Daeodon (Wild Safari by Safari Ltd.)

5 (19 votes)

Review by Bokisaurus, edited by Dinotoyblog

My first review for the new year! It was hard choosing which figure to review, but one figure kept coming back up to the top of my list, Safari’s Daeodon, part of their 2018 lineup of prehistoric figures. At first, I decided to compare it with its CollectA predecessor. But then it just felt like routine review of pointing out the other’s pros and cons, which I tend to avoid and find mostly unnecessary. I love both versions. For me it offers a different take by different artist on the same animal. So, as you will find out, I decided to compare both in a different way. I chose to use the differences as a way to illustrate the age difference between the animals. This is purely fiction, made up by me, let’s be clear about that. There is no evidence that this is how the animals may have looked at different life stages, or how they may have lived. But hopefully, you will find it more fun and interesting. Enjoy.

During the Oligocene, vast grasslands dominated the landscape. These expansion of new and abundant food source paved the way for the emergence of great herbivore species. Early ancestors of animals we know today, such as horses, camels, rhinos, dogs, antelopes, all started making their appearance and were important members of the fauna community.

On a hill overlooking the grassland below, an old male Daeodon surveys his territory. He has successfully defended this piece of prime territory for the last five years, a long time and not an easy feat. The old male, although large and intimidating, is now past his prime. He has seen many battles as he defended his domain. As he sniffs the air for any signs of rivals, he is unaware that he is being watched. Somewhere hidden by thick vegetation, a new, much younger male in his prime is sizing up the old male. Satisfied that there are no threats in his territory, the old male settles for his afternoon nap. The mid-day sun is simply too hot, best to wait.

Daeodon belongs to the family knows as entelodonts, and was one of the last and largest of the group, growing up to more than five feet tall, with some skills measuring up to three feet. Although popularly called “Killer Pigs”, these omnivorous artiodactyls are not related to pigs or peccary despite their physical resemblance.

Despite its ferocious appearance, Daeodon are rare in the toy figure world. It first made its appearance back in the 1950s Nabisco cereal premiums line of prehistoric figures as Dinohyus (terrible pig). The name Dinohyus was a popular one, and would be for a long time before it would be discovered that it is actually the same animal as Daeodon. Its close and smaller relative, Entelodon, has attained a bit more fame, without a doubt helped by the popular Walking with Prehistoric Beasts series.

Entelodont and Daeodon figures from L-R: Tyco, CollectA, Safari, Knock off, Mojo, AAA, Fauna Cast, unknown figure, Nabisco

Today, we will look at Safari’s 2018 version, the newest Daeodon on the block. With the demise of its long partnership with the Carnegie Museum, Safari Ltd was once again free to produce figures of prehistoric mammals. And this year they went all out, producing not one, not two, but six beautiful new mammal figures. This is welcome news for fans of prehistoric mammals.

This impressive new Daeodon, sculpted by the talented and incredible artist Doug Watson, stands 3 inches tall at the highest point (hump), and stretched out it measures a good 6 inches long from snout to tail tip. He is slightly smaller than his CollectA counterpart.

Back in the plains, the new male, confident that he has a good chance against the old male starts his move. He has now crossed the invisible boundary that marks the old male’s territory. His coat is golden brown, much lighter than the old male. He has not yet developed the darker colors that fully mature males have, although he is starting to transition. Darker shades of brown are starting to show on his back, beginning with his mane, spreading forward to the top of his head, and downwards towards his shoulders. The white markings on his lower jaw are also starting to recede. This lighter coloration allows younger males, who are often nomads, to blend in much better in the dry open grasslands, while older males, who defend a territory, have darker coloration to allow them to blend in better in the woodland savannah.

The young male is so focused on keeping an eye out on the old male that he doesn’t notice a small herd of horses grazing on the woodland edge. His presence startled these primitive horses, causing them stampede. The commotion created by the stampeding horses wakes the old male from his slumber. Now on high alert, he spots the young interloper. His presence within his territory will not be tolerated. The old male charges at full speed towards the young male.

Since there are no figures of primitive horse species that coexisted with Daeodon, I used Bullyland’s Anchitherium figure as a stand-in for other species.

Instead of backing down, the young male reveals himself in the open, ready to face the old male. This is the moment he has been waiting for and a win for him would finally give him his very own territory, and most importantly, a chance to establish his own harem. Daeodons are opportunistic omnivores. They will actively hunt prey when opportunity arise, but will also scavenge, using their large size to intimidate other predators in surrendering their kill.
Their large jaw, full of equally imposing teeth, are used to crush bones. Large jaw muscles give them a bite force that is one of the strongest.

Now face to face, the two males circle each other. Now, one can fully appreciate the difference in size between the two. Not only is the young male smaller in size, but his cheekbone flanges, chin tubercles, and that distinctive hump on the shoulders, are also much smaller than that of the old male. Despite these differences, and perhaps sensing something that the old male is past his prime, the young male, full of confidence, charges first.

Thick dust clouds engulf the two as they face off. Only their frightening growls and screams echoing through the savannah give us a clue as to what is going on. Then, as quickly as it had started, it was all over. Emerging from the dust, the old male limps away from the scene. He is badly wounded. Those powerful jaws and teeth have done their job. He limps away, vanishing through the thick vegetation, his future now uncertain.

The young male emerges victorious. He has successfully overthrown the old male, ending his rule. He is now the new king. In time, he, too, would face rivals and would have to defend this territory against other males. For now, he slowly makes his way up the hills towards his new home.

In closing, Safari’s new Daeodon is a beautifully sculpted figure. It is obvious that a lot of researched went into producing this figure. It has all the characteristics of what a Daeodon should look like, including the much smaller cheekbone flanges and chin tubercles, leaving no doubt as to what species it is. It accurately shows the slender and long limbs. It also avoided the most common mistakes, mistake that the CollectA figure has, of adding additional toes on the foot. The figure is posed in an active mid-stride pose, with mouth open showing those formidable dentition.

I find both this and CollectA’s version both to be beautifully sculpted figures and they do make a great pair. I have chosen to depict the differences between the two figure as due to their age differences, with Safari’s being the younger of the two.

It is great to have two well made figures of this majestic beast, about time. I hope that Safari Ltd will continue to produce other prehistoric mammals and expand to include more obscure species. I hope you enjoyed the review, till the next review, cheers!

Available from Amazon.com here.

I have decided that moving forward to future reviews, I wanted to add a little character (besides Hans or that little guy from CollectA); someone or something fun and not too intrusive.
Well, I think I may have found him in Scrat, you know that furry creature from the Ice Age movies. He is almost the same size as the Hans figure, so keep that in mind for size reference.
Hope you will like and follow him as he travels back and forth, meeting new and amazing creatures!

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Comments 6

  • With all respect to CollectA’s brilliant figure, THIS is a Daeodon. It features the boxy blunt snout and the more rounded robust teeth. When compared to the actual skull this figure appears spot on in comparison. Which brings me to a second point; why must manufacturers release the same species over and over again? Too often we’re getting multiples of the same species. If your competitors are releasing say, a Daeodon for one year then either make something else or, at the least name it something within the same genus. This could have been released as an Entelodont even though the CollectA figure looks more like Archeotherium but, that’s beside the point. If companies happen to make the same genus but a different species collectors will more than likely purchase both as opposed to which they prefer.

  • Wonderfully written review, Bokisaurus and a very nice and plausible idea. I think the ontogenetic changes any creature goes through through its life too often fall short when prehistoric creatures are concerned. Sure thing, those are often hard to discuss not least because of the fragmentrary fossils (or complete lack of), but often enough animals do not only grow in size but go through great changes in the appearance of several body features when growing from adolescence to full adulthood. You really got the best out of merging the story of both of them together 🙂

  • My goodness, it looks mammalian!

    What happened, Doug? 😉

  • As always, the comparison with other makes of the same animal is very helpful.

  • Bokisaurus has been an excellent critic and what is said makes a good pair with the daeodon of Collecta. Both are magnificent.

    My congratulations to Doug and the entire Safari team.

  • Superb review, as always.

    I too feel that the CollectA and Safari versions are both fabulous in their own ways. The Safari looks like a real animal, one that you could picture wandering across the plains or through the woods of North America. The CollectA is more like something out of a nightmare, a slobbering, snarling fang factory aching to disembowel something.

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