Safari Ltd

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Safari Ltd
Industry Manufacturing
Founded 1982
Area served
Products Educational animal models
Owner Alexandre Pariente & Christina Pariente

Safari Ltd is an American owned and family operated manufacturer and global distributor of animal figurine toys. Since 1982, these figurines have been hand-painted to educate children and adults around the world. Their mission is to teach the importance of nature and its conservation through the joy of play.

The company provides educational information online in five different languages, ensuring the mission is heard internationally. Their team of Safarians explores the latest wildlife news, paleontology discoveries and conservation efforts in the name of spreading awareness. SafariPedia, the company’s free online encyclopedia, is an extension of this. The educational resource houses information on wild and prehistoric animals, which parents and educators use in tandem with the figurines.[1]

Safari Ltd collections include more than 1,000 products, spanning from the mystical to the historical—dinosaurs, wildlife, dragons and fairies, horses and farm life, reptiles and sea life.[2]


Safari Ltd is an American owned and operated educational figurine manufacturer based out of Miami, FL. Bernard and Rosemarie Rubel’s mission was to help conserve wildlife by raising awareness for endangered species— they founded Safari Ltd on December 21, 1982 with a pair of playing cards they first discovered on a vacation to Munich, Germany in 1979.[3] The deck of cards doubled as an educational tool featuring photographs of endangered animals and some information about them on each. They set out to highlight the wildlife of Florida by going out into nature, photographing native species, and placing them on postcards to be sold in zoological parks and other attractions.

The Rubels would later return to Germany and lay eyes on the educational figurines that led them to develop the museum-quality figurines Safari manufactures today.[4] The overarching mission of the brand has always been to educate children on the importance of preserving of animals and ensuring Safari Ltd figurines embodied the animal’s true likeness—which would become its hallmark, giving children a practical understanding of these animals while engaging in the art of play.

Soon after it grew, the company moved into the prehistoric terrain. Investing and researching heavily into the paleontology community, Safari Ltd secured a key partnership with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.[4] As a result of the partnership and realistic quality of the figurines, Safari was considered a leader in the animal figurine niche.

Presently, Safari Ltd is run by Rubels’ grandson Alexandre Pariente,[5] along with his wife Christina Pariente, are now heading the company. Alexandre has developed an in-house wikisource coined SafariPedia. An interactive way of raising awareness of the natural world, this online hub of wildlife information is available to the public. Parents and educators around the world use it in tandem with Safari Ltd products.


Bernie is Safari Ltd’s mascot and pays homage to founder Bernard Amadeus Rubel.


All figurines are phthalate and lead free, and the company goes through testing to adhere to worldwide testing standards.[6]

A group of sculptors research the animal’s anatomy prior to creating a lifelike model. This model is then sent to the manufacturer for large scale production, and each figurine is hand painted in order to capture the animal's unique and distinctive features. For added accuracy and education, each figurine in inscribed with its name on the belly on the animal (in English). This way a child knows if they are playing with an alligator versus a crocodile recognizing the physical differences in the animals.

The figurines are all hand painted to include accurate details, but no two toys are alike.

The artists choose the colors based on the actual animal in order to ensure authenticity. If the creature is only real within fairy tales and mythical stories, they use imagination to complete the design.


The company is headquartered in Miami Lakes, Florida,[7] selling to a principal market within the United States, but international markets as well. Safari Ltd sells to distributors and retailers around the globe, providing museum-quality figurines to zoos, museums, aquariums, specialty toy stores, gift stores, arts and crafts stores, educational stores and more.

Licensing Agreements[edit]

Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA. Contract with Safari Ltd signed – October 1, 1986- February 13, 2015 Founded in 1896 by Andrew Carnegie, this historic museum holds 22 million specimens exhibiting 10,000 at any given time. It first made history in the year 1899 with the unearthing of Diplodocus Carnegii, and today the Museum maintains the largest collection of Jurassic dinosaurs displayed in the Their Time exhibition. The Carnegie Collection from Safari Ltd and the Carnegie Museum lasted nearly three decades.[8] Additionally, the collection contributed to positioning Safari Ltd as a dinosaur leader in the figurine community.

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, CA. Contract with Safari Ltd signed – December 4, 1990 This public aquarium was founded in 1984 at the site of a former sardine cannery, Cannery Row. Today it is an institution housing 35,000 sea creatures, which represents 550 species on display. Safari Ltd and the Monterey Bay Aquarium signed a contract on December 4, 1990 to create a scaled Sea Life collection designed using the expertise of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s marine biologists and Safari Ltd’s expert sculptors. Together they’ve created a collection of figurines which is updated based on current scientific discovery.[9]


  1. ^ "SafariPedia". SafariPedia. Safari Ltd. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  2. ^ "Safari Ltd". Creative Play Retailer. Creative Play Retailer. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  3. ^ Benitez-Eves, Tina. "The Expedition Continues". gifts and dec. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Talks with Ramona Pariente". Specialty Toys and Gifts. October 2005. 
  5. ^ Lombardi, Nancy. "Catching Up with Ramona Pariente". anb Media. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  6. ^ "Safari offers figures tested for kids 18m+". Baby & Children's Product News. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  7. ^ "Safari Ltd. Moves Headquarters". gifts and dec. Playthings Staff. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "Safari Ltd. Ends Partnership with Carnegie Museum of Natural History". gifts and dec. Playthings Staff. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "edplay March/April 2011 Page 46". Retrieved 2016-03-08.