One hundred and eleven million years ago in a vast river system in Africa, a dance between predator and prey, similar to what we see today was taking place. Off the main river there is a narrow, deep, and murky tributary. Vegetation is thick along the bank except for a patch of muddy dirt that has been worn down by the feet of many thirsty travelers. A lone Nigersaurus stands back from the crowd, as a herd of thirsty Lurdusarus are pushing their way closer to the stream. The Lurdusarus are weary as they near the water. They do not see any danger, but they know that in the main river there are giants, and they might be lurking nearby. The herd pushes forward to the edge of the water and begins drinking. A juvenile lowers its head and begins to drink, its eyes scanning the scene. In a blink of an eye a huge head thunders out of the water.
It’s Sarcosuchus! The juvenile tries to raise its head and body out of the way, but it is not fast enough. Wham, the jaws slam shut on its arm and part of its torso. The force of the strike knocks it off balance and muddy brown water sprays into the air as its body hits the water. The juvenile tries to struggle, but its body is enveloped by massive jaws and is dragged deeper into the water. After a few final ripples the water becomes still once again. The rest of the herd looks on nervously from a distance, but they are thirsty, and slowly head back to the water to drink.
This is a common image that is conjured when thinking of the great yet diverse Crocodylomorphs that have graced our world over the ages. There is something spectacular and frightening watching a crocodile take down its prey. There is a good chance that Sarcosuchus imperator hunted in this way. Its environment was covered in forests, with many rivers that supplied fish, and dinosaurs for food. It is one of the biggest in the family, with fully grown individuals estimated to have reached 12 metres (39 feet) long.
With this thought in mind, here is the 11th place runner up in the Dinosaur Toy Forum Top Ten Crocodilian figures, the 2009 CollectA Sarcosuchus.
About the toy: The Sarcosuchus toy from CollectA is posed in a typical crocodilian semi-erect stance, with the tail is slightly bent and curving to its left. From nose to tail, it almost makes an S shape. It is around 20cm long. The jaws are open just enough to see the conical teeth and tongue. The tip of snout has the strange rounded bulla, which looks accurate to the animal. The jaws are long and on the slender side. Beginning just behind its eyes and running all the way to the tail are two large rows of triangular armor, along with two smaller rows of scutes inside the first set. They form into a V at the tail and runs all the way to the tip. There are different sizes of scales along the flanks and tail. The front feet have five digits and the back feet have four which is accurate.
The color is rather plain, but believable. The base color is a really dark, almost black, shade of brown. Over this is a brush of lighter brown that gives it a mottled appearance. The only other colors are the black toes, white teeth, and pinkish hue inside the mouth. The colorization may be simple but it looks just fine.
The plastic material on the body and feet of this figure are rigid, while the tail and jaw are rather bendy. This can lead to some warping, which is not a problem for the shape of the tail, but it can lead to the jaw being askew. For kids playing with this toy, the jaws being bendy can have some advantages. You could make the mouth wider to attack or bite other things during play time.
Overall: Even though we are looking at the CollectA version, I do want to point out that Mojo has a similar looking Sarcosuchus that’s has crisper details, and more bend in its body. It is a little bit eerie how similar they are. Anyways, back to the CollectA version. I find this to be a very nice figure. I would rate it as an average figure for collectors. I think it looks nice when used in a diorama. Not to be self serving, but I did use this figure in the 2015 DTF diorama contest. It is accurate enough to be used in an educational setting as well. I personally would have liked this figure better if it had more mass, and came in a deluxe size for it to really stand out. The standard range size offered by CollectA makes it look too much like a smaller crocodile. If you like it, it is easy to find on most online retailers and it is easy on the wallet.