As coincidence would have it, two separate companies (Procon and Safari) released a Nigersaurus figure this year. The current review will concentrate on the offering from Safari’s rapidly maturing and increasingly impressive Wild Safari line. I won’t be comparing the two figures directly, but it is worth noting in passing that Procon’s rival pales in comparison to this superior Safari replica.
Nigersaurus is an unusual sauropod from the Cretaceous of (it will come as no surprise) Niger, Africa. It was originally named and described in 1999, but many of the details of its anatomy were not fully understood until 2005. As sauropods go, Nigersaurus has a very short neck, but the most striking feature of this creature is its goofy looking head with its wide mouth- Nigersaurus was unflatteringly dubbed “vacuum-cleaner mouth” by the popular press.
The 21 cm long Safari Nigersaurus is depicted striding along, tail aloft, with the neck and head lowered, mouth open ready to do what sauropods did best. The unusual anatomy of the head, including the broad flat rows of teeth is very wellre produced; there is fine detailing indicating the separate teeth. Gentle black doe-like eyes even lend towards this figure appearing rather cute.
There are several lovely details In this figure. There is a ‘frill’ of tightly packed tiny spines running along the neck, back, and tail, their orientation is irregular in places and the spacing varies slightly – this feature adds lots of character to this piece. On the flanks of the torso are faint impressions of the ribs – but not at the expense of making the animal appear emaciated, in contrast it looks well nourished. The narroewtip of the tail whips around to the left. A peep inside the mouth reveals a round little tongue and the overall skin texture is moderately wrinkled; cross-hatching in the sculpt also gives the convincing impression of scales. The feet are incorrect anatomically speaking, the hands are missing distinct thumb claws for example, which is a shame.
The colour is predominantly made up of healthy shades of deep green and golden highlights, the underside of the body is pale and there is a sharp boundary running along the side of thee body. Overall this is a high quality and generally very accurate figure of an intriguing critter – combined with the reasonable price tag this should become a popular item for collectors and for creative play alike.