Reviews and photographs by Suspsy; edited by bmathison1972
Parrots are found across the globe in a wide variety of sizes and vivid colours, but the ones people tend to think of the most are the macaws of South America. Not only are they arguably the most beautiful members of their family, they have also gained a reputation as the faithful talking pets of pirates and sailors and sorcerers in film and literature. A prime example is the green-winged macaw (also known as a red-and-green macaw, Ara chloropterus), the second largest member of its family.
Safari Ltd. released a green-winged macaw as part of their Wings of the World in 2006. It is sculpted in a horizontal stance with its long tail held off the ground and its wings open and bent back, as though it either just landed or is about to take to the air. This makes it 11 cm long and 9 cm wide (for a scale of 1:8.4, on average). I like this pose because it works well for display purposes (I don’t much like bird or pterosaur figures that simply rest on their bellies) while also allowing for imaginative play (i.e. swooshing the macaw about in the air).
The main colours are vivid bright red and blue with dark green upper-wing covert feathers, dark red tail feathers, and grey feet with black claws. The featherless part of the head is white with dull gold eyes, black nostrils, a cream and black beak, and a light pink mouth. All that’s missing are the tiny red lines formed by feathers on the white patches, but those would have been difficult to replicate on a toy this small. Needless to say, this is one of the most brightly-coloured animals in the entire Safari line.
The macaw’s plumage has been painstakingly sculpted to look accurate and realistic, and all the proportions appear to be correct. The digits on the feet are correctly arranged in zygodactyly where two are facing forward and two are facing back. This feature is typical in parrots, woodpeckers, and other birds that regularly climb tree trunks. And, of course, this toy features a huge, curved beak, perfect for crushing hard nuts and fruits.
Overall, the Safari green-winged macaw is an attractive addition to anybody’s avian assortment. This mould was also used to create a blue-and-yellow macaw the following year that looks just as pretty.