My first Encounter with the Invicta Brachiosaurus Dinosaur
It was the latter half of the 1980s and New York City in the Springtime. I had taken the day to visit my favorite attraction, The American Museum of Natural History, which was best and most easily reached via the NYC subway. I had parked my car at the Northern end of the line, right next to Van Cortlandt Park and taken the "el"/subway down to 81st Street to the museum. I love New York and this day proved to be a banner one. After wandering through the Indian and African rooms, looking at the stuffed figures (and their great centerpiece African Elephant exhibit) I proceeded to the point of my visit- to admire the Dinosaur fossil collection... and check out the Dinosaur toys in the gift shop.
My last visit, in the late '70s had bagged some of the new Invicta figures and I was hoping to pick up a few more. My experience previously had been largely limited to the MARX figures, the largest of which was their Brontosaurus. (Left, w Invicta Diplodocus & Brachiosaurus) I was blown away to find the newest Brachiosaurus Dinosaur toys sitting there on the glass shelf, just begging to be taken home. Up to that time the biggest toy Dinosaur I had seen had been the Invicta Diplodocus but this Brachiosaurus Dinosaur toy was, if not quite as long, just about twice as heavy.
I purchased a couple, put them in my museum shopping bag and headed home, sitting on the subway with two quite huge Brachiosaurs looking out over the top of my bag (Right- a reproduction of my recollection). We got some looks, but hey(!) it's New York.
Weighing in at a solid one pound eight & one-half ounces (1lb-8.5 oz, 694 gms) and measuring twenty-inches (20", 51-cms) from lips to tail this 1/45 scale model of one of the largest Dinosaurs known (eighty-two feet + long & 30+ tons) itself stands
over eleven inches tall. Only about forty-two feet shorter than a real one and at its introduction in 1984 the tallest and heaviest of the "rubber" Dinosaur toys. In that way Invicta's Brachiosaurus Dinosaur toys did equal their namesakes.
It wasn't until 1988 and the introduction of the Carnegie Brachiosaurus that there was a larger Dinosaur toys figure. (Comparison below)
(A herd of Invicta Brachiosaurus with a Diplodocus- Below)
Being as huge as they were the full grown Brachiosaurus Dinosaur had, much like today's Elephants, nothing to fear from the predators of its time.
Living in herds it is believed that these were "gigantotherms", that is they were primarily cold-blooded (at least as adults) and maintained their body heat as a direct result of their enormous size. If they were warm-blooded it would have required a minimum of four hundred (400) pounds of food a day keep them going. They would have denuded any ecological system they visited very quickly. Just like modern Elephants can. For more information on these guys you can check out the Brachiosaurus Dinosaur at Wikipedia (opens new window).
The mighty Invicta Brachiosaurus is no different and prefers to live in herds where there is safety not only ion size, but in numbers. Other creatures could take advantage of the situation by 'hanging-out' among the Brachiosaurus....
(Oh dear, that's no way to treat a stranger in a strange land- Pointy-head Ed.)
The detail on these is certainly adequate, especially for their time, but it is really less detailed than "strongly suggestive." Certainly the shape of the head (Above and Below) is very Brachiosaurian but the mouth, for instance appears to be quite small. A nice touch is the ear-hole on the left side, below and behind the eye, which is not so easily found on the right side.
"Let's see. There are four of us and... how many of you? Small fry."
The "skin" of the Invicta Brachiosaurus Dinosaur toy is detailed with 'ripples, swirls and indentations' offering more of a 'lumpy fingerprint' look than the usual, sharp detail seen on other Invicta figures. It looks hasty and sloppy. IMHO. (Below) Overall a disappointment.
On the other hand the detail in the feet is quite good, showing the great claws on the rear (left-Below) and front feet (right-Below), the purpose of which is unknown....
And the feet themselves are in a dynamic, walking positions, with the left front coming up while the right rear is preparing to rise.
Invicta Stegosaurus take shelter in the Brachiosaurus Dinosaur herd as the Allosaurs try to figure out how to go about ordering from this appetizing but potentially very expensive menu.
Adding to the dynamic "look" of the Invicta Brachiosaurus Dinosaur is its curved (to the right) neck as seen below-
One odd, anomalous occurrence, that has overtaken one of my Brachiosaurs was alluded to in the discussion of the Invicta Mamenchisaurus, significant cracks that have developed across the back. (Below) Although afflicting only one of my Brachs they do seem to be a flaw in the material itself, a hard and shiny plastic/rubber. This is my only Invicta with the problem and it does not affect its usability.
As a general rule this peaceful Brachiosaurus Dinosaur gets along, works and plays well with others and enjoys its life in today's Jurassic Dinosaur toys Park.
Although, certainly, there are always unwelcome intrusions that it takes a Brachiosaurus herd to properly deal with (Below)
Occasionally resulting in the herd simply moving out in search of new a new home.
"This seems like a nice neighborhood."
Strangely the manufacturers "label" on the belly of the beast does not give the Brachiosaurus' length, as all the other Invicta Dinosaur toys have, but its height....
Invicta ceased production of their Dinosaur toys series sometime in the early 2000s, having failed to survive the competition with such companies as Bullyland and Safari Ltd. with their great Carnegie Collection. These Brachiosaurus Dinosaur toys were created in the hay-day of the Invicta production and were THE Brachiosaurus Dinosaur toys for five years. They are, in fact, collectibles and worth about twenty to thirty dollars in my estimation. Of course you may find them a lot more cheaply on an auction site, but that depends on whether someone else is also bidding. They are no longer available on the retail market.
The painted Brachiosaurs ( a short lived attempt to compete with the hand-painted Carnegie Collection, et al) would be more valuable as they were produced for a shorter time.
I am a tad disturbed over the cracking of one of my own figures and do not know what, if anything, that presages for the other Brachiosaurus Dinosaur toys or for the surviving Invictas in general. These were released in 1984 which puts them after the "lead in plastics" scare (and government regulations about it) but prior to warning labels and advisories being plastered all over everything in seven different languages to boot. The greatest danger these pose, in my opinion, is that of physical injury from the hard pointy tail or simply from being dropped on one's toes. Ouch! Eating is not advised as the shiny plastic is a bit creepy and unappetizing. It is also a bit brittle. NOT the peanutty kind!
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