The famous Pleistocene pachyderm, Woolly Mammoth Mammuthus primigenius, is the one mammal that has been a pillar of toy lines, produced many times by many different companies, and in many poses. In 2009 Papo replaced their dramatic running mammoth, with a peaceful placid version.
Most of the populace knows something about the mammoth, but indulge me for a moment to highlight the important points of the animal. The principle features of the Woolly Mammoth would be the long, shaggy coats, and extra-long tusks. It also had a high single domed head and a sloping back with a high shoulder hump, small ears and tails. Its range was huge, as it populated the northern hemisphere from Europe through Asia, to North America, as it prevailed, and persevered out on the mammoth steppe. With this information in mind let’s take a closer look at the 2009 Papo rendition of the Woolly mammoth and decide if it is a palatable attempt or a pallid and lacking figure?
About the toy: It is it is approx. 22cm (8in) long and 14cm (5.5in) in height. That would place the toy in the 1:20 scale range. The pose has the mammoth ambling along, in no particular hurry, or rush. The head is just a tiny bit tilted down on the right (looking at it straight on) and its eyes have very little life as it stares blankly straight ahead. It has a Long proboscis and it almost touches the ground before turning to the right in the shape of a backwards J. The trunk is well textured showing many fascicle bumps, and lines going all the way down the trunk, along with short texture lines of fur. The tusks start by facing downward, then they spiral to the side and curve up and in. The forehead protrudes and has a high single domed head, which in life would have allowed for larger muscle attachments for chewing and to counter balance the weight of the tusks. Two small ears are present and covered in fur.
The model has its left front and rear foot forward, and the right legs are behind. On the feet, there are five toe nails on the front, and four toe nails on the back. Behind the head on the back, is the typical lump of fat above the shoulders and then, the back slopes downward. From the top of its back and extending down to about the leg joints, you can see the long outer guard hair. This hair protrudes past its belly and hangs low. The shorter hair extends the rest of the way down the legs. On its rump, the short tail is close to the body and covered in hair.
The colorization is basically dark brown, and a standard brown, with some blonde high lights. The inside of the mouth is not painted, but that’s not a problem as you can only see into the mouth if you pick it up, turn it over, and really try to look inside. The tusks are in a standard creamy white, and its eyes are black. Unfortunately, the toes are the same color as the rest of figure.
Scientific Accuracy: You know what; Papo did a really nice job on this front. They even added an interesting touch on the toes. I could not find any evidence if this was true of Woolly Mammoths or not, but just like the Asian Elephant, there are five toe nails on the front feet, and only four on the back.
The only inaccuracy that I truly came up with was the tip of the trunk. The Woolly Mammoth had a long upper finger and a broad lower lobe at the end of its trunk. This model has a more generic two rounded lobes, which is more similar to an African Bush Elephant.
Playability: I would rate this figure as average. The pose is not problematic for playing, but neither does it lend its self to be preferred over another mammoth toy. The figures paint is robust enough for some rough play, and the tusks are soft and bendy.
Overall Appraisal: At first glance this toy figure might seem like a pathetic attempt by Papo, as the style and pose look generic and plain. Even though I think this toy lacks the polish that we are used to from Papo, it is actually a well sculpted and wonderful model. Most people tend to like dynamic and playful figures, but there is nothing wrong with a mammoth just relaxing and taking in the wide vista of the open steppe. There is plenty of detail which is a little obscured by the plain but accurate paint job. There is nothing that makes it special at playtime for kids, but that doesn’t mean kids won’t play with it, quite the contrary, kids do not seemed bothered by a relaxed pose, and enjoy it. If you enjoy mammals and mammoths, I recommend this figure.
You can find the Papo Woolly Mammoth in most online shops including Amazon here.