Having recently familiarised ourselves with the prehistoric sharks ‘toob’ by Safari Ltd, let’s now pour out the contents of a different toob. This time it’s the turn of the prehistoric crocodiles. Before we begin though, be aware that strictly speaking, many of the species in this set aren’t true crocodiles, as the toob contains a taxonomic mish-mash of non-dinosaurian reptiles.
Actually, of the 10 species represented, less than half are actually crocodylomorphs (Dakosaurus, Pristichampsus, Montealtosuchus, and Sarcosuchus). The rest are either close-relatives of crocodiles (within the group archosauriformes: Chasmatosaurus, Desmatosuchus, Euparkeria, Postosuchus, Rutiodon), or reptiles with a superficially crocodile-like appearance (Champsosaurus is a choristodere). I suppose the phrase “Prehistoric non-dinosaurian archosauromorphs and a choristodere”, or even just “prehistoric crocodiles and their relatives”, doesn’t flow off the tongue quite as well as the simple “Prehistoric crocodiles”, so the branding decision is understandable, I suppose.
As mentioned in our review of the prehistoric sharks, the content of the toobs seems to be getting more specific with time, and this collection of ‘prehistoric crocodiles’ is another example of that trend. It’s great to see some more obscure prehistoric creatures get the attention they deserve! Again, collectors will be hard-pushed to find most of these species in toy form anywhere else.
The miniature Postosuchus will look familiar to most of us, being almost identical (but mirrored) in pose and colour to the amazing Wild Safari Postosuchus. All of the other figures are completely new, and therefore also unique, although isn’t it time we were treated to a standard sized prehistoric croc? I’d love to see a metriorhynchid of some sort (such as Dakosaurus) find its way into the Wild Safari or Carnegie range.
The level of detail is great, although a little less impressive overall compared with the prehistoric sharks. Crocodiles have more nooks, crannies, and surface details to get right. There seems to be something funny going on with the Champsosaurus‘ head, and the Desmatosuchus is a bit clunky-looking. My Montealtosuchus also struggles to stand. As a lot though, the set is visually striking, and each species is recognisable and accurate – with digits and nostrils and so on in the correct positions and arrangements. Safari Ltd have characterised each figure with a different colour scheme. I’m particularly fond of the blue-striped Chasmatosaurus (=Proterosuchus), which appears to be doing push-ups.
To conclude, I highly recommend this toob, and once again commend Safari Ltd for branching out. The weird world of archosauromorphs certainly provides us with something different from the usual line-up of tried and tested dinosaurs.