Kids perspective by William, edited by Laticauda
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.
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.
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.
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.
It 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.
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.
I just got the Safari Carcharodontosaurus yesterday, and I’m very happy with it. It has a dynamism that is lacking in many dinosaur models.
[…] 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 […]
The paper “Kent A. Stevens (2006). Binocular Vision in Theropod Dinosaurs” explains that in most vertebrates the eye sockets point at least slightly forwards, meaning virtually all species will have some degree of stereoscopic vision. The eye sockets of Carcharodontosaurus point mostly sideways. As the paper I mentioned earlier explains, the skull of Carcharodontosaurus restricted its stereoscopic vision to a region approximately 20° wide, which is slightly less than that of extant crocodilians. The paper is available as one of the references on the Wikipedia “Dinosaur vision” page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur_vision
It’s interesting to see what your son thought of this new Wild Safari Carcharodontosaurus. It’s a good figure. The sloppy pink gum line is easily what bothers me most about this figure. The colour gradation on most of this figure makes it look more like it’s had paint sprayed on than like it has a realistic colouration.
A very comprehensive review, and congratulate your son on a thoughtful and thorough review as well! I’ve been thinking of focussing my collection on African dinos, so this looks like a worthy addition. I also like seeing the models posed “out in the wild” like this.
Thank you, and I will tell him. He was very excited to help on this review.
Doug Watson as always doing dinosaur toys of the highest quality and are suitable for both children and educators and collectors.