Today is a good one! The Wild Safari Kaprosuchus from 2011! Originally released in the Wild Safari Dinos & Prehistoric Life series, that whole line has been rechristened ‘Prehistoric World’. I think this may be about the fourth name for their prehistoric models (most of them) but I guess the new one is more succinct (although sounds a lot like a Schleich series or something.) Either way, this is a great figure, product number 300829 and I actually have a bit of history with it!
I recall when this crocodile cousin, and several other usual species, were first published in 2009. It was revelatory, how wide a variety of morphologies and life histories these African crocodyliformes demonstrated. And of course, among them all a real standout was a large, terrestrial predator with giant tusk-like teeth (hence the moniker ‘boar croc’). Even more personal, right at that same time I was working with then-president of Safari, Ramona Pariente, on the species for two toobs–the Prehistoric Sharks and Prehistoric Crocs. The day the paper was released, I contacted her that at the very least this species should replace something in that set. Or needed to be released as large figures. The email response was simple–“Done!” Clearly, she (or someone in development) had seen the paper too! I’m personally happy that they made a larger model, the details would have been lost at toob size.
Overall, Safari did a fantastic job on the figure. The skull is a little high vaulted, but otherwise is pretty decent. The large upper and lower tusks are present, and allowed to be somewhat pointed and sharp–maybe not ideal for the youngest children, but great for collectors. The general sculpt of the figure is clearly modeled on an alligator or crocodile, right down to the broad back scutes and tall, flattened tail. The legs are long and strong, representing the probably terrestrial hunting behaviour of this big croc. The paint scheme is also clearly inspired by modern crocodilians, but still seems suitable from a natural, camouflaged perspective.
As a collectable figure, this is right up there with some of the best from Safari. Other companies have since made the species, but I will always prefer this one, it just has a little more detail and menace in the jaws (and reasonably priced). Fortunately, despite being around for over 10 years it’s still available from Safari and hopefully will be for some time. It’s such a nice model, and still manages to draw attention on a shelf filled with all kinds of other large archosaurs! Definitely make sure to add one to your collection…but given the pointy teeth, maybe don’t let smaller kids play with it just yet!