Safari are first out of the gate this year with no fewer than four new-for-2012 Wild Safari dinosaurs already available. This Acrocanthosaurus is one of them, and it’s easy to see it becoming the most popular of the bunch – not just because it’s a fearsome-looking, spectacular theropod, but also thanks to Safari capturing that so well in an excellent sculpt.
Like the two other new WS bipedal dinosaur figures this year, this Acrocanthosaurus stands proud with its undulating tail held well clear of the ground – no tripod cop-out here. It means that the figure is able to adopt an exciting, dynamic pose – while figures with the tips of their tails touching the ground can still look convincing enough, they cannot match the fluidity and movement that only a truly bipedal figure can convey. Basically, it’s a big plus. It does mean that the feet (or rather, the toes) are somewhat oversized in order to provide better stability, but it does work; this figure is very sturdy on its feet. Adding a base might have been one other solution, but these figures are meant for kids too (or even – whisper it – primarily), and bases do spoil playability.
Acrocanthosaurus was a huge, bulky, allosauroid predator, its silhouette made all the more dramatic by unusual, elongated vertebrae, which are of course present here and emphasised in black. The proportions are generally excellent, and the head in particular commands attention. Apart from the fact that the sculptor clearly did their homework – it matches up very nicely with the real thing – it’s excellently and immaculately painted, right down to the tiny, beady eyes, while the striking black and white colour scheme shows real flair, and draws the viewer’s attention to the tapering, triangular snout with its finely sculpted teeth.
It’s not perfect, of course. For example, the arms are too large as well as the feet, probably to prevent breakage – although they are not as dramatically too large as in last year’s Tyrannosaurus. In addition, the base of the tail might be a little too slim, lacking a well-developed caudofemoralis muscle. Minor complaints though, and still miles better than one would have any right to expect for under a tenner. Aesthetically, this is one of the best of all the Wild Safari models, which continue to show improvement year on year. The scaly covering, similar to that present on the Favorite ‘soft models’, may be a little controversial to some, as the scales would have been much smaller than this (in proportion) on the real animal. However, it at least gives a good impression of a scaly hide.
It’s a winning combination of decent anatomical accuracy and excellent sculpting and painting quality that make this figure a superb representation of this mighty theropod – one that’s eminently affordable to boot. Highly recommended! Available on eBay here.