Review and images by Suspsy; edited by bmathison1972
The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) is one of the largest predatory sharks, with some females growing up to five metres in length and weighing over a ton. It has the widest diet of any known shark; it hunts fish, other sharks, crustaceans, mollusks, sea birds, seals, sea lions, dugongs, dolphins, sea snakes, and sea turtles, the latter being a particular favourite. It also scavenges on floating whale carcasses, and has been known to consume rats, cats, dogs, and any livestock that happens to have ended up in the ocean somehow. And it has accidentally swallowed garbage, tires, baseballs, license plates, and even a full suit of armour on one occasion! The tiger shark is also one of the most dangerous sharks, second only to the great white in terms of fatal attacks on humans. But it must be noted that humans pose a far greater threat to it, and all other sharks.
The 2015 Wild Safari tiger shark is sculpted with its mouth shut and its tail undulating to the right. From nose to tail tip, it measures slightly over 14 cm long and is 6 cm wide at its pectoral fin tips, which makes it relatively small among shark toys. This is kind of a disappointment right off the bat when you consider how huge a female tiger shark can grow, and this figure is definitely a female.
The tiger shark is coloured dark grey on top, fades to medium grey along the sides, and has a light grey underbelly. Its stripes are very dark grey, its eyes are light grey with black pupils, and for some very strange reason, its nostrils and mouth are painted sky blue. I don’t understand that colour choice one bit, but it’s definitely wrong. Similarly, the underbelly ought to be pure or yellowish white and the eyes ought to be entirely black, just like a great white’s. And finally, the stripes are not done correctly. A real adult tiger shark has a great many faded stripes and spots covering its back, whereas this figure has noticeably fewer, more solid stripes.
The sculpting is fairly decent. A row of teeth is barely visible inside the mouth, the snout and nostrils have the correct shape, and the tail is recognizable as that of a tiger shark, although it looks too large in proportion to the body. The first dorsal fin should be a bit shorter and wider and the pectoral fins should be a bit narrower. And finally, all sharks have five to seven gills on each side, but this one only has four on each side. That’s a pretty big anatomical error for any shark toy, but it’s not an uncommon one. The CollectA tiger shark (which I do not own) suffers from the same problem.
By this point, you’ve probably deduced that I am not very fond of this toy, and you’d be correct. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it an outright bad toy, but between the small size, the inaccurate colours, the proportions, and the botched number of gills, I really can’t call it a good one either. Children will undoubtedly enjoy playing with this tiger shark regardless, but I’d sure like to see Safari produce a bigger and better version in the future.