Review and photos by Nathan ‘Takama’ Morris, edited by amargasaurus cazaui and Suspsy
Last year, Geoworld released their new range of ancient mammals which consist of species that were never once replicated for the prehistoric toy market, This is probably because a lot of these are basically large versions of modern day mammals, and even though they were genetically different, the general public rarely sees them as such.
The mammal I chose to review today is Geoworld’s rendition of a prehistoric bear called Ursus spelaeus. U. spelaeus is more commonly known as the cave bear, and it bared some characteristics that are shared with modern brown bears. The reason it is called a cave bear is because their fossil remains are often found in caves, and it’s thought that they spent more time in them than modern bears, which usually only use caves to hibernate.
Geoworld has gotten a bad rap for their models, because not only do they make Chinasaur-like toys that they claim to be museum quality, but it’s also because they plagiarize many artists(including one of our DTF members) to make both their bio cards and models. As far as I’m aware of, their cave bear seems to be an original piece, but unfortunately, it’s way too flawed to be an museum quality.
At first glance, this model is not too bad for a bear, as it has the right anatomical characteristics, and the proportions seem correct. However, it should be noted that cave bears had a steep forehead, and this model does not seem to have one. The model is sculpted in a standing position with its head turned to the side and its mouth wide open. One of its arms is raised higher than the other and the hands are pointed inwards like a theropod dinosaur’s. The hands and feet seem to be accurate, though the claws are too big and thick.
The color of this figure is nothing special, just a chocolate brown with black on the back, and the claws are painted grey. The teeth have a dingy yellow color, which is something that you would find on a wild animal. The eyes are painted orange, and the tongue is pink.
Overall, this is nothing more than a generic bear figure, and the skull is the only thing they could of altered to distinguish it as a cave bear. In the end, it’s just not accurate. The only thing that shows that this model represents a cave bear, is the fact that the name Ursus spelaeus is printed on the model’s foot. If you still want one of these figures, then you can find it sold in boxes like the Terra models by Battat. At the time of this writeing, the only online source for these models is www.dejankins.com. They have been getting good sales out of these models, meaning that they are proving to be popular.