When the day began, white flakes hurried down from the grey sky. The snow fell in a horizontal blur and all that could be heard was the mournful cry of the wind. Suddenly, through the gusts and eddies of dancing snow, a dark illusion appears. In this veil of snow a dark shape approaches. Shuffling through the packed ice and snow below, a magnificent Woolly Mammoth appears, towering over me with its ivory tusks leading the way. The tusks are low, clearing away the frost, when suddenly she pauses to consider what is near. She stands her ground; her head raised high, when she bellows into the sky. The frozen tundra is hers, not mine, and I stand among the falling snow, wondering where I can hide. In the distance over the howling wind, I hear the sounds of trumpets, as her family calls. Instead of coming nearer, she turns and walks away. Her shaggy coat is swinging to and fro, and disappears back into swirling snow and answers the call of herd.
Since the Woolly Mammoth is a quintessential image of the Ice Age, I decided to forgo the typical background information and just start this review with a visual to get our imagination going. The Schleich Woolly Mammoth is quite an interesting sculpt of Mammuthus primigenius, so with no further ado, let’s take a closer look at it.
About the Toy: The Schleich Woolly Mammoth is smaller than the Papo or Carnegie version, but it is still a good size. The toy is 5in (12.7cm) tall at the hump, and 7in (17.7cm) long from tusk to back foot. The pose looks like it is hunched over shuffling through the snow. The head is a little lower and the curled tusks are close to the ground. The trunk is in the shape of the letter J and almost touches the ground. It looks like it is moving snow off the ground for vegetation to eat. There is a mouth hiding under the trunk; it is a small hole with a painted tongue. The tip of trunk looks somewhat correct. There should be one long finger and flat lower end. The broad, flat lower end is there, and there appears to be a little finger on top, but it’s not well defined.
The eyes and ears are small, and it has a huge mop of fur on its head. A massive hump on its back is over the front legs. The back slopes sharply to its hind quarters and ends in a small tail. The feet have five toes on the front and five on the back. It is thought that it would only have four nails on the hind feet, instead of the five that are shown.
This is one of the shaggiest Woolly Mammoth toys that I have seen. This toy is ready for the full fury of winter out on the steppe. The trunk has fur texture all the way down its length. Around the eyes and tusks is shorter fur, while on its head the fur is longer. The long woolly guard hair goes down the entire length of the body. Its coat is unkempt and hanging matted together off the flanks. All the way down the legs is more long wild hair.
The paint job is your typical browns and blacks. The top of the toy is black that highlights down some of the upper guard fur. The eyes are black and the tongue in the mouth is pink. The tusks are a whitish tan, which is dark brown near the face.
Playability: As a toy I would rate this figure as average. The pose isn’t a very active one, but that doesn’t dishearten kids from playing with it. It has some of that Eeyore (from Winnie the Pooh) charm. It looks kind of depressed, just shuffling along, you can almost hear it saying in a depressed Eeyore voice, “Thanks for noticin’ me”. It is completely playable and it is safe, The tusks are bendy and not sharp. The paint job does hold up to normal playtime vigor.
Overall: I think it is a fair representative of the species. It is one of the shaggiest sculpts that I have seen, so it makes it unique among the different mammoth toys that are out there. There are some minor scientific issues, but they are barely noticeable. The level of detail is ok, but not spectacular. I do recommend this figure to those who like mammoths, educators, and diorama makers. You can purchase this figure by itself, or in a multiple gift packs.