Category Archives: Safari Ltd

Parasaurolophus (Wild Safari by Safari Ltd)

Review and photographs by Laura aka “Paleona”

Hadrosaurs may not be as exciting as toothy theropods, as elaborately ornamented as ceratopsians, or as grand in size as sauropods, but I’ve always had a fondness for the “duck-bills”. There’s a certain charm in their unique shape and distinctive crests; I like to imagine them peacefully grazing in the prehistoric swamps, trumpeting to their family members. Parasaurolophus is the most easily recognized of all hadrosaurs, and is the star of todays review!

Parasaurolophus Wild Safari

This Parasaurolophus from the Wild Safari line is sculpted in a walking pose, head turned slightly to the right as if it is being cautious of its surroundings. There are many finely sculpted wrinkles and hints of scales near the feet and shins. An interesting feature of this particular model, is that it has a theoretical “sail” attached to its crest. The base color is a pumpkin orange, with a grey underside and dark green running along its spine. There are splotches of a lighter green on its sides and stripes on its face and crest. The eyes are lined in black and are maroon in color. The nostrils, mouth and ears are also lined in black, while the nails are a dark grey.

Parasaurolophus Wild Safari

Accuracy wise, it holds up pretty well for being released in 1996. I’m not a paleontologist or expert on dinosaur anatomy, so please excuse me if I miss something glaringly wrong! Judging by the crest shape, I believe this model is meant to be Parasaurolophus walkeri, though the crest seems like it could be a bit longer. The feet all have the correct number of toes, but It’s hard to say if the front feet have their toes fused into a padded hoof or not, which would be correct. The fourth reduced toe on the front feet are also painted with a nail, which it is genenerally considered not to have. The spine should be slightly higher above the hips, but overall everything looks ok to me. Hadrosaur posture has shifted a little recently, with their tails not sticking up quite so much, and even in this figure it’s not waving crazily in the air. In addition to this, I have heard that they were much more well-muscled than previously believed; this model, however, is not skin and bones and shows some decent musculature, even if the neck is still quite swan-like.

Parasaurolophus Wild Safari

At about 6″ (15cm) long and 2.5″ (6cm) tall, it’s a fairly small figure, but with a nice amount of detail. The colors are bright, but not garishly so. It’s also very solid and should withstand play rather well- the tail tip, crest, and feet are all a bit rubbery and can be bent without worrying about the plastic snapping. Being quadrupedal, there’s no worries of your little friend falling over on the shelf, either. The somewhat grumpy look on its face gives this Parasaurolophus some character, as well!

Parasaurolophus Wild Safari

If you’re looking to pick up this lovely little hadrosaur, keep in mind that it was discontinued in 2008. Occasionally it pops up on eBay for reasonable prices. I think it is still a charming dinosaur, not to mention it looks great wandering around in your garden. :)

Sometimes available from here

Parasaurolophus Wild Safari

C. megalodon (Wild Safari by Safari Ltd)

Megalodon! The undisputed monarch of all sharks. Possibly the largest and most powerful flesh-eating animal to ever inhabit Earth’s seas. Star of cheesy novels, cheesier made-for-TV movies, and even cheesier pseudo-documentaries. And surprisingly enough, underrepresented in the world of prehistoric toys.

There is ongoing debate as to whether megalodon belongs in the Carcharodon genus like today’s great white shark, or in the older Carcharocles genus. In the mean time, most scientists simply employ the name C. megalodon.


The 2014 Wild Safari C. megalodon measures a respectable if not astounding 18 cm long. Its colour scheme is based on that of a great white shark: medium grey on top with a snow white belly, void black eyes, pink gums and mouth interior, white teeth, and black accents for the nostrils and gill slits. There’s also black wash along the edges of the fins which frankly doesn’t look all that good. And annoyingly, the toy is so front heavy that it tends to rest on its chin.


At first glance, this animal appears identical to a great white. Closer inspection, however, reveals that the dorsal f in is proportionally larger and the caudal fin is fatter. As well, the snout is rounder and less conical, closer to that of a tiger shark. No one knows for certain what C. megalodon really looked like (and it’s unlikely anyone ever will), but this seems like a reasonable reconstruction.


This particular individual is a female, as indicated by the absence of claspers between the pelvic fins. Female sharks are generally larger and more powerful than males, especially so with great whites, so again, it’s reasonable to assume the same for C. megalodon. This individual is also clearly about to attack some unfortunate prehistoric whale. Its cavernous mouth is wide open and its upper jaw has dislocated from the skull, thereby extending the bite radius for maximum impact. The roof of the mouth is covered in realistic-looking ridges that extend all the way into darkness and there are multiple rows of triangular teeth. Possibly due to safety concerns, the teeth appear to be oversized and have not been sculpted particularly sharp. And unless C. megalodon’s dentition was radically different from that of the great white, the rows of replacement teeth should not be extending so far back into the mouth. It’s still a pretty scary-looking set of chompers, but hardly accurate.


While not what I would call a terrible toy, the Wild Safari C. megalodon has its share of problems. The colour scheme could have been a bit more original (dark blue or brown with spots would have been very cool) and the scale doesn’t do proper justice to an animal that was around the size of a tractor trailer, but those are purely personal preferences. The inaccurate rows of teeth, however, can be a glaring problem, especially for shark enthusiasts. Ultimately, I still like this toy, but I do hope we get a bigger, better representation of this greatest of sharks someday.


Available from here.

Smilodon (Carnegie Collection by Safari ltd.)

Smilodon c 10

This is the first Smilodon review on the DTB, so I think it is only fitting that I start with the original Carnegie Smilodon. When Safari launched the Carnegie line in 1988, Smilodon was in the first group of scientific models released. After a short run, this 1:10 scale figure was retired in 1997, and never re-sculpted or reappeared in the Carnegie line. As this is one of the most recognizable animals, I’ll be brief with its history. Smilodon was a specialized hunter that diverged early from the ancestors of modern cats and is not closely related to any living feline species. It was similar in size to the modern day lion but the body was more robust and powerful, and it had visually exciting, yet fragile, long upper canines.

Smilodon c 11

The toy measures 5in (12.7cm) long and is 2.7in (6.9cm) tall at the shoulder. That puts it around 1:15 scale which would make it a good companion for the Carnegie Australopithecines. This early figure is blocky, simplistic and lacks sophistication. The upper canines and lower jaws are connected. There are no other teeth present in the mouth. There is a flange outgrowth on the lower jaw like a Eusmilus, which Smilodon did not have. The rest of the head is in the correct general shape with the eyes and ears in the right spot. There is some fur sticking out underneath the ear. It might not be accurate, but its face has a strange and intriguing quality to it. I am pretty sure it wasn’t purposely sculpted with a scarred and gnarled visage but that is how it looks to me.

Smilodon c 4

The rest of the body is robust, it is a simple design that fits the mold of the early Carnegie models. The feet and legs are oversized and the rest of the body seems proportional. The short tail is round and upturned with some simple fur lines. There is a lot of muscle rippling underneath the fur witch is quite pleasant to see. The rib cage is subtly present with some fur marks along the flanks. In fact, there are quite a few little fur marks sculpted throughout the body.

The color is glossy golden tan much like a today’s African lion’s, well except for the glossy part. Inside the mouth is painted red but rather crudely. The nose is just a black splotch. The cranial mystacial vibrissae (whiskers) are wispy and black. The eyes are a small black dot with a black line representing eyebrows. The canines, paws and part of the tail are white.

Smilodon c 5

Of course this figure can be played with if one was so inclined. It is solid piece of plastic that can hold up to long hours of play. I do not think many kids would choose this toy over the multitude of other smildons out there. Of course, it is possible to find a beat up one at a garage sale that might be ok for the sand box.

Smilodon c 1

If you have seen the original Carnegie Smilodon in person in recent years, either it was in your own personal collection, or you are one of the lucky to come across this elusive and stealthy piece. I rarely see this toy sold online or in person, and usually its not in very good condition. To be honest, it is not a great figure, in fact I wouldn’t even rate it as good, but a redeaming quality is that it is part of the original Carnegie collection line. The figure also has a certain charm to it. When I look at this figure, as I stated earlier, I think of an aged cat that has scars from rivals or prey. Maybe it once had its jaw broken, but it healed, and the cat is still roaming its territory, master of its domain. Of course that could have less to do with the figure and more from my over-active imagination. I would recommend this figure only to those who collect Carnegie, sabre-tooth-cats, or to anyone who likes the look of it.

Sometimes found on here.