Monitor, old version (Safari Ltd - Incredible Creatures)

Started by brontodocus, November 16, 2013, 06:59:41 PM

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This is a walk-around of the older (and sadly, retired) colour version of the current Safari Ltd Incredible Creatures "Emerald Green Monitor". The figure has a different item number (2587-29) than its green successor (2589-29). Total length of both figures is 710 mm if fully stretched out with a snout-vent length of 296 mm. Scale is 1:1 since it is obviously cast from a deceased specimen, albeit most likely a juvenile one instead of an adult of a smaller species (see below).
As I had mentioned on one or two occasions before, the dorsal swimming keel on the figure's tail does not exist in Varanus prasinus, the species probably meant to be represented by the newer colour variant. I've read several people mentioning that it was originally a Nile Monitor, Varanus niloticus. But was it really? First, while obviously not cast from an Emerald Green Monitor, it hasn't been cast from a Nile Monitor (or any other species of the subgenus Polydaedalus) either. The nostrils are far too close to the tip of the snout, Nile Monitors have nostrils that are a little closer to the eye than to the snout tip. So what was it cast from then? My suggestion is that it was cast from a juvenile specimen of the Asian Water Monitor complex, Varanus salvator and its closest relatives (i.e. subgenus Soterosaurus, except for those species with enlarged nuchal scales since the figure doesn't have them). These look superficially similar to Nile Monitors but have their nostrils much more forward. They can even get bigger, V. salvator salvator may reach 3 m total length.
On the other hand the colour pattern, especially that of the neck, looks indeed more like that of a juvenile Nile Monitor (even though some Varanus salvator may look similar, too).
Second, the figure is not stamped "Nile Monitor" but simply "MONITOR" underneath (just like it is the case on the belly of the current "Emerald Green Monitor" which is also stamped "MONITOR"). So, can anybody who has an old catalogue (or the figure's tag) confirm that Safari Ltd officially named this a Nile Monitor? I'll edit the thread title if it is indeed the official name but for the moment I'll stick with the name stamped to the belly.

Apart from that I'm really impressed by the paint job on this figure, even despite numerous paint rubs it still looks good. The last photo shows a side-by-side comparison of both colour versions of the same "sculpt".

Edit 2017-02-07: Fixed broken image urls.


Awesome walk-through Andre! I seriously thought the fifth photo was a live photo of it when in fact it was the replica. I like this paint job better than the current one.


Amazing review of this figure as always  ^-^. I dont think what scheme of color is better for this figure. I think that is very good that we know the colors and old versions of currently figures. I have the evolution of blue sharks of schleich and it is very interesting to see the differences  ^-^.
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The old colour makes a lot more sense than the new one. Still, it's a beautiful sculpt (cast?) no matter how you slice it :)

They came flying from far away, now I'm under their spell....


Many thanks, Kevin, Jetoar, and tyrantqueen! :) Ah, Kevin, I was hoping you might be able to say if it was officially named a "Nile Monitor" since you have so many of Safari's older ones. If anybody here has a catalogue from the late 90s or so and could clarify this it would be greatly appreciated! :)



Quote from: widukind on November 20, 2013, 06:12:20 PM
Beautieful but to huge for me  :)
Yes, admittedly that's a bit of a downside. The figure is easily stowed away because it's so flexible but displaying it properly is harder to achieve.