Review and images by Suspsy; edited by bmathison1972
There are more than 350 known species of shark, and while many of them are quite distinctive, others are difficult to tell apart unless you are an expert or an enthusiast. Perhaps that helps explain why there are so many generic shark toys out there. Unlike the previous plush products I have reviewed for the Animal Toy Blog, which were immediately identifiable, the taxonomy of this review’s subject by Rhode Island Novelty (RINCO) is somewhat harder to determine.
I picked up this plush shark at Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium in Las Vegas. It is not as big as some of the other aquariums I have visited in my travels, but it is quite enjoyable and impressive, with crocodiles, sea turtles, piranhas, rays, and an acrylic shark tunnel. I do recommend paying a visit there if you are ever in the city, especially if you have kids in tow.
From nose to tail tip, this shark measures some 53 cm long and is 33 cm wide at the tips of its pectoral fins. The main colours are sky blue and white, which help narrow down our options down to either the blue shark (Prionace glauca) or the longfin mako shark (Isurus paucus). The caudal, pectoral, and dorsal fins certainly resembles the former’s, but the anal and second dorsal fins do not. Moreover, the large, blunt head does not resemble either shark’s. Nevertheless, I’m going to go with the blue shark for this toy’s identity, as that is probably what many people would assume upon seeing it. Oh, and I am pretty sure it is not a great white, as the aquarium gift shop was also selling the exact same plush in grey instead of blue.
The felt teeth lining the jaws are, of course, perfectly safe, but reasonably scary-looking. It also features five stitched gills on each side, which is always good to see in a shark toy. Unlike some of the other plush toys I have reviewed here, this one does not contain any pellets, just stuffing.
While this shark isn’t as high quality as a Folkmanis or Wild Republic product, it is still a reasonably nice plush that any youngster would enjoy playing with.