Having previously reviewed the Torosaurus created by Safari for the Chicago Field Museum it only seemed appropriate to review the two tyrants of the same line. These two models represent Sue herself, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus ever discovered. These along with the Torosaurus of the last review and an Anatotitan were produced in 2004 specifically for the Field Museum. All are beautifully sculpted figures and despite their small size among the best by Safari. Two Tyrannosaurus were produced, one for each herbivore. Measuring 5.5” long one has her mouth open and the other closed. Their postures are different as well with one looking to the right and the other to the left. Together they make for a delightful pair and two of the best Tyrannosaurus produced by any toy company. Considering the number of T. rex toys out there I suppose I’m making quite the claim but I stand by it; a lot of those other toys are pretty crummy anyway.
Where accuracy is concerned there isn’t much to gripe about, Safari got most of the details right with these two. While Safari is currently producing theropods that can balance without the aid of their tails most of those theropods have to deal with oversized feet. Not these two. Not only can they stand on their two feet but the feet are for the most part in correct proportion to the rest of the body. It is worth mentioning that given the soft material these are made from the legs are prone to warping but it is easy to fix with the hot water or blow-dryer treatment. The arms are a bit too large but not obviously so like so many JP inspired T. rexes. The hands are also correctly facing each other which is always welcomed.
There is a huge amount of detail given the model’s small size. Muscles, skin folds, fenestra, and even some scales are all there. Though I prefer the closed mouth version (because how many closed mouth theropod toys are there?) the open mouth figure has a stunning amount of detail sculpted within the open jaws. Not just the tongue but even a detailed palate which really was not necessary for such a small toy but is certainly appreciated. The posture the two toys are standing in is really fantastic. They truly do look like the kings (or queens) that they are. Their bodies and tails curve in a very fluid, dynamic and graceful motion. Monstrous lizards these are not. The closed mouth individual in particular has a very stoic expression. A sort of gentle but powerful look, she rules and she knows it.
While many Safari models often include sloppy paint application these two, like the other dinosaurs in the Field Museum line, are masterfully painted. There is very little bleeding of the paint and what is there is difficult to detect. The nails are all black, the eyes red with black pupils, the inside of the mouth and nostrils pink and teeth white. Safari’s 2011 Tyrannosaurus seems to suffer from “milk mustaches” where the paint application on the teeth often includes other areas around the mouth. Not so with these two little ladies, surprising, given their small size. The bodies are painted green dorsally which moves down the sides along the legs and arms. The rest is painted yellow. The coloration matches that of the painting of Sue done by John Gurche in 2000 also for the museum. While it is cool that the toys match the painting I’m honestly not a big fan of these color choices but it isn’t completely awful, just not very believable. These toys would be perfect choices for custom paint jobs.
I must confess that I could go on further about these two but at risk of sounding like a fan boy I’ll conclude with the following. If you don’t already own the Safari Sue toys, go out to a place where dinosaur toys are sold and buy them or if need be, borrow them from a friend. Every serious dinosaur toy collector needs this pair of tyrants in their collection. Unfortunately these are becoming difficult to find and in the future will no doubt be highly collectable. They show up on occasion on eBay and are still available over at Dan’s Dinosaurs.