Vault Tales 248 Run the Set Safari Ltd Prehistoric Mammal Skulls toob

Another toob set! This time a prehistoric one again, featuring more skulls! I looked at some other Safari toob sets before–a dinosaur skull toob and, related to today, a modern mammal skull toob. So today it will be the third and what appears to be final Safari skulls toob, the Prehistoric Mammal Skulls toob!

The toob set came out in 2011, the same year as the modern mammal skulls toob, and retired in 2016 (a few years before the modern mammals). This one is item number 683604. Or I suppose was. As with many of the unique prehistoric toobs, this one of course is discontinued.

The figures in the set are especially interesting as we are far less likely to see prehistoric mammal skeletons and skulls than dinosaur ones. So getting a range of skulls like this, even briefly, was pretty incredible. Even better, it was released when I was running the museum–which meant we were able to add prehistoric mammal skulls to the plaster jackets that kids could dig out–dinosaurs are of course popular, but being able to add prehistoric mammals (many of which were relevant to our area) was even more exciting.

More interesting, over time, it became almost possible to line up every one of the skulls with a reconstructed figure also from the Safari Prehistoric figures. More or less. Some of the figures, like Smilodon, Arsinoitherium and Australopithecus had been made prior to the toob (the australopithecine was part of the original Carnegie line! And then a later hominid-evolution set). Over time, Safari would release Daeodon, Coelodonta, Uintatherium, and Mastodon. The only figure that didn’t quite get there is the Embolotherium skull, but they did make a Megacerops figure so we’ll call it close enough! Even better…the I think almost all of them are still available (the exception being the Arsinoitherium). But the pairings could make a good display.

Overall, the figures are well made if a bit rougher than, say, a Kaiyodo Dinotales skull but definitely more suited for handling and some play. A set like this is especially good for educational purposes–better yet, demonstrating the range of large mammals throughout the Cenozoic. Some of the morphology is a little…strange…(check out the impossible-to-see Uintatherium eyes…) but they serve the purpose. It is disappointing that they were discontinued, although I can see that the playability may have been less than the living-animal toob figures. Still, the dinosaur skulls continue to be made, so hopefully something like this will come along again at some point. I am pretty sure that the toob can still be found, for reasonable prices. Worth taking a look for them!

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