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Glow-in-the-Dark Dragons Designer TOOB

Safari Ltd.
by yo go re

We've already looked at Safari Ltd.'s Dragons and Prehistoric World lines, but the product of theirs you're most likely to have noticed are the TOOBS.

Carried at lots of different stores (even unusual Market Six outlets like Michael's or Jo-Ann Fabric), each TOOB is a clear PVC... cylinder... with a thick braided rope at the top serving as a handle. Inside are a handful of small figures in some kind of related theme: Christmas ornaments, Cryptids, sea animal babies, butterflies... or in this case, glow-in-the-dark dragons.

Due to the magic of an overly confident wizard (long since devoured), these dragons can now glow in the dark! These ancient beasts will light up the night sky. Will you try to strike a peace with this pack of dragons, or send these scourges to their makers?

This set includes six dragons: a Forest Dragon, Ice Dragon, Midnight Moon Dragon, Golden Dragon, Cloud Dragon and Chinese Horned Dragon. Five of those six are also available in the Dragons Designer TOOB, fully painted, but these glow in the dark, so they win. Let's review them in the order they fell out of the tube.

First we have Draco silvestris. The forest dragon is one of the most popular and well-established of all dragon species. Old-growth forests are their preferred home, but they’ve adapted to rainforests and younger, scrubbier woodlands as well. The forest dragon shows off many of the classic dragon features, with sharp teeth, long claws, armored scales, powerful wings, and a long tail. It's posed with three feet on the ground, and its front right foor raised slightly. Its wings are held up, parallel to one another.

Draco glacies, the ice dragon, resides in the forbidding lands of the Arctic Circle. Because of its remote home, it has seldom been seen by humans. Instead of breathing fire, it can freeze its foes with a blast of super-cooled air before soaring off into the clear sky. With four sharp claws on each foot, the ice dragon is sure footed even among the frozen lands it calls home. Its thin wings allow it to float effortlessly in cold air.Its pose is similar to the forest dragon's, but its tail is longer and thicker, its head is larger and has a pointed snout. A very horizontal mold, this dragon has its mouth pointing down, perhaps threatening some prey between its front feet.

The midnight moon dragon, Draco lunam, is one of the elusive dark dragons, a seldom-seen class that prowls only after sunset. Gotta suck for this one to be all glowy, huh? Midnight moon dragons most resemble mountain dragons, with their massive wingspans, low bodies, and long necks. A low-slung body keeps this midnight prowler near the ground, hiding its shimmering underbelly. When hiding in a hoard of gold, midnight moon dragons leave just their golden horns and claws exposed, a warning to any observant enough to notice. Fittingly, the toy is very low and slinky, with spikes on its tail and neck, and its wings are held horizontally. It's alone among the dragons in this set in having four eyes, rather than just two.

The Golden Dragon is a rare horned Chinese dragon with wings. The wings are an adaptation for highland living, unique to Golden Dragons, a sub-species of Chinese Dragon. Golden Dragons live in the mountains of eastern and central Asia, where their wings enable them to travel easily. The most compelling characteristic of the Golden Dragon is its color, of course, but that doesn't matter here, so he shows off fine details, such as closely knit scales, large horns, and a fabulous crest. The horns are hard to spot at first, thanks to the "this is all one color"-ness of the toy, but they are here. His tail ends in a devilish arrow point.

Cloud dragons are perfectly adapted to their sky-high surroundings. Their normal color blends with the storm clouds they call home (not here, obviously), while an impossibly light wing structure allows them to float for hours on air currents. Draco nubes holds his head high, but is posed squatting with his stomach on the ground. His wings are out to the side but curved, like he's using them to shield something from the rain.

Finally we have Draconis occidentalis, the horned Chinese dragon. Chinese dragons are seen quite differently than their western counterparts. They are more often symbols of luck and good fortune than devastation and fear. They are typically lithe and long, more closely resembling a serpent than a dinosaur. This one has the wavy body we've come to expect from being culturally illiterate outside of restaurant and menu decorations, and a little bit of a beard hanging off the end of his long snout. And of course, no wings, because that's not how they roll.

All those dragons are available in full size, and have their own little stories and info available on Safari Ltd.'s website, but getting a... flock? A swarm? What is the collective noun for a bunch of dragons? [A hoard? --ed.] Whatever, getting six little glowy ones at one shot is great. We got these for free to review, but considering how many places carry TOOBS, you should have no trouble finding one of your own.

-- 07/08/17

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