Tag Archives: Carcharodontosaurus

Carcharodontosaurus (Recur)

The frightful Carcharodontosaurus derives its name from its razor-sharp teeth, which resemble a great white shark’s. Although it shared its range in Late Cretaceous Africa with Spinosaurus, the two animals probably avoided conflict by pursuing different prey.

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Recur’s rendition of Carcharodontosaurus stands 12.5 cm tall and measures about 21 cm long. It is sculpted in a rather extreme active pose with its mouth wide open, its head and upper torso turning sharply to the right, its arms raised, its right foot placed forward and its left foot far back, and the tip of its tail twitching to the right as well. Perhaps the great killer has cornered a frightened Ouranosaurus, or perhaps it’s circling a rival, ready for a bloody clash. Or maybe it’s engaged in a mating dance. In any case, it’s an interesting pose, even if it does result in the much despised tripod stance.

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Most of the Carcharodontosaurus‘ body is coloured a dull muddy green with orange wash. The underbelly is greyish-green, the feet are dark green, the claws are black, the eyes are orange, the mouth is dark pink with yellowish teeth, the nostrils are black, and there are light green stripes running down the back, thighs, and tail. As far as colour schemes go, this one is not as striking as the CollectA version, but more so than the one from Wild Safari.

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The skin texture is scaly with a combination of faint and heavy wrinkles. The hind feet are covered in thick scales and the claws have faint grooves. A row of iguana-like spines runs from the back of the skull to nearly the end of the tail. The huge head is immediately recognizable as Carcharodontosaurus, with a long, sloping muzzle and pronounced brow ridges, There is, however, a clear case of shrink wrapping going on, with the nostrils, fenestrae, and orbits visible beneath the skin. This toy also commits the sin of pronated wrists. Finally, there’s a thick and noticeable seam running through the abdomen.

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This Carcharodontosaurus has its accuracy problems, but like many of the Recur toys, it makes up for those faults with a strong dose of attitude. This is a rampaging monster, a deliverer of death, an insatiable behemoth, great for displays and dioramas. Not to mention tough and durable.

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Thanks go out to Recur for this sample.

Available from Recur’s AliExpress store

Carcharodontosaurus (original version) (Wild Safari by Safari Ltd.)

When a dinosaurs has a name that means “shark toothed lizard”, you would probably expect the toy depicting that dinosaur to be scary and intense.  Carcharodontosaurus was an apex predator and carnivore that frightened most of the local fauna in its day.  Its enormous jaws were filled with long, serrated teeth that were designed to rip and tear apart the flesh of its prey.  It could give you nightmares.  Not to worry as it lived around 96 million years ago during the Cenomanian stage of the mid Cretaceous.  So unless it is genetically engineered and reintroduced into the wild, or walks through a time portal, for now, we can all sleep easy.

The 1996 Wild Safari Carcharodontosaurus actually has quite a fearsome look for a toy line that was brightly painted and meant to be affordable, cute, and robust for younger dinosaur fans.  For people who want to compare the newer toy versions by CollectA and its 2016 Wild Safari replacement, you will easily notice that this 90’s dinosaur is a relic of the past.

Wild Safari 1996 Carcharodontosaurus 5

The good news is that it certainly looks like a menacing animal ready to strike fear into the hearts of plastic toys.  Unfortunately, something is wrong.  It is in a tripod pose, and while it does look fierce, it is anatomically incorrect for the species.  With its head looking slightly up and off to its left, combined with a inclined back that keep going up until mid tail before coming down, the toy looks like the animal tripped over a log, fell, and caught its self on its left hand.  Due to all that tonnage coming down on that front left carpals, I can see why the hands looks to be bent back and most likely broken.    Look at that wrist, gruesome!

Why it was sculpted this way is baffling.  The best guess that I can come up with is that by making it look like a quadruped, and putting it in a tripod, it would improve stability.  I would say that it worked as it is a stable toy.  At 7 in (17.78 cm) long and 3 in (7.62 cm) high, its size is small when scaled next to other dinosaurs in the line.

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The head and skull are very close to the right proportions, maybe a little short, but overall its not bad.  The eyes are correctly positioned and the mouth is open wide showing off its impressive dentition.  Inside the open mouth is a sculpted tongue.  The teeth are individually sculpted and uniform in size. Sure the teeth should be different sizes, if you want to count it against this toy, feel free, I will give it a pass.  Overall the head is a bright spot on this toy.

The next thing that needs to be mentioned is the arms, which were longer then T. Rex’s, but certainly not that long.  It  would have not been able to rest its weight upon one hand as it is on this model.  It did have three claws, so that part is correct.  Despite that inaccuracy of the pose, it does make the sculpt visually interesting.

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The body, flanks, legs, and tail all have a good healthy size and weight.  This toy is at least well fed.  There is some nicely sculpted muscles in its legs which is a good touch.  The texture of the skin is all wrinkles along the flanks, arms, legs, and tail.  Underneath the skin texture there are some faint skin folds.  Along the spine is an interesting texture pattern of scales that run from the neck to the tail.  The colorization is orange with green along the top of the back, neck and the top of the head.  The claws are all painted black.  The tongue and mouth are painted pink.  While the teeth are white, it is only the front side that is white, as the back side of the teeth is pink along with the rest of the inside of the mouth.  The eyes might only be painted glossy black, but there seems to be life behind them.

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Even though the pose is inaccurate, it actually does work very well in its intended role as a toy.  It can rear back on its tail look very threatening.  While its tipped back with its head up, it can give a mighty roar, and scare the pants off the toys near by. The paint job along with the entire animal is robust and can take a pounding.  Even though the mouth is open and looks threatening, the teeth are blunt, so no danger to kids there.

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It so many ways it is a bad figure, especially in the broken wrist pose. Due to that fact, it can be said that it is a forgettable figure from a more playful and less scientific time of the Wild Safari line.  Despite its limitations to collectors and educators, I have to admit, it has grown on me.  Why?  The head is actually reasonably accurate, and it has an endearing predator personality.  I also find the pose as painfully unique and interesting.  I still wouldn’t rate it that high of a figure, but it is a very good toy to be played with, and its not as common as some of the other early Wild Safari’s.  For collectors who want scale and accuracy,  I would say pass on this figure.  If your a collector who likes strangely depicted dinosaurs, then you might want to give it a chance.  I also recommend it as a toy for smaller dinosaur enthusiasts.

Search on E-Bay here.

Carcharodontosaurus 2016(Wild Safari by Safari Ltd.)

Kids perspective by William, edited by Laticauda

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In North Africa 96 million years ago during the Cretaceous period there lived a large theropod named Carcharodontosaurus.  It was one of the largest carnivores; its skull alone was around 5 ft (1.6 meters) long.  This “shark toothed lizard” had long, sharp, serrated teeth that would slash through the flesh of its prey.  It was a visually orientated predator that had limited binocular vision but good overall vision due to a large optic nerve.

When I saw the list and pictures for the 2016 Safari Ltd. Dinosaurs, I asked my son which one he liked the best.  He took his time looking at the pictures and telling me that he wanted all of them, but eventually he chose the Carcharodontosaurus.  I asked him why? His response and reasoning was simple, “it looks cool”.  With that in mind let’s take a closer look at the 2016 safari Carcharodontosaurus.

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About the toy:  It is approx 9 in (22.5 cm) long and just under 4 ½ inches high.  This is a good size for the smaller wild safari line.  At first glance, the pose has the body in a familiar tripod looking stance that has the tail pointing down and the head reaching up with the back on a diagonal incline.  It is by no means in the dreaded tripod stance, it is just a more of a upright figure.  The toy stands and balances on both feet just fine and the tip of the tail is 1.5cm off the ground.  The head is slightly turned to the side with its mouth open wide showing off its tongue and impressive dentition.  The teeth are all individually sculpted and are different sizes. The skull shape looks to be correct.  The crest is present along with nostrils and the ears.  One of my favorite details is the foreword facing eyes, unfortunately the tall, elongated rostrum would obscure and severely limit its binocular vision.

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When you take a closer look at the details on this figure, it is beautiful.  The scales are small irregular bumps that cover the entire body.  They look amazing.  There are skin folds and muscle bulges that look natural.  The tail has some heft and weight to it.  There is some slight shrink wrapping with the skull as you can barely see the antorbital and lateral fenestra.  The wrists and phalanges are facing in and the arms seem to be the right length.

The paint job is natural brown and tans with a cream underbelly.  The paint colors are a nice contrast that has been air brushed and blended very nicely.  The teeth are white and the mouth is a uniform light pink.  This is the one sloppy area as the pink painted gums bleeds along the jaw.  The eyes are striking and intense.  The one negative about the paint is that it wears really easy.  Be prepared to do touch ups.

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A kid’s perspective:  To give a different perspective on the figure, here is what my five year old son thinks of the 2016 Safari Carcharodontosaurus.

Safari Carcharodontosaurus 16It is scary and fun.  It has lots of tiny pebbles on the skin, it is bumpy to touch.  The paint is brown with a little bit of yellow mixed in.  It is a pattern of orange and brown on the tail.  When you drop it, it doesn’t break but it will lose part of its paint. I like the color, it’s cool.  It has three hand claws and three toe claws.  Its mouth doesn’t close, but it has lots of teeth, which is scary.  It is fun to play with.  The open mouth makes it easy to grip ceratopsians by the frill and flip them over.  The claws are good once they are on their back.  There is also lots of face biting, especially with other theropod toys.

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Overall:  Safari Ltd has been consistent in there delivery of nicely done prehistoric animals.  In 2016 they have continued the trend.  The 2016 Carcharodontosaurus figure in terms of proportions and accuracy is almost perfect.   It looks like a voracious predator, striking fear into the local fauna and starring them down with crazy and intense eyes.  The look and feel of the figure is very natural and fluid.  The biggest flaw is the sloppy paint application on the gum line, and the fact that the paint wears very easily.  As a collector, you can retire the old Wild Safari version as this is a major improvement over the 90’s model. It is also on par with the 2014 CollectA Carcharodontosaurus toy.  For young kids, it is safe and fun to play with.   I had some doubts about this figure when I first saw it online, but it turned out to be a really good figure.  My son and I recommend this toy for collectors, educators, and play time.