Vault Tales 144 ToyTrio Orthacanthus, Frilled shark, Blacktip Reef shark

Well, recently we looked at a bony fish trio and a theropod dinosaur trio so today is another group of cool animals, a shark trio! A prehistoric shark, a so-called primitive shark, and a fairly ‘typical’ shark!

Safari Ltd Prehistoric Sharks Toob Orthacanthus

This could possibly be the first figure from the Safari Prehistoric Sharks toob that I’ve discussed. Which is a shame, because it is a really cool toob with some really cool animals. And I actually helped a bit with its development! As I mentioned with the Prehistoric Crocodiles toob, I had helped with a few toobs, getting some unique prehistoric animals made. ‘Crocodiles’ was one, and sharks was another. And of course a toob like that needs a few of these weird pleuracanth sharks, with their long, eel-like body (or, given which came first, are eel pleuracanth-like?).

The figure itself is nicely made; Xenacanthus tends to get made more often, but Orthacanthus is a bigger animal. Not that it matters in a toob. If I had a complaint, it’s that for some reason the anal fins are paired…isn’t it weird enough that they have two already? I’ve seen this before on figures though, but I don’t know why. Otherwise, it’s a decent small figure of a very weird shark and I’m glad that it exists. Best of all, unlike way too many of the great Safari prehsitoric toobs, the Prehistoric Shark toob, item 679904, is still readily available (and I think you can also buy a bulk bag of the figures…in case you need a lot of sharks?)

Takara TOMY NHK Deep Sea Sharks Frilled Shark

Now for one of those unusual Japanese figures, this is a frilled shark made by Takara TOMY for what was called the NHK Deep Sea Shark set. As with many of these, it is a capsule figure, and should have a base; however, I do not have a base for this one. It may have been broken, or missing in a random lot, or I may be using it for a different figure. It’s probably the latter, as I think this figure is a near copy of a previously released Frilled Shark from Takara for a different deep sea fish set. Frilled sharks are actually pretty popular with Japanese companies to be honest, although there are a couple of others out there as well.

This particular shark actually resides with my daughter; having a couple similar figures, I would probably otherwise store it, so if she wanted one on her shelf, why not? The good part is that the peg is a ball joint, so the shark doesn’t really need the base anyway; we just have to swivel the peg to help it stand. Or, really, we could just take the peg out and it would work too. As with many of these figures, the capsule series was limited, although they (or the similar version) can be found on auction sites and aren;t terribly expensive. But really, if you need a frilled shark, the Safari Ltd toob figure from the Prehistoric Marine Life toob is probably more accessible…and cheaper…and comes with some other cool figures!

Safari Ltd Sea Life Blacktip Reef shark

Finally, another Safari Ltd figure, this one a ‘standard’ size figure from their Sea Life animals line. This one is item number 200029, and was originally released in 2012. And I can tell that I got mine in 2012 due to the colour; the original models were painted in a vibrant brown base colour, like mine. It’s a striking look…but not entirely accurate. Later that year, they were repainted in more of a greenish…interesting but still not right. Finally, in 2013 they were revised one more time, this time in grey. I suppose I could replace mine…or at least add a second, grey one, to my shelves…but I’m okay with the distinct brown one. Besides, if I can’t track down the green one (which seems unlikely) why go through the trouble for two thirds of the variants?

In spite of the colour issue, the shark model itself is really nicely done. It is very sleek, and captures all of the typical ‘requiem’ shark features. Also…they got the gill slits in the right numbers, which is annoyingly worth pointing out, based on how often many companies mess this up (with a few exceptions…it’s five. On almost every shark and ray). The paint job also does a good job of indicating the namesake blacktips, as well as the white body highlights; again, these stand out strongly on the brown body, less so on the more accurate grey. No matter the colour, though, I am always in favour of more shark figures, and more shark species figures, and highly recommend this one for everybody–and it’s still widely available, so that’s a plus!

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