Vault Tales 243 Run the Set Safari Ltd Alligators Alive! toob

Now with another toob from Safari! This one has a very narrow theme, in this case focusing on a number of American Alligator figures (and a few associated reptiles from their normal range). In a way, it’s surprising that a toob like this didn’t come out sooner–Safari Ltd is a company founded and based in Florida, notable for their alligators; and even their logo is an alligator.

The toob was released in 2008, featuring 11 figures in total, under item number 685004. The full set features 6 American Alligator figures in different poses and different labels. The other figures include a Water Snake that is labelled as a ‘Water Mocassin‘ (but there is no way…Safari later released a toob model that actually looks like one); and two turtles, a Alligator Snapping turtle and a Softshell turtle. And then one more figure–a Human model holding an alligator (one which I’ve used many times). This figure was later retired from the set in 2013, which appears to be when they retired most of the human figures from their toobs (annoyingly, I appear to have lost most of those figures).

As far as an assortment of reptile figures it’s not bad, and the variety of poses given to the Alligator figures makes them especially great for scenery work. The other models are okay I suppose, nice to have as figures. The softshell turtle is decent, if unremarkable. The alligator snapping turtle has shown up elsewhere, labelled as a common snapping turtle in the River Life toob in 2009. The mislabeling on the snake is irritating given the long, skinny shape (it seems more like they reused an existing model and changed the stamp). It’s too bad, since they later released a much better model with that same River Life toob! One thing I would have liked to see in this set–there’s only one other living alligator species, the Chinese Alligator, so maybe a figure of that species could have been included for variety and educational purposes.

As far as toob sets with very narrow focus go, this one holds more interest to me. It’s at least a nice variety of poses and sizes, so would suit a lot of play or display purposes. The other figures are fine, but not all that unique. Unfortunately, the toob was discontinued in 2017 although I am pretty sure I’ve still seen them for sale (could be mistaken though). It would be great to see more crocodilian figures, maybe a little more variety in species, but definitely with that range of poses. We know that Safari can make excellent toob-style reptiles, it would be great to see them revisit the topic again, using their newer updated style.

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