Back with another Run the Set! This time I’m going to go over the entire Safari Treess toob, set 684304. I talked about one of the figures…or two of them, because of different colours, about a year ago, the maple trees. There isn’t a whole lot to add to that post, honestly. They’re trees! They…stand there (as toys).
The set has been around since 2008, and I don’t think has gone through much revision. Admittedly, I haven’t really looked much. I have a few sets (minus one broken Sequoia) but they’re all from the same time frame. It adds a bit of taxonomic diversity to the collection, but they’re mostly about scene building.
As I mentioned in the discussion of the maple trees, these figures are not on the shelves. I suppose if I had space they might add a bit of vibrancy to the displays or something, but honestly those shelves tend to be crowded enough as it is. So they are in a bin, although they see frequent use in games that the kids play. Their scale is hard to fit of course, but they work fine with toy soldiers or dragons or whatever else they are doing! And as seen in the photos, they work best to highlight figures in scenes anyway. Even though the scales tend to be way off! I ran the numbers using rough height estimates and they vary from 1:3000 (the Sequoia, of course) to 1:300 or so (the petticoat palm) and all over in between.
I know I am keeping this one short–I mean, they’re nice as trees but I’m limited in what I can say. The sculpts are overall uninspiring–the leaves by and large are presented as textured blobs, and there is very little in the way of shading or highlighting in the paint. Plus, the diversity is…kind of dull. Given the range of animals that Safari made, they could likely have reached out a little further than what amounts to basic holarctic trees plus a palm and monkey puzzle. Give us Baobabs and Acacia and Mangroves or Eucalyptus or something (they’d all work with the various minis Safari makes, for example)! To say nothing of a few more ‘prehistoric’ trees (yeah, the monkey puzzle and sequoia kind of fit there) or tree-size plants (at least they did a few larger ones for a while). Maybe someday. But if you need trees for projects, this set is a good, easily available start. And since most are fairly generic they can be pretty much what you want.