Film & Television Series Photography Toys & Collectibles

Rumble in the Jungle: A Safari Photo Fantasy

king kong, safari good luck minis
SkeletonPete’s Photo Fantasy: Sarfari Ltd Good Luck Minis Prepare for a Rumble in the Jungle to Honor King Kong’s 80th Anniversary
The original 1933 King Kong – toys and miniatures – close-up photography. These are a few of my favorite things, and a bit of serendipity helped me mash them all up all into this one image.

Let Me Explain…
In the process of preparing continuing coverage of the 2013 American International Toy Fair I opened the little bag of goodies Safari Ltd offered to press folks reporting on their product line. Low and behold out fell a Tyrannosaurus Rex and great little gorilla, both part of Safari’s Good Luck Minis collection.

Since this coming weekend marks the 80th anniversary of RKO’s King Kong, I thought I’d have some photographic fun with the two Minis and a Polaroid close-up lens kit I purchased recently. I wanted to see how far I could push these simple screw-on adapters before shelling out for a “real” macro lens. I’ve also been contemplating what my first posting to Flicker’s Toy Photographers Group might be and this seemed a perfect opportunity to create a table-top tableau mimicking the thrilling battle between Kong and the T-Rex.

What It Is…
Using mostly household items, I did my best to recreate the mise en scene of Gustave Dore’s etchings which inspired the art direction of Kong 33’s Skull Island.

Along with the two Safari LTD. miniatures – which measure 7/8’s of an inch tall – there are brown and green bath towels as the foreground, plastic Christmas flowers that didn’t get stored away yet as the canopy, and a few slate drink coasters are the middle ground. A small acrylic painting of the Sedona, Arizona landscape I did twenty years ago is the distant background and some twigs from my front yard complete the effect. A frosted glass candle holder and a clear plastic bag were used to modify the output of a battery powered 126 LED light source.

Shot on a Nikon D300 with 50mm lens and +2 close-up adapter. I think the super-shallow depth of field produced by the adapter helps convey the look of an other worldly jungle. Aside from a slight crop the image is posted as shot, there’s no Photoshop post production.

Calling All Scream Queens…
Along with other “Kong-o-philes”, I’ll be celebrating the king’s birthday at NYC’s Film Forum screening this Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 11AM. The event includes a Fay Wray “scream-a-like” contest which should be a highlight.

What’s Up Doc…
Also see my recent post about Altus Press’s soon to be released pulpy pairing of Doc Savage and King Kong on Skull Island.

Toys & Collectibles

Surfing Safari LTD’s Replicas @ Toy Fair 2012

Special Edition Hydra Joins the Mythical Realms Series

I’ve been a fan and casual collector of molded dinosaur figures since the first Louis Marx blister pack I received on my 5th birthday; don’t ask how long ago. Since then I’ve always kept an interested eye on how the market evolved. From cereal box premiums to 99 Cent Store knock-offs, dinosaurs never go out of style. Safari Ltd. first caught my attention with their line of Carnegie Museum of Natural History licensed dinosaurs back in the late 1980’s. The quality of these paleontologist approved replicas has made them collectors’ favorites. Since then the line has expanded to encompass nearly every kind of creature real or imagined in sizes ranging from “Good Luck Mini’s” (I love the tiny pink flamingoes) through jumbo replicas.

Toy Fair 2012 offered me the opportunity to meet the fine folks of Safari Ltd. again and once again they were kind enough to allow me to roam “free range” around their spectacular booth space and photograph at will. I could have easily spent the whole day perusing the company’s replicas but managed to focus my attention and camera mostly on new additions to the product line.

The Special Edition Hydra (featured above) broadens the selection of Mythical Realms characters which already includes an awesome Cyclops, Gorgon Medusa, Griffin and Chimera. A Swamp Dragon and Dragon Hatchlings bursting from their egg, as well as a massive Carnegie Brachiosaur are all in the offing for 2012. I also love the Trilobite and “Toobs” line of fossil dinosaur and prehistoric mammal skulls.

You can also see my 2011 Toy Fair coverage for photos of other great Safari Ltd. products here.
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SkeletonPete Says Toys & Collectibles

Safari LTD. Collectible Fantasy Figures

It was a pleasure to meet the nice folks from Safari LTD at Toy Fair 2011. They kindly gave us free reign to photograph the gorgeous dioramas highlighting their products.

Anyone who has visited a museum gift shop is already familiar with Safari LTD’s expansive line of collectible wildlife and dinosaur figures. They are noted for their detailed sculpture and beautiful hand painted finishes. In addition to the array of scientifically accurate animals Safari LTD. has begun to add a wonderful group of fanciful and mythological characters to their product line.

Under the groupings Mythical Realms, Fairy Fantasies, Once Upon A Time, Days of Old the company offers collectors (young and young at heart) an amazing array of choices. I’m particularly fond of the selection of Dragons, love the mini’s found in the company’s Toobs canisters, and I quickly became a fan of the Cyclops, Medusa and Minotaur on display at the fair.

Check out Piercing Metal’s Toy Fair 2011 Coverage here.

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