Spinosaurus (swimming version, 2017 Soft Model by Favorite Co. Ltd)

4.3 (9 votes)

Japanese company Favorite Co. Ltd surprised collectors in 2017 by announcing two new figures for their ‘soft model’ dinosaur line: Archaeopteryx and Spinosaurus. Although this is the third Spinosaurus released in Favorite’s soft model series, this latest version is their first to reflect the 2014 studies on the animal’s anatomy and posture. It has taken some time, but both figures have finally started trickling down to sellers at affordable prices for overseas buyers. The Spinosaurus is the subject of this review, although I hope to review the Archy in the near future.

Stretching 9.5 inches (25cm long), the swimming Spinosaurus fits in a 1:62 to 1:60 scale, going off of a 49ft (15m) live animal. The model is sculpted in a dynamic swimming pose and comes with an elegant detachable base, designed to look like a stylized water plume. Mine isn’t a tight fit, so the figure can wiggle slightly on the base. The toy is also capable of standing on all fours without the base, but the material is soft enough (it IS a “soft model”, although this name is misleading for a relatively hard plastic) that it might fall over eventually.

This is the third Spinosaurus released in Favorite’s soft model series. We’ve previously considered the original Series 1 orange version here and the updated Series 2 version here. However, this third attempt is the first to reflect new studies on the anatomy and posture of Spinosaurus by Nizar Ibrahim and colleagues in 2014, and it is also one of few figures on the whole market to do so. Looking over the figure, it seems overall accurate to the findings – the elongated body, double-humped spine, shrunken hind limbs, and four-toed feet are all present, along with the distinctly narrow and notched skull/jaws of the creature.

Some discrepancies to note are the neck, which appears a little too short; a slight under bite in the jaw; and the aforementioned feet, which, despite featuring four prominent toes and slight webbing, lack the flat spread shape of the fossil remains. Instead, the feet look more like traditional theropod feet. Whether this is an oversight or a case of artistic license is unknown to me.

Sculptor Kazunari Araki is known for depicting his dinosaurs in a shrink-wrapped manner, and the Spinosaurus doesn’t entirely avoid this trend. Generally speaking, the figure depicts an extremely slender animal, which is not outside the realm of possibility for accuracy. However, on closer inspection, the fenestrae of the skull are visible, and possibly the shoulder blades and both the femur and shin bones as well. These details are, thankfully, less prominent than on previous Favorite soft models, but I’d still prefer a beefier reconstruction.

There are other favorable details worth mentioning, though. Scaly texturing is well-rendered across the figure, with what might be the beginnings of crocodilian scutes at the base of the sail. Spinosaurs just can’t seem to shake off that crocodilian aesthetic in media; at least it’s modest enough here. Skin folds and musculature are present in a natural manner. A speculative row of spikes along the neck, back and tail is present for extra flair.

Last but not least is the color scheme. This is what really caught my attention first about this figure when it was announced. Spinosaurus is decked out in striking dark green / dirty white patterns, with red and orange highlights on the head crest and back spines. I find it reminiscent of a large freshwater fish, or perhaps a sea krait, and it’s an eye-pleasing alternative to more predictable yellow-brown crocodile color patterns, while avoiding more gaudy color choices. The paint on the spikes is a bit sloppy, though; and I found this figure might be prone to scuffing/scratching, so… play nicely.

Overall, Favorite’s swimming Spinosaurus is a fine representation – albeit imperfect – of a remarkable dinosaur, and it should be a welcome addition to any collector’s shelves. As I mentioned at the start, the figure is finally making its way down to reasonable prices from sellers, so be sure to check eBay for a good price. Hopefully the listings available at the time of this writing will remain the standard for a while.

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Comments 5

  • Bought one right after reading the review, it’s very helpful and informative.

    Sure this model’s got flaws but I feel it makes up for them with the quality of the sculpt and the colour scheme.

  • Can’t really get past the underbite and the scale on this one.

  • Thanks. I really like the look of this figure and the colours are more attractive than those used on other models.

  • My spinosaurus unfortunately does not stay without the base. In any case, it is a good figure comparable in genius to that of the Collecta brand, although the colors as they are commented are very bright, it is the artistic license or philosophy that Favorite has and respect.

    • Yeah, my intent was stating that the figure might not be able to stand long without the base (if at all). The limbs are pretty soft.

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