Review and photos by Nathan ‘Takama’ Morris, edited by amargasaurus cazaui and Suspsy
After six years of waiting, Safari Ltd. has finally made a new sauropod for the Wild Safari Collection. Sauropods are the one thing I really wish Safari made more of, as the collection only had three of them, and they were gems among the rest of the collection. Since 2013, rumor had it that their next sauropod would be a Shunosaurus, and after years of waiting (or possibly due to high demand), that rumor became a reality.
Shunosaurus was a smaller sauropod from the middle part of the Jurassic and it is one of the better known members of the family. This is in large part thanks to several exquisitely preserved skeletons that give scientists a clear image of its anatomy. The model from Safari is without a doubt one of the best sauropod figures I have seen. The front feet are shaped correctly and the proportions are right for the animal. The main thing that will separate this sauropod from the Nigersaurus, Brachiosaurus, and Apatosaurus is the spiked club on the end of its tail.
Of course, the spiked club on the end of the tail is not the only thing that separates this from the others. Doug Watson (the sculptor of this model) gave the animal some speculative features such as a row of spines going down the back of the animal. Unlike the three previous sauropods in this line, this model is decked out in large individual scales just like Doug’s theropods and ceratopsians. One could argue that the scales are too big to be to scale with the rest of the model, but that’s something for only the most nitpicky of people. The detailing is great and may be on par with Papo and Rebor. One thing that I’m sure will disappoint a lot of people is the size of the model. From neck base, to the end of the tail, it is only 6 inches in length, which makes it smaller than not only the Apatosaurus, but the Nigersaurus as well. Shunosaurus was relatively small by sauropod standards, but I wish they would’ve made it the same size as the Nigersaurus, if not a little bigger. According to Doug Watson, the model was sculpted at the same scale as the Apatosaurus he did for 2010 and he tries to make all of the animals in a particular family in the same scale. That being said, the Nigersaurus was not one of his models, and thus it appears too big when displayed next to the Shunosaurus.
The colors on this figure are nothing too exciting. The base color is white, while the main color is sandy brown. The white loops around the tail and neck. The model also has some light brown highlights. The eyes, nostrils and ears are black while the claws on the feet are brown.
Overall, this is that sauropod figure that I have been waiting to see from Safari since 2013. The only other Shunosaurus toy out there is the similar sized one made by CollectA way back in 2008. That was one of Collecta’s worst models, so it stands little to no chance of beating the Safari model in the competitive dinosaur toy market. Hopefully, we can get more sauropods for the line in the future. There are just not enough of them being made in this day and age. If you’re a fan of underrepresented species, then this would make a great addition to your collection.