Hyaenodon gigas(Wild Safari Prehistoric World by, Safari Ltd)

5 (10 votes)

For over 25 million years Hyaenodons hunted across Africa, Asia, North America and Europe.  They were formidable predators that had oversized jaws.  When hunting they would have probably ambush their prey with a quick rush, grab on to the head or neck with that impressive maw, and secure the kill.   Where as the jaws were strong, the back teeth were designed to slice, allowing it to eat smaller pieces which I suppose would aid in digestion.  Creodonts were the most abundant form of terrestrial carnivore in the Old World, with Hyaenodons  managing to span over 25 million years, longer than almost any other mammalian group in the fossil record, from the Eocene epoch to the Miocene epoch.  That’s impressive!  Despite this success there are no direct descendants alive today.   In 2018 Safari Ltd brought us a sculpt of the largest Hyaenodon named Hyaenodon gigas.

Side by side comparison: Left: Safari Hyaenodon Right: Mojo Fun

About the toy:  This figure is 6.75  inches (17 cm)long and 3 inches (7.6 cm)tall, which makes it bigger than the Mojo Fun version. Its fur coat is a simple brown color on the majority of the head, body, tail, and limbs.  On the underside it fades to white.  The body has black stripes that are reminiscent of Thylacinus cynocephalus with the exception of stripes on its front limbs, and I guess the tail, as the stripes would have technically gone down the entire tail on the Tasmanian tiger.  Its muzzle, feet, and around the eyes are black.  The eyes are orange with some gloss to give it a wet look.  The teeth are white (more on them later) and the inside of the mouth is a wet pink.

The pose on this toy has the head looking slightly down to the left while the legs are slightly striding with the right legs fore ward while the left legs are behind.  The sculpt really shows off its namesake teeth with the wide open mouth.  It looks really fierce even if it was only yawning.  The teeth are nicely sculpted but the paint job is a disappointment as it is sloppily applied and is all over the gums.  The rest of the head looks rather good but there is a seam line that goes down the ear and across the head.  It seams to be more noticeable on some figures than on others depending on the angle you look at it.

As for the rest of the body it looks just fine. The neck is thick and has some beef to it, showing off the extra layers of musculature near the top of its neck to support the head.  The shoulder blades are raised up and at the top there is a fur bulge that looks really nice.  The fur details look OK , it is not too fancy but looks good enough.  The bottom of the paws have pads which is a nice detail to have if you are holding the figure in your hands.

It is a rather accurate figure as far as I can see with one exception.  The feet are sculpted with four toes on each paw.  When  I look at skeletal reconstructions in the The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals or from museum pictures, I see five toes on creodonts.  Unless I am missing something, it appears that this sculpt is missing a toe on each foot.

Extra Note:  If you look closely at the pictures that I have posted you will notice a slight defect on this toy.  It is a small flaw and who knows, my toy could be the only one with that slight defect, as I have not seen it in any of the store pictures, or any other posts.   Ahh, the perils of shopping online, you never know what it truly looks like until it is in your hands.  When mine arrived, I was excited and ripped open the box.  My first thought was excitement by the size of the toy, but then I noticed some bumps on the nose that looked out of place. Sure enough there was some extra bumps on the nose that should not be there.   Instead of looking at it as a defect, I decided that just like animals have variation in the real world, I just consider it an interesting variation that gives my figure some personality.

Overall: It might be terrifying with its open maw ready to snap shut on any unweary toys that might walk by but it is frighteningly fun to play with.  It looks good on a shelf as well.  It is a good toy for kids as it is safe and robust. The figure is very accurate, with the small exception of the toes, and well sculpted.  The paint job is good, minus the sloppy gum line.  I have to admit that it is probably the best Hyaenodon toy out there despite my love of the one made by Mojo.  If you like prehistoric beasts, then this toy is a must.

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Comments 3

  • Completely agree with you. It is a great figure, the figures of prehistoric mammals of Safari are superior to their predecessors of Safari without that it means that their predecessors are great.

  • Congratulations for reviewing the last of the Safari Ltd Prehistoric World figures that needed reviews. Might be the best of all of them because of accuracies and expectations.

    We knew this toy ever since the teaser where a blurred picture from Asia revealed something that looked like Hyaenodon and it turns out it was a Hyaenodon after all.

  • Terrific review. I had been planning on eventually getting the Mojo Fun version, but then this one was revealed. A truly terrifying beastie.

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