There’s a vast array mammoth models out there in the world of prehistoric animal figures but they rarely get much attention here on the Dinosaur Toy Blog. That is, of course, because they are just boring old mammals, but let’s not hold this against them, they can’t help it. So, it had to happen eventually – I’m finally reviewing a mammal!
There are all sorts of different mammoth species (belonging to the genus Mammuthus) and many of them also have common names. For example, there’s the Steppe mammoth (M. trogontherii), the Columbian mammoth (M. columbi), and everyone has heard of the woolly mammoth (M. primigenius). It is this latter species that Safari Ltd chose to immortalise in plastic form as part of their extensive and ever-growing Carnegie Collection range. The figure was released in 2003 so it was quite a late addition to the museum line, especially considering the ubiquitous nature of the creature. The name of the animal is embossed on the inside of the left forelimb and reads simply ‘MAMMOTH’, but all of the other branding for the toy refers to the model as a woolly mammoth, so we are going with that.
This is a satisfyingly hefty figure, 14 cm high and 20 cm long (1:30 scale). It therefore rivals the size of most of the dinosaurs in the same collection, including some of the smaller sauropods.
The woolly mammoth was covered from head to toe, and from trunk to tail, in hair (or wool, I suppose), and the body of the Carnegie figure is masterfully sculptured with a shaggy-looking texture. This wavy hair hangs down from the midline in a natural way, and is expanded into a puffy hump above the shoulders, and a flat-topped dome atop the head – a distinctive characteristic of this species. The underside of the trunk is flat and smooth, presumably to assist its function as a manipulating appendage. The relatively small ears jut out from the body in a somewhat comical way, but this cuteness is counteracted by the sweeping and dangerous-looking coiled tusks. In my figure the tusks are slightly asymmetrical and distorted, but this does not detract in any way.
We have the preserved hair of woolly mammoths so we know they were brown, as is this figure. The eyebrow ridges are picked out in a slightly lighter tone, which gives the animal a mature, distinguished, almost wise appearance. There are no inaccuracies to speak of – mammals tend to have it good in prehistoric animal toy land. The tusks are a pale colour that I’d describe as…ivory.
There aren’t many mammals in the Carnegie collection, the only others are a pair of Australopithecus hominids, and a Smilodon, all of which are now retired. This is probably because Safari Ltd have had several other lines of which prehistoric mammals have played a significant part (Wild Safari; Missing Links). Now that Missing links line is retired, perhaps there’s justification for adding more prehistoric mammals, or other Cenozoic creatures, to the Carnegie Collection?
To conclude, this is a great figure of a woolly mammoth and, although I’m more of a reptile enthusiast myself, I highly recommend it. It is still in production and therefore easy to get your hands on. It is available, for example, from Amazon.com here.