauropod toy manufacturer in history has managed to get the feet right – until now*. With only one claw per columnar forelimb and three on each hind limb, the attention to detail is impressive, beating even the latest Safari toy. The ‘hands’ are even concave, corresponding with fossil trackways. Someone’s put real care into this sculpt; the feet alone are enough to get a dino-geek all excited. (Oh, admit it.)
My bizarre sauropod foot fetish aside, the poor Favorite “Brachiosaurus” is looking a little Greg Paul-skinny (as in his illustrations – I can’t speak for the man himself). Nothing wrong with that, mind you – who’s to say that these dinosaurs were always lard buckets? It’s also lavished with the usual Favorite detail, including an all-over covering of largely uniform scales. Although the scales might not have been so large on an animal of this size, it beats elephantine wrinkliness any day. The muzzle looks a little off, but it’s a minor quibble. The colouring’s a bit bland too, a problem that all Favorite dinosaurs seem to suffer from.
To conclude then, a worthy and affordable sauropod figure that’s definitely worth a punt. Watch this space for a look at the Favorite Apatosaurus.
Review & awful photos by Marc (‘Horridus’)
*A late addition – apparently the Battat Amargasaurus also had correct feet (and the Diplodocus came closer than most). My apologies to pedantic Americans everywhere.