September 18, 2009
Safari Ltd., as I have mentioned before, is the leading purveyor of high-quality plastic toy animals. Over the last ten years or so, they have produced three different versions of Architeuthis—the legendary Giant Squid.
The first Giant Squid made by Safari was this tiny guy. It was part of a small assortment of similarly-sized marine animals which were available, if I recall, in the mid-90s (although there is no date printed on the figure). This assortment has been out of production for a while, and I think it was part of the Habitat Authentics line. (Although I haven’t been able to dig up any information on it—thanks for NOTHING Internet!)
The figure itself is not as accurate as Safari’s second Giant Squid sculpt (see below). While it is a perfectly lovely squid, generally, its mantle and tentacles are too short to be an Architeuthis (something we’ve seen before).
Safari’s next version of the Giant Squid really hit the mark. The 1998 Monterey Bay Aquarium Giant Squid is approximately 18″ long, and it remains the best Architeuthis replica to date. It retails for $9.99 and is still available from SafariLtd.com.
Here the Giant Squid is locked in combat with Safari’s Monterey Bay Sperm Whale. As you can see, the scale is a little off…despite a few unverified reports from the 19th century, it’s unlikely that they ever get quite this big.
In 2004, the Wild Safari® Sealife Giant Squid was released. This is the same sculpt as the Monterey Bay squid, only scaled down (approximately 10″ long) for the cheaper Wild Safari line. Buy on SafariLtd.com or look for it at Michael’s, A.C. Moore, or the better sort of museum gift shop.
Here are both squids in a side-by-side comparison. Both versions have wires in the long feeding tentacles, making them the most poseable Safari replica.
Learn more about Architeuthis on Tree of Life.
Previously on ISK: Wild Safari Sealife Octopus