The Dinosaur Toy Blog has been quiet in recent weeks. As for me, I’ve been distracted by my involvement in the new Animal Toy Forum, which was launched recently as a partner site to the dinotoyblog and forum. However, I’ve neglected the blog for too long and so it’s time for me to turn my attention back to prehistoric animal reviews. From the stillness, you might just be able to make out the infamous rhythmical strings of John Williams, rising and gaining momentum. This, of course, heralds the arrival of the sharks! The prehistoric sharks.
Safrai Ltd have released many prehistoric animal ‘toobs’ over the years and we’ve reviewed a few of them before. There’s a Cenozoic menagerie in the Prehistoric Life Toob, a fluffy gang of feathered beasties in the Feathered Dinosaurs Toob; and most recently we reviewed the the Prehistoric Sea Life Toob – a particular favourite of mine. There are also tubes of skulls and fossils. The content of the toobs seems to be getting more specific with time and 2011 saw the release of two smashing prehistoric tubes: prehistoric crocodiles and, under scrutiny here, prehistoric sharks (not to be confused with Safari Ltd’s Sharks toob, which contains extant members of the group). 2013 will see another new toob added to the series, this time of unusual extinct Cambrian critters. We hope to review them on the blog soon too, but for now, let’s focus on the prehistoric sharks.
This 2011 recent release contains a wide selection of obscure, and in some cases downright weird, ancient selachians. I won’t review each of the ten figures individually because I’d be here all day, so I’ll treat them as a group. however, I will post a separate photo of each figure, so this review is going to be particularly image heavy.
The layperson might be stunned by the massive diversity of prehistoric sharks, with their various processes and accessories. It is wonderful to see such an overlooked group of animals portrayed as figures and collectors will be hard pushed to find most of these shark species in toy form anywhere else. This review has been something of a learning experience for me too, limited as my knowledge of prehistoric fish is.
As part of a series of of miniatures, you might expect them all to be tiny little figures but this isn’t the case. The average length of each figure is just short of 10cm so the set of ten stretches almost a metre when laid end to end. The level of detail is really quite sublime and Safari Ltd have clearly put a lot of effort into endowing each figure with a different posture and distinct colour scheme, from the campy pink of the Scapanorhynchus, to the sharky grey-blue of the cretoxyrhina. All of the figures are glazed with an appropriately shimmering and watery finish.
I highly recommend this toob and commend Safari Ltd for stepping out of the box. I imagine this was a bit of a risk from a business perspective, so I hope it pays off for them. Perfect toys for bath time!