Prehistoric Sea Life Toob (Safari Ltd.)

Review by Cordylus, photos and figure captions by Plesiosauria

This is truely a marine reptile lover’s dream come true. For years, Nothosaurus, Metriorhynchus, Basilosaurus and the like were all hard to find and expensive (if there were any to even be found) – until now.

Last september the dinosaur collecting community was stunned by the toys safari ltd was going to release the next year; now, most safari dinosaurs so far this year have been released. One of the ones that most everybody has been looking forward to is the new Prehistoric Sea Life Toob, which offers ten prehistoric marine critters: Elasmosaurus, Liopleurodon, Nothosaurus, Henodus, Ichthyosaurus, Metriorhynchus, Dolichorhynchops, Basilosaurus, Tylosaurus, and a Frilled Shark (Chlamydoselachus).

Prehistoric sealife toob by Safari Ltd

The sauropterygians (plesiosaurians and their relatived) from the prehistoric sealife toob by Safari Ltd. Top row from left to right, Nothosaurus, Elasmosaurus, Henodus; bottom row from left to right: Liopleurodon, Dolichorhynchops.

Prehistoric sealife toob by Safari Ltd

The rest of the critters from the prehistoric sealife toob by Safari Ltd. Top row from left to right: Tylosaurus, Basilosaurus, Ichthyosaurus, Chlamydoselachus; bottom: Metriorhynchus.

The plesiosaurians in this toob are very nicely done. The Elasmosaurus is what you’d expect; smooth skin, a straight neck, and a relatively correctly shaped head and correctly placed & posed fins.

Prehistoric sealife toob by Safari Ltd

Close up of the Elasmosaurus from above.

The Liopleurodon could have had a black and white color scheme to match the adult (actually, I would have preferred the larger version have the color scheme of this one) and it has odd wrinkles between the fins on either side of the body, similar to the procon version and some carnegie dinosaurs. Most anatomical aspects of this figure are correct. The Dolichorhynchops, is the highlight of the three; its inspiration from the IMAX “Sea Monsters” film is obvious (if it only had those white spots behind the eyes it would really be a dead ringer for the sea monsters one). Overall a very pleasing group!

Now onto the more “lizard shaped” animals in the toob ( Tylosaurus, Metriorhynchus and Nothosaurus). The Metriorhynchus is very nicely done and it has the coloration of some crocodiles today (it was an odd strictly marine crocodile!), and it is probably the most fierce looking out of all the marine crocodile toys released so far. The Tylosaurus has some great skin and head details, but the fins really are too large and I think that kind of detracts from it. I’m almost tempted to paint black stripes on it so it will look like its Carnegie Collection counterpart!

Prehistoric sealife toob by Safari Ltd

Close up of the Tylosaurus.

Now, onto the real gem of the group (and perhaps the entire toob!), the small and beautiful Nothosaurus. The skin detail on this one is insane, as is the paint work! They even gave it individually sculpted teeth! I really love the webbed hands too; those are all features that make this little toy very much like the real thing.

Prehistoric sealife toob by Safari Ltd

Close up of the Nothosaurus.

Now to the oddballs that I really couldn’t group anywhere else – Ichthyosaurus, Henodus, Basilosaurus and Chalmydoselachus (also known as a frilled shark to all you who couldn’t figure that one out!). The Ichthyosaurus is nice, but it’s very laterally compressed and I can’t say I’m too impressed with it, although I like the green color. It’s probably the weakest of all of the toob critters (it really isn’t bad, though).

Prehistoric sealife toob by Safari Ltd

Close ups of the Ichthyosaurus from above and from the side, showing how the body in this toy is extremely compressed from side to side.

The little Basilosaurus is a thing of beauty! It looks a lot like one of Todd Marshall’s paintings. It isn’t highly detailed; I would have preferred more things on its skin like barnacles etc. like extant whales have today.

Prehistoric sealife toob by Safari Ltd

Close up of the Basilosaurus.

The Henodus looks very well done, and because of the paint application, it appears to be made out of a resin of higher quality than it really is. The detail on his one is very good. The Frilled Shark has some extinct relatives that are very similar to it, so it’s not entirely surprising that they put one in this toob. They got the gill count correct (twelve gills in total) and it looks like they tried to make the teeth the right shape too (frilled sharks have very oddly shaped teeth that are very sharp). They managed to really make this one look snake-like like the real one is, and they made it a pale pink like most specimens humans have encountered have.

Overall, this is a fantastically done toob of prehistoric animals, and I couldn’t recommend more. There’s something for everyone in here – plesiosaur collectors, crocodile collectors, whale collectors, shark collectors – will all have a gem to find in this ~$10 toob (that’s only a buck a piece!). No longer do dinosaur toy collectors have to spend loads of money on hard to find Nothosaurs, Basilosaurs and the like this really is a dream come true.

Available on eBay here

20 Responses to Prehistoric Sea Life Toob (Safari Ltd.)

  1. Just got this toob along with the Prehistoric sharks toob. Both are awesome and recommended. I think I would’ve like either Xiphactinus or Leedsichthys over the Frill shark and a resculpt of the Ichthyosaurus. Still, I’m very impressed by Safari, since the only other place we see these animals would be Neko and Kaiyodo.

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  3. The Metriorhynchus in this toob isn’t a Metriorhynchus as the snout is too short. It appears to be Suchodus durobrivensis, which was reclassified as a species of Metriorhynchus, before being reclassified as a species of Suchodus again! As brontodocus said, compare the picture on Wikipedia with the figure: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suchodus I worked out the figure is still in 1:25 scale.

  4. I got my toooooooob through in the post this morning and I love the little critters. The detailing is great on most at least considering their size, and they aren’t actually as tiny as I’d imagined. The Elasmosaur’s front limbs are bent up too highly, but meh, nevermind. I suppose it adds a look of movement through the water to the piece. They’re all so fun to have and I like the little fact sheet that comes with them – although has anyone else noticed that it says that Liopleurodon lived 160 years ago? 😛 The Icthosaur certainly looks like he’s been trapped between two bulky rocks for quite some time, and the lines down the side of his neck look suspiciously like gills…….. :/ I’m sure they are just creases in the skin around the neck though. I’m so pleased with them all though, and it’s great to know I now have a few new additional genera to my collection, such as the Nothosaur, Basilosaurus, Metriorhynchus and the shark. I’m going to have so much fun taking them out with me in my pockets.

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  6. Does anyone know when the frilled shark first appeared? I’m trying to work out whether the one in this toob, which I think is Chlamydoselachus anguineus, was around in prehistoric times at all.

    By the way when posting a comment on here, only being able to edit text on the row I’m typing on is extremely annoying!

  7. The scale of the various animals:
    Henodus 1:15
    Frilled shark and Ichthyosaurus 1:20
    Metriorhynchus 1:25
    Nothosaurus 1:40 🙂
    Dolichorhynchops 1:70
    Liopleurodon 1:80
    Elasmosaurus 1:135
    Tylosaurus 1:150
    Basilosaurus 1:185

    I love Metriorhynchus. I’m pleased it’s to scale with the feathered dinos toob Velociraptor.
    I wonder why they put the frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus) and not one of its prehistoric relatives?

  8. Me parece un tubo espectacular que a pesar de la pequeñez de las piezas, muestra un lindo detalle de pintura y de caracterisitcas de los animales. En Guatemala nunca se vendió de forma comercial, porque no hay distribuidor de Safari Ltd. pero afortunadamente una pequeña librería lleva dinosaurios wild safari, y este tubo era el unico, así que no desperdicié la oportunidad y la compré…estoy mas que satisfecho!!!!

  9. Son tan buenos a pesar de la pequeñez que en España ya se han agotado. El Dolichorhynchops, el Basilosaurus y el Nothosaurus y el tiburón con aletas los más bonitos y codiciados.

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  11. Holy crap, Henodus too? I am SO there.

  12. I would have preferred a leedsichthys over an ichthyosaurus!

    Oh well, what we got is still great! 🙂

    • No, Ichthyosaurus is fine. Either replace the frilled shark, as it is not prehistoric, or the Basilosaurus, as it is out of place with the “cool kids.”

  13. Recently got it for my son and he loves them. I wish they’d put in a Leedsichthys too.

  14. plesiosauria

    “The plesiosaurids (plesiosauroids?) in this toob are very nicely done.”

    If you are including pliosaurs, then it’s plesiosaurians ;D

  15. Nice review of this amazing new toob. The Metriorhynchus seems inspired by Suchodus (formerly Metriorhynchus) durobrivensis (compare the picture on Wiki with the figure!):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suchodus

  16. Nice. I can’t wait to get a hold of one of these.

  17. Very nice. 🙂 The colors are great. 🙂

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