With Wild Safari having released an absolutely stellar assortment for 2017, I thought it would be both amusing and humbling to take a trip back in time to when the line was widely perceived as being strictly for kids and inferior to the now-defunct Carnegie Collection. Behold, I present these two outdated Tyrannosaurus rex figures.
The adult T. rex is a repaint of the 1996 figure. Its main colours are medium and light green with dark brown claws and nostrils, black and yellow eyes, a pink mouth, and slightly greenish teeth. Hardly what you’d call exciting, but more realistic than the previous version. The figure has a height of 10.5 cm and a length of 21 cm.
The T. rex is posed with its head tilted to the left, its mouth wide open, its arms flailing, and its tail swinging to the right, in the much-reviled tripod stance. The sculpting is a far cry from the masterpieces that Doug Watson turns out nowadays, but it’s still reasonably good. Lots of heavy skin folds and wrinkles, round osteoderms on the back of the neck, rows of scales on the hind feet, and visible musculature.
Unfortunately, this T. rex‘s head is a world of wrong. First off, anyone who’s up on their tyrant lizard anatomy knows that the skull has a distinct T-shaped profile when viewed from above, which allowed for the animal’s eyes to face forward. By contrast, the head on this figure has more of a V-shape, with the eyes facing out to the sides. The hornlets sprouting above and in front of the eyes are too prominent. The premaxilla should be rounded, not sloped like it is here. And the teeth ought to be longer. This looks much more like the head of an Allosaurus than a T. rex. In addition, the arms are not small enough.
The baby T. rex, which is also a repaint, shares the same colour scheme as the adult. It stands about 6 cm tall and measures 9 cm long. It is posed in a tripod stance similar to its parent’s, albeit with a closed mouth. It also have the same style and level of sculpting.
Now, to be fair, this figure was made before any juvenile T. rex fossils had been discovered (aside from the highly dubious Nanotyrannus). Since then, paleontologists have determined that young tyrants had proportionally longer legs and smaller, narrower skulls than the adults. And they were very likely decked out in feathery plumage. By contrast, this figure has oversized arms, puny hind legs, and a huge, blocky head that would probably be impossible for a real animal to hold up. I’m sure the sculptor was going for a cute appearance, but this T. rex ends up reminding me of a bullfrog.
Honestly? If you don’t already own these toys and you’re not a completist, then don’t bother getting them. The misshapen heads on both the adult and the baby ruin them, at least for me, and there are many newer, far superior Safari toys available for you to spend your hard-earned money on. Still, if you do want them, they are still readily available at various stores, including Michael’s.