It was a hot July day. To beat the heat and to stay cool I headed off to a nearby creek to sit by the water. I found a tall tree by the water and walked into the shade. I slumped back onto the trunk, closed my eyes, and let my bare feet extend past the bank and dangle over the water. I slowly drifted off to sound of birds chirping and the leaves moving in the soft breeze. Suddenly I am jolted awake by the sound of a splash. My eyes scanned the surface of the water looking for the source of the disturbance. To my left I see a small dark shape jump out of the water, land with a soft splash, and glide quietly beneath the surface. “What was that”, I think to myself as I got on to my knees to look directly down into the water. That’s when I saw it swim beneath me. I exclaimed quietly to myself, “Holy she sells seashells by the sea shore Batman.” It was a little ichthyosaurus splashing back and forth in the cool water. It was not just any ichthyosaur, it was the Wild Safari 2020 Prehistoric World version. It would have made Mary and Joseph Anning so proud.
About the toy: As I watched it effortlessly swim through the water, I couldn’t help but noticed the similarities to animals that we see in the oceans today. Its overall body shape looks like a cross between a tuna and a porpoise. Its body is streamlined but it has a thicker blubbery profile. It swims effortlessly with its crescent shaped hydrodynamic tail. Each swish propels it forward while the rest of the animal remains stiff. Interestingly I couldn’t help but notice that instead of the crescent dorsal fin found on dolphins, on this little ichthyosaur, its dorsal fin resembles the distinctive, triangle-shaped dorsal fins that you would find on a male orca, just not as high.
Speaking of orca’s, I was awed by its simple but effective colors. It was showing off its black and white party time attire. The colors appear to be a cross between a orca and a dusky dolphin. Most of the body is black, but it is counter shaded white underneath. The white extends on the underside from its beak, along its belly, and to a point in the middle between the pelvic flippers. The white also extends up to the side between the pectoral and pelvic flippers. There is one more area of white and that is in the form of a stripe that starts in the middle and goes all the way to the bend in the tail.
As I watched, it would swim back and forth in front of me. I took note of the paddles/flippers were curved in the front, very rounded at the tip, and rather straight as it connects back to the body. You could also see small fat rolls at each of the joints. At one point it rolled over and showed me its belly. I noticed that the cloaca was present just above the end point of white on its underside.
It stopped swimming for a moment and popped its head above the surface and looked at me with its enormous eyes. The iris color of its eyes were two molten pools of burning gold, which from some reason seemed to pour over and onto the skin around the eye. Strange I thought, but I’ll come back to that later. In front of the eyes are the nares and behind the eyes is a little ear hole. Its mouth was closed but it seemed to smile back at me.
It was very nice fellow and plopped itself onto the bank, and allowed me to get some quick measurements. It measured 7.5 in (19.05 cm) long and approximately 2.4 in (6.096 cm) high at the dorsal fin. It allowed me to touch it and I moved my hand across its skin. I could feel that the entire surface was completely smooth. After I finished with the measurements I helped it back into the water. To my complete surprise another ichthyosaur showed up and I noticed it was PNSO Eurhinosaurus. They swam in a circle a couple of times and I was able to see a size comparison between the two, and suddenly they both swam off, leaving me humbled and amazed to see such wonderful toys in the wild.
Sculpt, paint, and playability: It is a very good and rather accurate sculpt but it lacks a dynamic pose. It rest on all four of its flippers / paddles, with just a a slight bend to its tail as if it is slowly searching for food. Its expression is plain, even though it does look to be smiling. The paint is a bit sloppy. The gold in the eyes runs into the sides and the white paint has a air brush fade that lacks polish. If you take a close look at the jaw you will also notice the black/white paint is sloppy as well.
It can be a fine toy to play with but it lacks anything exciting to separate it from other marine reptile figures. Its mouth is closed so it will not be able to bite and eat any unwary fish. Then again, with its closed mouth a kid can use its snout to ram unsuspecting predators or Aquaman foes. It is a very safe toy as all the tips are rounded and blunt.
Overall: I find it to be a rather accurate, yet a simple, and stiff figure. I am not 100% sure if the dorsal fin and flippers are the right size and shape, but they look believable. The paint isn’t applied that well, but luckily it is not too distracting, and probably varies a little from figure to figure. Personally, I prefer the old Safari Carnegie ichthyosaur with the ammonite in its mouth. That doesn’t mean I hate this figure, quite the contrary, I like this figure. It just when I compare it to my other ichthyosaurs in my collection, it doesn’t really stand out. If you are interested it can be found in the $8.00 (USA) range so it is a very affordable figure.