Who makes it? Safari Ltd, part of their Carnivorous Dinos toob. And yes, it’s one of the 4 not-dinosaurs in the dinos toob…but it is carnivorous! The toob number is 699004.
When did it come out? I want to say around 2003. There have been a few adjustments to things like the paint schemes, rarely for the better.
Still available? Surprisingly yes–given how many times I’ve complained that the Prehistoric Marine Reptiles toob is discontinued, and those were small art pieces (same with the Prehistoric Crocs and Prehistoric Sharks toobs). But this one is still going, and the figures included are…not stellar. The best may be, in my opinion, the Baryonyx that was repurposed for the Sue and Her Friends toob. Anyway…
Where can it be found in my displays? I do have it on my displays, because it’s still unique from the early 2000s. I have it with the other Safari toob figures.
How does it fit in the collection? The toob was one of the first ones when Safari started making improvements in their figures. It was a first okay small Kronosaurus figure, for it’s time. And I’m a sucker for the various prehistoric reptiles.
Any story behind it? Not really, other than I knew the owner of the store where I bought it–he brought it in for me (alongside several other Safari figures). That was in a city where I don’t live anymore. It’s since gotten harder to find stores with Safari figures.
Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): Overall, it’s kind of a bland figure, not going to to mince words. The skull is kind of boring and generic, and doesn’t have the right profile. Plus the tooth row seems short compared to the skull or something…I’m not familiar enough with the morphology but it looks off (in some ways, it almost seems whale-like, but primitive whale-like. Something like that). This is especially telling because the Carnegie Kronosaurus already existed, and should have provided a better baseline. Even the fins seem a bit wide or stumpy. And the tail seems to thick and short, while the body seems truncated and chunky. Basically, it seems like the figure is just really compressed, and even within the toob, it’s the smallest figure, so it could have been stretched out and not been oversized. As it is, the figure at about 6 cm is noticeably small, giving about 1:200 scale.
Would I recommend it? I’m not the biggest fan, but overall the set is a fun one for kids. Collectors would probably give it a pass unless they’re super completist, since better pliosaurs exist in a similar size range from other companies like CollectA, Kaiyodo and…other Safari toobs (well, that last one, a Lipleurodon, isn’t made anymore). It’s okay, but not something to fret over if you don’t have it.