When I first received this great Velociraptor from Safari Ltd. I did my standard visual check and discovered that the usual belly imprint, showing the manufacturer and date were missing. All there is is "Made in China", the figure's name and the now ubiquitous "CE". I contacted the nice folks at Safari and was told that these are (as are all the Safari "Great Dino" figures) what they consider as simply "generic" Dinosaur toys. They are not "collection specific" (The Carnegie Collection, Wild Safari) but rather, just plain old vanilla Dinosaur toys. And, I must say, that is pretty much how Safari markets them. As larger sized (and this is true) than their other Dinosaurs. More directed at children than their 'branded' figures. Now, to date, I have only seen and handled the Spinosaur and this great Velociraptor from this series (not a collection) but my impression of these is entirely favorable, with a caveat or two as we will see.
Weiging In at five and one-quarter ounces (5.25 oz, 147 gms) and measuring fourteen inches (14", 35.6 cms) in length these are in about 1/7 (using seven feet as a Velociraptor length) scale. This great Velociraptor is, in fact, physically larger than the Carnegie T-Rex, making it among the larger Predatoys produced by the company. Since there is a strong and very real tendency for Dinosaur toys of all scale sizes to play together this great Velociraptor finds itself at a significant advantage....
(Below- attacking a Carnegie Brachiosaurus.)
Made of "hard" plastic as a hollow figure it strikes me as being more breakable than their other lines, while the larger size (smaller scale) has allowed for increased detail. Looking at a close-up (Right) of the figure we see that the folds and creases in the skin, as well as the feathering on the arms & crest (Below)
is excellently done. The only flaw being that "weld line" where the front and rear sections meet is quite obvious on one of my great Velociraptors, much less so on the other. (Left) The luck of the draw I guess. The simple color pattern, a base olive green with red-brown stripes and black claws and feet(s) makes for a nicely natural-looking figure and the vertical striping does tend to mask that circumferential line.
(Below- Pair Of great Velociraptors meet somebodies more their own size.)
"Nice waterhole you guys got here. We'll see ya around."
Those ((X-Plus) Styracosaurus sure looked tasty but those horns can make for dangerous points of contention. Even with the very well crafted fore paws and foot claws (Below) there has to be a better way to approach those walking shish-ka-bobs. Have to think on it.
Of course thinking is for wimps when the Dino-town designated-prey is at hand and our ("we don't need no stinking thinking") Velociraptors are quick
in the pursuit of their life's work. Which is hunting and eating. There isn't much to recommend the job of designated prey around here but, at least, it's a living.
There is really only one, well, perhaps one and a half easily corrected flaws that I find with this figure. These are as can be seen (Left) that curling tail (Velociraptor tails were really pretty straight) and the head is twisted upwards and to the left See topmost photo). Even with imaginative play you've got a Dinosaur that isn't really looking where he is going. So after the initial photos were taken it was a short hot-water bath and the tail straightened out quite readily, then a second heated spa-dip for the head to be put it into a less active but more 'playful' position. Now they are on point!
(Below- Top view of original [top] and revised figure.)
(Above- the original, rear and revised showing the changes made.)
This great Velociraptor Dinosaur toy is so well balanced that the tail is totally unnecessary as the third point in a tripod for the figure to stand up. I tested its balance before I attempted the revision by standing it on its own two feet on the edge of a table, the tail out over the edge.
In fact the tail never touched the 'ground' anyway. You do want to make sure that bipeds will stand without the 3d point of contact before you start messing with them.
These figures, in particular, you have to handle carefully because their material, being both hard plastic and hollow, is very easily (and quickly) heated to bending temperature so it only requires a relatively short dip and a fast but careful bending into position. In this figure the neck will crease/distort a little when you twist the head but heck, it's hardly noticeable and they are toys so I want them as close to the way I want them as possible. Head straight, tail straight, that's the way I like it....
(Below- personally revised great Velociraptor always look both ways before crossing the carpet.)
Velociraptors were great hunters, fast and agile they roamed in packs seeking prey. Ordinarily that prey would not have been too big (or well armed) due to the small size of the Velociraptor but our modern-day Dinosaur toys versions are plenty big enough to go after pretty much anybody... and they think that they've figured out how to get that tasty looking Styracosaurus. First they set-up an attractive buffet, with condiments....
Then they call the Styracosaurus (Below)
"Hello. Free Vegetarian Buffet, all you can eat...no carnivores, come alone. (No, this isn't the Velociraptor.)"
Oh my gosh, the Styracosaurus came, and alone (they're not too terribly bright). I really can't watch any more....
"What are you guys doing at the free vegetarian buffet? Hey, waita minute...."
Post the 'vegetarian buffet ambush' there is some handwashing called for (Left) (wipe your faces too, and what about your conscience?) and then, a nice hot cup of coffee (Below) hits the spot! I guess we can totally forget about that conscience thing, can't we.
This great Velociraptor is a really nice "generic" Dinosaur toy, with a twist. Now I provided that after-market "twist" myself but whether you do or not these are really great Velociraptor toys anyway you cut it. Fine detail for the Dinosaur toys connoisseur and excellent playability for anyone. While they come somewhat mono-chromatic they are eminently re-paintable (not that they need it) and are readily customizable. Disregarding scale entirely the claws (both hands and feet) are as finely detailed as any other Velociraptors on the market today.
These are in production and available in both toy stores (there were two in mine) and on the internet. Safari has these for sale (opens new window) on the internet (and thank you for supplying the two great Velociraptors used for this page) for $8.99 (plus shipping) and they are available from other retailers as well. Just 'google' "great dino velociraptor."
I suspect that given their "generic" manufacture they will not be collectibles but they make great and reasonably sized "Utahraptors" or some-such as yet undiscovered giant raptor for play with your other Dinosaur toys. They can also give your GI-Joes, X-Men or WWF action figures a run for their money. The paint on these appears pretty rugged as well. I've only had them about a week or so but the Great-Dino Spinosaurs have stayed unblemished and they've spent awhile in the old Dino Toy box.
For those of you who are interested or parents that may be worried that Junior will teethe on these they are stamped with the European Union seal of edibility (that CE referred to much earlier) indicating that they are non-toxic if not up to the taste standards of the finest Euro-cuisine. And of course their shelf life is to die for.
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