Welcome to Dragon Week! Why is it Dragon Week, you ask? Because I felt like it! And so, both reviews today will be about our favorite giant, fire-breathing lizards.
Safari Ltd. has a line of dragons – really cool beasts in roughly 6″ scale, which vary from truly traditional beasts to the scorpion-esque Desert Dragon, but they’ve also got mini figures. In this case, we’re looking at both air of Dragons collections – two six-figure sets of mythical dragons! These guys have beena round for a while (I actually got mine in 2008), but you can still find them all over the place. But the thing is, even though these guys are labeled, with their mythical origins literally inscribed on thier wings (next ot the copyright info), it seems that the names were chosen completely at random. None of them appear related to said names. And yet, despite this, they’re a bunch of cool little minis – each about an inch tall, and with some strikingly unique paint jobs. And they are certainly worth a look!
Drake is a generic word for dragon, and thus this one isn’t particularly inaccurate. It’s a nice golden color, too – the metallic paints Safari chose are very bright, and shine wonderfully in direct lighting.
This is not a wyvern. A wvern is a serpentine (same root word as viper) dragon beast with two lgs and two wings, much like a bird or bat. This creature has four legs and four wings. Now, the figure is rather nice, especially because it’s a seldom-seen dragon design, but this is what you should expect.
The idea of Tiamat being a dragon is fairly new – Dungeons & Dragons new, really, with that version being a multi-headed dragon monster. In Sumerian mythology, Tiamat was the gigantic monster whose body was disassembled to create the heavens and the earth. She is described as having udders, which makes you wonder if she was meant to be a giant cow. This figure is unique in that it is all matte-colored, and the detailing doesn’t look like any other dragon in this line.
Repeat after me: The phoenix is not a dragon. The phoenix is not a dragon. The phoenix is not a dragon. And yet… it’s a great phoenix! And a phoenix dragon would be cool, wouldn’t it? But anyway, nearly every culture has some sort of firebird, with the Phoenix being the most prominent, and also a symbol of rebirth. This little guy’s vertical design makes him seem almost like a heraldric insignia brought to life, and it’s the odd touches like this that make the dragons in this line so visually interesting.
In Greek mythology, ladon was the serpentine viper dragon who guarded the Golden Apples of the Hesperides. It coiled around the tree, making it an interesting parallel to another serpent who had to do with another magical fruit-bearing tree. Note that this dragon is absolutely nothing like a serpent in any way.
I’m a sucker for unique paint on toys, and metallic purple, especially in this brilliant shade, is certainly unique! Galeru is from Aboriginal Australian mythology, and is a rainbow-colored serpent who, much like Ourobouros, represents the continuation of life on earth. This figure is a purple horse-dragon.
This figure’s copper coloration is amazing. When direct light shines on it, it almost glows. It’s honestly my favorite in the line just because of paint. But… Rahu, from India, is a disembodied serpent head who travels trough the sky and swallows the sun, causing eclipses. So again, there really is no relation in design. But Rahu is gorgeous, like the shiniest penny ever.
O-Goncho, labeled “Goncho” on the toy, is a Japanese dragon who lives in a large lake near Kyoto. Every fifty years, he transforms into a bird and cries out, which causes famine. Although this figure has nothing to do with a Japanese dragon or a bird, its coloration is almost white, and O-Goncho is a white dragon, so I guess that’s accurate.
The Sirrush, more properly known as Mushussu, is an ancient Assyrian dragon with a serpentine body and some canine features. But really, I can’t complain about getting a four-winged triceratops birdosaur. I really can’t. This is the most bizarre dragon ever, and I love ‘im to pieces!
Peluda is a French dragon, an ancient creature that survived Noah’s Flood. It is massive beast, looking like a mixture between snake and turtle, and covered in venomous green quills, which it can fling at its enemies. Have you noticed any inaccuracies with the toy?
Scylla, a former nymph, was a monstrous creature in Greek mythology – she ad four sea serpent heads, twelve tentacles, and a ring of wold heads around her waist. She remained fused to a rock, and devoured passing ships. This figure is a generic Leviathan-esque sea monster.
Safari wanted to do a generic warrior dragon. This guy isn’t from any legend.
Well, there you go! If you want mythological accuracy… no. But these dragons look really pretty, and their names are a gateway for kids to learn more! I’ve got to say, they are a great dozen little minis, and their colors – especially on figures like Rahu – are fantastic. So, sardonic jokes aide, they really are great little dragons.