Safari Ltd. has long been a very interesting toy making company. They laabel themselves as an educational toy company and they live up to that reputation through both some very interesting products and their associations with educational institutions. Their Dinosaur toys Carnegie Collection, in conjunction with the Carnegie Museum (Pittsburgh, Pa. USA), is THE standard by which other companies Dinosaur toys are judged. Their most recent in-house Wild Safari Dinosaurs (i.e., Wild Safari Allosaurus,Scutosaurus,Brachiosaurus and Velociraptors to name just a few We've done pages on) are among the finest models we've ever seen. The bottom line here is that safari is a class act. Becoming classier.
Back in 2004 Safari was involved with the Field Museum of Chicago (Illinois, USA) in the production of figurines of their infamous and most complete fossil Tyrannosaurus Rex named "SUE." While now out-of-production and largely out-of-stock these are among the nicest Dinosaur toys ever produced. Small by today's standards, at five and one-half inches in length and ~1/90 scale it was produced in two styles. One with the mouth open, the other closed, and sold in two fashions. One in a "gift box" with either an exquisite 1/78 scale Anatotitan, or a 1/75 scale Torosaurus, or separately and individually.
We have been gathering material to produce our next three pages, one on each of these figures (one page for the two 'Sues'). We have featured "SUE" on several of our pages already as she fits in quite well, size and scale-wise with both the MARX and MPC figures. There are a lot of things I really like about these three figures and I'll tell you about them this week. Stay tuned gang.
While most of us have been working Rexford has been off, doing his own thing, so let's take a looksee....
"Yeee-hah, Ride 'em Rexford.
"I didn't sign up to be your steed."
"It's better than being my meal. Giddyap!"
(Sue Field Museum)
Sue Field Museum: Part 2
Sweet Sue: 2/17/2010
The 2004 Safari/Field Museum ~1/90 scale Tyrannosaurus Rex was featured today and it created quite the stir. Small by contemporary standards (of size) but large on quality these little guys demonstrated an ability to work and play well with others (below)
("One of these is not like the others....")
as well as doing fine on their own.
Our day began with the crew getting together for breakfast....
Proper table manners are called for, but
the siren-song of sausage results in a Dino-scrum, and some decidedly bad behavior....
"Hey in there! I want that piece...gimme!"
More tomorrow and either the Anatotitan or Torosaurus....
"If we're going to conquer the world we have to know what it looks like."
"What's a world?"
(Sue Field Museum)
Sue Field Museum: Part 3
"Large Ducks": 2/18/2010
Anatotitan means 'large duck' and these largest of the Hadrosaurs, were named such due to the duck-like shape of their 'bills.' They grew to twelve meters (39 feet) and weighed as much as three to four tons. With no natural defenses (apart from swinging their tasty tail) they relied on the herd for protection. Pretty much sheep relying on sheep. The first best Anatotitan Dinosaur toy was from SRG in 1947. The next Trachodon (that is what they were called back then) came out i9n 1955 and was from Marx. This Anatotitan is no titan, size-wise, being only six inches in length- but that half-foot is packed with detail and I really like this figure.
We all gathered together this morning to discuss the day's shoot and the Anatotitans gathered around the oatmeal bowl (left). They like cereal(s) (being vegetarians) but Oatmeal has certain inherent dangers. It is like teh La Brea Tar Pit of breakfast foods. It may appear tasty and nutritious on the surface, but underneath it is clingy and sticky. Woe be to any who slip and fall into the oatmeal bowl....
"Help me. I'm falling in and I can't get out!!"
Meanwhile Rexford's cousin Rocky partook of his own repast...
"These ain't half bad...."
PUT HER DOWN... SHE"S PART OF THE CAST!!
And Rexford was busy working up his own, new, act.
"Yeehah!! Which way's the circus!!"
(Next, the Safari/Field Museum Torosaurus....)
(Sue Field Museum)
Sue Field Museum: Part 4
TORO TORO TORO: 2/18/2010
We got all our pictures for the Safari/Field Museum Torosaurus ready to go but we simply don't have time to complete the page today. In consequence we will give you just a taste of what is to come, tomorrow.
This Torosaur was conceived in a collaboration between Safari Ltd. and The Field Museum of Chicago (opens new window) to create Dinosaur toys based on the museum's "Sue" T-Rex fossil. The Torosaurus was one of two companion figures, the other being an equally wonderful Anatotitan ("large duck", see yesterday's blog), the largest of the Hadrosaurs. These all came out in 2004 and are now (2010) out of production.
There is some dispute about the Torosaurus. It is, clearly, closely related to the Triceratops, but it has a much larger frill. It has, in fact, the largest head (including the frill) of any Dinosaur. The controversy is over whether the Torosaurus is a distinct and separate species or simply a fully mature Triceratops. We will discuss that, and more, in our Torosaurus page tomorrow.
We were planning on giving you a little taste but it appears that some one else wants that taste instead....
"Don't run little Torosauruses, we just want to check your, uh, hat size."
"Let's get outta here...."
"We thought you'd make a great lunch box. Hold still."
"How about I give you my fat friend's address?"
"Stop squirming. One in the mouth is worth two in the woods."
"Please go away now."
"Roar!! Sue triumphant!!"
"Well how do you do? Don't call me SUE!"
Catching your lunch can prove easier than holding on to it in the toy-eat-toy world of today's Dinosaurs.
"Pretty tasty. And I'll call you little girls anything I want to...."
(Sue Field Museum)
Sue Field Museum: Part 5
Sue, Anato, Toro & ME: 2/19/2010
We completed our Safari/Field Museum 2004 collaborative effort Torosaurus page, which completes our triumvirate of the Toro, Anatotitan and the (two) SUE T-Rex. Unfortunately these have been out of production for several years but fortunately they still can be found at retailers on the internet.
I got five of these (left) so I would have some to experiment with and found them quite amenable to minor changes in posture and positioning. They are extraordinarily well done and are probably the best of the three Dinosaurs that Safari did in this little series. This takes nothing from either of the SUEs or the Anatotitan, which are also excellent. I just really like this little guy from his ferocious expression to his grace under pressure...
"Your money or your life."
"You'll have to speak with my agent."
Due to their small size (this goes for all four of the figures) they fit in best with the smaller contemporary Dinosaur toys and especially with the vintage MARX and MPC figures.
They are just a little too small scale to get along well with the larger sized contemporary Dinosaur toys which tend to be about two or three times their size. Despite their small size they have plenty of personality and strong desires...
"I don't care what SUE said, I will not be the 'Blueplate Special.' Call my agent!!"
(Sue Field Museum)
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