Vault Tales 161 Safari Ltd Shringasaurus

And here we are, with another single figure post. And again, it’s because the figure is very notable. This time, because the figure is brand new this year, and features an animal so unusual, I’m surprised it got made by one of the major companies. I am speaking about the Safari Ltd Shringasaurus released in 2020 for their Prehistoric World series, item number 100357. Being so new, it frees up a bit of backstory, since there of course isn’t much! It came out within the last 12 months…and being Safari, that means that there are many sources to pick up the figure.

It is not often that we see these odd early reptiles made as figures, although there have always been a few made here and there (like the recent CollectA Estemmenosuchus from a couple years ago) but given the wide variety of non-dinosaur prehistoric reptiles, we still see relatively few. And I wouldn’t have expected this one so soon, so it’s super exciting that it happened. I honestly never know how Safari makes their choices–given that the animal was only officially described in 2017, that doesn’t give a lot of time to go through the production process.

The figure itself is very well made, lots of details and interesting skin textures. It isn’t plated like a crocodilian, which is probably good, but does show small scaling along the back and legs. The colour scheme is interesting, using a yellow ochre colour with dark patterns of stripes and dots along the back and tail. Overall it really acts as a highlight on the shelf among the greens and greys (and a couple of reds…depends what you have on the shelf I guess). One thing that stands out is the legs, especially the rear ones, which are almost completely washed in the brown highlight paint. It makes them prominent in a strange way, and I’m not sure what the inspiration was. That goes for the whole look–it seems familiar, like a modern animal’s pattern, but I can’t quite place it. Physically, the model does a great job of representing the known skeleton–other than the seemingly very large feet (which are only known from a few foot bones). So maybe it’s a little heavy-footed. And, of course, the distinctive head–a fairly basic reptilian head, but with the highlighted, and very obvious, pair of forward-curving horns.

As I stated before, this figure is readily available right now and I think everyone with even a passing interest in prehistoric animals should get one. In part because it’s awesome, and represents such a weird animal. And in part because figures like this, featuring unusual, extinct groups of animals, don’t get made nearly enough, and the only way companies will be encouraged to try odd things like Shringasaurus is if they sell well. On top of all that it will look great on your shelf. As far as I know, there is only one other Shringasaurus available right now–made by Paleo-Creatures, a small-scale produced model. Maybe a little more accurate, but definitely not a toy. So to close, I would definitely recommend making sure to add this to your collection as soon as you can!

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