Safari Velociraptors: The Best of 2007
The Safari Velociraptors of 2007
Extraordinary is the first word that come to my mind in describing this Velociraptor mongoliensis by Safari Ltd. At just over one ounce in weight (1.125 oz, 32 gms) and measuring nine & one-half inches (9.5", 24cms) long it is approximately 1/9 scale (given the Velociraptors length at seven feet) but stands much larger in the world of Dinosaur toys.
Safari Ltd. is the maker of the famous Carnegie Collection, a broad series of (largely) 1/40 scale "museum quality" figures. Safari has produced since 1996, under their own "Wild Safari" brand, a number of much more 'toy-like' multi-scaled Dinosaur toys. (Below)
(2007 Safari Velociraptor [on right] with 1996 Ceratosaurus & '96 & 2007 Allosaurus)
2006 saw Safari elbowing its way into far more realistic figures with their new Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops. 2007 then saw a new Stegosaurus and Allosaurus, very very nice. Safari had abandoned its brightly painted and lightly detailed past for a new and much more highly detailed and realistically painted dinosaur toys lineup.
But wait a minute. Yes. These were all a major break from Safari's past but, for all their evolutionary improvements they were just that. The new Velociraptors, however, proved to be actually revolutionary in concept. For one thing an entirely new material is used in their production. Almost every one of the Dinosaur toys you can find is made of what amounts to a relatively hard rubber. These Velociraptors are formed in a quite soft material. Their posture is, perhaps, the most dynamic of any Dinosaur toy.
A Velociraptors Comparison
The 1993 "Dinosaurs of China" Velociraptor by Safari has been one of the best Raptors around for sixteen years. It would appear that it has been supplanted by this newest figure. The 2007's head lacks the ridges on the earlier figure (Below) and the "pose" is very much the same as that of its
immediate predecessor. Both are in a three point stance, left arm and both feet, but whereas the 1993 figure's right foot is flat on the ground the new Velociraptor is up on the right toes. While both have (to my eye) overlong tails the "Tiger-Raptor's" tail is curved downward (an unnatural position anyway according to contemporary paleontology) which visually brings the figure's motion to a halt. The new model has its tail straight out, both fitting modern thought and creating a look of extreme speed and motion. This 2007 Velociraptor is also much thinner, trimmer and simply "sleeker" in every way. It is, if anything, much more "alive" (as far as inanimate objects can be so) and is mindful of the wonderfully posable Jurassic Park Coelophysis from 1993. (Below)
It is comparable in size to the PAPO Velociraptor (2005) which was based upon the Raptors in the first Jurassic Park movie. (Below)
The only Velociraptors that have been properly in scale with the majority of contemporary Dinosaur toys (1/30-1/40) were the marvelous little Carnegie Dienonychus (Above) from 1990 which, sadly, ceased production in 1997. But they're another story....
(Below- Safari Velociraptor pack throws its 'out-of-scale' weight around)
2007 Safari Velociraptors Details
The detail work on these can only be described as exquisite. Admittedly, given the large scale these should have fine detail but theirs is unprecedented. From the beautifully sculpted head (Below)
to the fine detail of the Velociraptor's foreclaws (Below)
(palm Above, back of "hand" Below)
As a comparison check out the detail of the 1993 "DoC" Velociraptor. You'll note that the detail here is even finer, on a smaller figure. Really incredible.
The "feets" are no less detailed. The left foot is up on the "toe pad" (Below)
with very nicely done "claws" (Above).
The right foot is very dynamically up on the toe tips (exterior view Above [forward right], interior view on Right [forward left]) with the great disembowling claw up against the top of the foot.
The detail is very, er, detailed, as you can see. Right down to the toes.
(The pack is always rushing off somewhere. Below)
The dynamic pose is readily seen in profile close-up (Below- right & left)
looking ready to move-out at high speed.
(Below- A pair of Carnegie Camarasaurus find that they are prey to these over-large Velociraptors!)
Because these are hand-painted there is a reasonable range of color difference making for noticeable individuality. (Below)
Breakfast serves to energize these guys so they can go out and hunt some real prey. Bacon is always good (Above) but where the heck is the coffee? (Left) Velociraptors want to know.
The incredible detail throughout this figure can be seen below where each of the individual teeth, the tongue and the palate all show the high quality of work that has gone into this figure's creation.
The Most Energetic of Dinosaur Toys
The 2007 Safari Velociraptors just erupt with energy as they rush about on their daily chores, whether technological in nature (Below)
surprising a Mongoose (!!??) (Below)
or struggling across the mess on my desk (Below)
these Velociraptors just radiate action and invite active play. The soft rubber allows for easy revision of the basic sculpt. Seen below, left to right, the neck is straightened out and thrusting the head forward (far right, and
front most is basic sculpt). The figure on the far left (rearmost) has also had its right forepaw bent forward slightly. As can be seen in other pictures these forepaws, as well as the positioning of the feet and tail, allow for multiple active poses and ease of placement in active poses.
Even the belly manufacturer's imprint is embossed upon the "stomach" detailing and not on a "cleared" area. (Below)
(Even the mighty Carnegie Brachiosaurus is defenseless before the these "active and agile" over-sized Velociraptors.)
These are readily available in retail stores and on the internet even as I type. Prices ostensibly range from $6.48 to $8.50 and Safari itself recommends $7.99. I use the word "ostensibly" because, online, you always have to consider the shipping. Ebay has better online prices, even with shipping. Surprised me. Unless you are in a particularly high sales tax state (aren't they all?) you would probably do best to get one (or more) from your local brick & mortar establishment. I highly recommend doing so.
Will these become collectibles? Tough question because they are both (relatively) brand-new and in current production. If you consider their revolutionary dynamic sculpt and extreme detail they are collectibles already. If the market gets flooded by them then they will never approach rarity. It shouldn't matter. Some things are "collectible" just because they exist. This is one of those things.
Given their soft rubber and the European "CE" stamp of menu approval it is possible that with overpopulation and global starvation they will prove an easily chewable if indigestible source of "neutrition". ("Soylent Green is Velociraptor Dinosaur Toys!"??)
If you like Dinosaur toys and don't own one you should get two. My recommendation.
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