The Wild Safari Tyrannosaurus was the Star of 1996
Extolling the Wild Safari Tyrannosaurus Rex is the least one can do for a toy that raised the bar without losing touch with the toy that it is. It does not have pretensions to "museum quality", either with fine details or "realistic coloration." It has plenty of detail but no more than required to make it look good. It's color is a dark green with a light blue stripe down its back and a very dark green underbelly. It has orange ridges on its head and down the sides of its neck providing a very nice contrast, black eyes (with white dots!) and a reasonably well detailed mouth. The interior of the mouth is pink, the tongue differentiated and the teeth individually sculpted. While it was
actually produced in a three-point stance (two feet and the tail tip- which I hate) it is so well balanced that with a little bit of orthopedic work and some "PT" it will readily stand on its own two feet. Here we see me
working (Right) with one of my Rexes to get him to stand. A "healed" Safari Tyrannosaurus is checking out the tomatoes while two more are getting their tails 'softened' in the healing waters of the Pyrex kitchen-spa. (below)
Healed and walking away!
The original dark green Tyrannosaurus was released in 1996 to toy bins and shelves across the nation. He proved to become the terror of the toy box that the original had been in the forests and fields of the Cretaceous Period. Many of you sharp eyed Dinophiles may have noticed a lighter green Tyrannosaurus in many of the photos. This is the current, slightly sportier Safari Tyrannosaurus model. Both are nine & one-half inches in length (9.5", 24.25cms) making them 1/57 scale figures. Their weight differs, however, with the original weighing in at four & one-eighth ounces (4.125 oz, 117 gms) while the newer (runway) model is only three & five-eighths ounces (3.625 oz, 103 gms). You can easily see the comparative thinness
of the new sculpture. (Baby T-Rex included in family photo) The baby Rex mold has stayed the same.
The babies are only two & one-half inches tall (2.5", 6.5 cms) and match the adults coloration. The new figure is a base lighter (yellowish) green with a darker, but more nuanced, green upper body. Clearly this is meant to look more like a "real" Tyrannosaurus and less like a toy. The detail in the heads
of both is excellent, the teeth on the newer model are a little bit more sharply detailed than on the original. The eyes, too, have been changed and now have a bifurcated yellow vertical slash as the pupil on the round black eye, rather than the little white dot. It is an actual improvement.
Hunting has never been a problem for the Safari Tyrannosaurus Rex and
irregardless of the era, Jurassic or Cretaceous, a pack of these nine and one half inch predators, the ferocious Wild Safari Tyrannosaurus Rex, can show their babies how it's done in the big leagues.
This head-on view (right) shows the narrowness of the later version on the right. The strangest thing about this otherwise very nice (though to my mind totally unnecessary makeover) new model is that the sharpness of detail in the "hands"
has been lost, the new "claws" are much blunter and stubby looking. Very odd in what is otherwise a much sleeker figure.
The new model that I have (and I want to thank Safari Ltd. (opens new window)
for their generous contribution of this figure) has oddly flattened feet whereas the original model has nicely rounded toes on the bottoms of its feet. Close examination seems to indicate that somebody may have scraped the feet flat but this was received as new so I'll have to find another in a store to verify this last, bottom of the feet, detail.
All in all the Safari Tyrannosaurus, in either version and despite its origin as a mass market, relatively inexpensive ($5-7.00 retail) Dinosaur toy, is and has been one of the better T-Rexes around. You could certainly repaint yours (something I haven't bothered to do) to be much more "realistic" in appearance. I may yet....
So whether it is teaming up to steal a Spinosaur's meal or going it alone the
Safari Tyrannosaurus is a dynamic addition to your Dinosaur Collection.
Safari Ltd.'s "Wild Safari Dinosaur toys, unlike their Carnegie Collection lineup are not done to any particular scale. Additionally these were originally put out as a dedicated toy line differentiated from the "museum quality" Carnegie series. As toys they have been presented in bright and not necessarily "natural" colors (as the Carnegies), colors that you would not necessarily expect to find animals sporting. (The 1996 Safari Allosaurus in base bright yellow and the Safari Spinosaurus (above) are good examples.) These were made as individual Dinosaur toys and not created as part of a "matched" set. Therefore they are all relatively the same actual size, with scaled size differing. (Note the Safari Apatosaurus and Brachiosaurus in the above "hunting" photos.)
The brightest eyed among our readers may be wondering where the two Tyrannosaurs on the left side of the lead photo on this page come in to play. Safari has constantly improved and upgraded their figures. Changing colors, sculptures and quite often both, as molds age and new paleontological evidence for a creatures' posture and appearance come to light. (Admittedly, there is no way evidence of colors will ever be found, okay?) This has resulted in ever increasing detail and more life-like sculpting in their figures.
2005 saw the introduction of the Safari Juvenile T-Rex and 2008 saw the all-new Safari Tyrannosaurus. These two will be taken up on a separate page. Originally they were to share a page (like the Safari Allosaurs) but I came up with too many photos. So you get more details.
The Safari Tyrannosaurs are pthalate/toxin free and would be safe enough to eat if they were edible at all. Which they are not. They are plastic. They come hand-painted (in China, where it is a hobby) and therefore, despite the fact they are all the same, there are always individual differences too. You can repaint them yourself, reposition their limbs and generally treat them as you would want to be able to treat a toy... to no ill effect. These are as rugged as they are good looking. I have had most of mine for more than a decade and their original paint-jobs are still bright, their detail remains crisp and clear.
The original 1996 dark green model can still be found in stores (I saw a few on the shelf two weeks ago) although it (may be be out of production and) is being replaced by the newer, thinner, lighter green version. Prices vary online although I haven't seen anybody trying to get more than about $8.00 for them. The Tyrannosaurus baby has remained unchanged since its introduction in 1997. Well, that's not entirely true. The color has gone from a juvenile version of the dark green to the lighter color green of the new adult. The prices for these hover around $2.00 a piece. Go get 'em.
I do not know how much longer this 1996 figure will remain in production. I would hope for a long time but (that may change) with the all new Safari Tyrannosaurus out now its days may be numbered. I don't know if these will achieve collectibility status but it won't matter to this great T-Rex Dinosaur toy. Besides, I've got mine....
The past and the new wave.
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