Vault Tales 117 Safari Ltd Nigersaurus

Today’s post is about the Safari Ltd. Nigersaurus from what is now their Prehistoric World line, item number 286329–but at the time was referred to as the Dinos & Prehistoric Life collection. The name of the series has changed several times, but the overall them remained, it was Safari’s lower-cost dinosaurs line, alongside their high end Carnegie line. Except at some point–around when figures like the Nigersaurus came out, the Safari models were often on par with the the best of the Carnegie ones (in my opinion) and definitely had a broader scope.

It was always exciting to find out what new dinosaur/prehistoric animal species were being discovered and announced , and it was almost as exciting when collectors would try to figure out who would make them first! For this dino, it wasn’t until newer material was announced, popularizing the ‘vacuum-cleaner head; within a couple of years both Safari and CollectA had their versions out–no waiting this time!

This one came out while I was at the dinosaur museum, so it was a given that these would be brought in. I would have chased it down anyway, since I always like to get the unusual and novel animals on my shelves! And until recently, when it came to sauropods they didn’t seem (to me) all that variable; recent years have brought forth all kinds of discoveries of different shapes and morphologies, but many of the figures available were the big 3–Apatasaurus, Btachiosaurus, Diplodocus–or seemingly variants thereof (I know that sauropod fans are very unhappy I don’t have comments on here right now…I’m generalizing, promise). So a freaky one like Nigersaurus was pretty refreshing.

To my eye, Safari captured the look of Nigersaurus really well. It has that weird, short and flat snout on a short neck, and the stocky body we see in the skeleton. The tail is longer, and the tapering whip is a nice touch, give the appearance of it ‘switching’ its tail while grazing, reminiscent of the ‘Cretaceous cow’ nickname it also received. I think the feet are…not quite right. There are many people better with this than I, but I believe that sauropod feet are really unusual, based on track and the skeletons, but a lot of figures until recently aren’t great at demonstrating that. On my shelf, though, I can’t tell. The figure is also relatively small, about 30cm long; this gives a scale of 1:30. It’s therefore a little big for the average collection where 1:40 seems to be the goal for many dinos (I personally don’t worry about it).

So that’s a crazy and cool Safari sauropod figure. Sadly, it, like all good things, came to an end, and was discontinued a couple of years ago. I’d be willing to guess that there are still many out there, even with retailers. If not, it’s probably not too expensive on the secondary market just yet. But if you need one of these weird dinosaurs on the shelf, I would recommend it. It will be worth tracking down.