A quick visit to a single excellent figure from Safari Ltd today, the Gryposaurus from the Dinos & Prehistoric Life series (or whatever the name of the series is, was, or will be. It’s changed a lot). The item number is 302529, and it was first released in 2013. One thing to immediately note–for a Safari figure, and an ornithopod, this figure is relatively large. It’s about time, since some of these dinos were impressively big!
This figure is a truly impressive model, and the large size really makes it look like a formidable prey animal for local tyrannosaurs (like Albertosaurus). Importantly, the figure really emphasizes the large and impressive snout. Which is also a great move by Safari; their earliest hadrosaurs tended to feature the ones with large and impressive crests (Hypacrosaurus, Parasaurolophus) and had only recently taken a stab at what was then known as a hadrosaur with no head ornament (their first Edmontosaurus, later revised and reissued featuring the newly hypothesized head onrament!). But as far as I know, the overall morphology of Gryposaurus is still relatively close.
The figure is sculpted to be a hefty, muscular animal, giving some real character to this dinosaur; ornithopods are often depicted more as defenseless prey but look at that huge tail! And legs that could run! I am also really impressed by the paint scheme of this model–unlike even some (not all) current Safari releases, there is a lot of really interesting shading of colour on the figure, and lots of detailed paint around the face. One odd thing, I think–the front toes are not painted (and that appears to be intentional). Was the intention to be that the ‘fingers’ were simple fleshy parts? Should they have been detailed more with paint? Perhaps. It is important to note that this was an early figure that actually represents the hand as a combined fleshy hoof-structure (most earlier figures have the fingers separated out). Overall a great hadrosaur model.
Although overall hadrosaurs probably aren’t as popular as, say, scary theropods, or spiky ceratopsians, etc, as dinosaurs they are an absolute must for collections or toy boxes (side note…the paint on this Gryposaurus is kind of weak, and scuffs easily). After all, they are often among the most common fossils in broad fossil sites (which makes ecological sense) so they should be present as toys too! Unfortunately, it appears that this figure was discontinued at some point although I don’t know when exactly. This is too bad, as we know that Safari will still release larger and impressive hadrosaurs (more recently, a Parasaurolophus and Edmontosaurus) so it would be great to see a new take on this and other species as well. I hope you were able to get it when it was widely available though!