Category Archives: mammal

Megachoerus AKA Archaeotherium (Tyco)

Review and photos by Archinto, edited by Suspsy

Here we will be taking a look at a classic rendition of the prehistoric mammal Archaeotherium, as perceived by the Tyco company in 1990 for their awesome Dino-Riders toy line. This particular figure was released for the Ice Age sub-theme (under the subgenus Megachoerus), which also featured a motorized woolly mammoth as well as an articulated Smilodon and Megatherium. Unlike those three, this particular figure was not reproduced for the later Smithsonian line, sadly. These critters all had special Arctic battle armour and each came with a unique articulated Cro-Magnon or Neanderthal figure. Tyco called their Archaeotherium a “Killer Wart Hog,” most likely for marketing purposes to make it sound more tough. And believe me, this beast looks as tough as its nickname! Let’s take a closer look.

img_9428

This is a truly lovely figure. It is articulated at all four legs and the lower jaw and tail move as well. By rolling your thumb on the base of the jaw joint, you can make it snap ferociously! The figure sports a pair of the classic acrylic eyes that Tyco is well known for. They truly give a more lifelike effect to the Archaeotherium, and add to the already excellent detail that the figure possesses. The sculptors took their time on this figure, and it shows beyond a shadow of a doubt.

img_9424

Here you can see the detail that they put into the creature’s face, exhibiting not only skin wrinkles on the lips and snout, but also how the skin blends into the hair seamlessly. The mouth is very detailed, sporting a battery of gnarly teeth and a tongue as well. The bony ridges on the bottom of the jaw, as well as the cheek bones, are very prominent on the figure. They’ve even detailed out the skin wrinkles inside the mouth.

img_9426

The teeth are painted a soft white that’s not bright and glaring like some tooth jobs done on many older dinosaur figures. The face features a reddish colour that blends into the ears and cheeks, then subtly blends into the brown on the rest of the head, flowing into the mane. From here, the darker colours lighten up and blend into tan and a darker speckled pattern in the animal’s fur. The speckling appears on the shoulders and rump of the animal. The dark brown shades in the mane are also painted on his feet and tail tip. A very even balanced colour scheme that looks fairly believable.

img_9423

The sculpting of the body hair is very well done. While it leans more to the chunkier side of hair sculpting, it all flows together wonderfully, especially on the legs and back. The leg musculature is slightly visible, and the joints are all correct and presented as they should be. The hair blends wonderfully to the hooves. The mane on the creature has a very interesting shape to it, and looks to flow as if a breeze is moving through it. Another nice feature is the shape of the tail, which when posed upward, looks a lot like how a modern wild pig’s tail goes up when it runs.

img_9425

As far as accuracy goes, this figure is fairly close, although it does possess some slightly exaggerated features. I would still highly recommend it to any collector who is looking for an exciting Archaeotherium figure for their collection. Even though it has been around since 1990, it still stands as one of the coolest-looking entelodont toys out there. They can be difficult to find, and when they do show up, they aren’t always cheap. Still, there are deals to be had! I find this figure to be incredibly nostalgic, and a joy to handle and play with.

img_9427

Woolly Mammoth (Douglas Cuddle Toys)

Review and photographs by Bryan Divers, edited by Suspsy

Another treasured item in my collection is Cynthia, a unique and truly adorable stuffed woolly mammoth toy by Douglas Cuddle Toys. She is around 8 inches long and stands approximately 5 inches tall.

img_8841
img_8842

First of all, I’d like to say that I think the workmanship on this woolly mammoth is superb. It is so accurate, in fact, that the Chicago Field Museum store carried it for a number of years. It is very similar in shape to the Safari Ltd woolly mammoth figure if you compare the two, despite the obvious difference of one being plastic and the other being a soft toy. The sculpt of the trunk, tusks and head are all very attentive to detail and the back has a nice slope to it. Her eyes have a very endearing expression as well. The ears are small, just like a mammoth’s should be. The fur is also a beautiful reddish-brown colour, which again is very fitting for a woolly mammoth toy. I personally like reddish-brown, henna-haired woolly mammoths, so this piece is one of my favourites.

img_8844
img_8845

Some other nice details that Cynthia has and that are often overlooked in other woolly mammoth stuffed animals are the toenails and the tuft on the end of her tail. I would have to say that this little mammoth makes an excellent companion and is an affordable yet realistic toy for woolly mammoth aficionados of all ages! She is available on Walmart.com, stuffedsafari.com, Amazon, and eBay if you search for “Douglas Mammoth.”

img_8843

Neanderthals (CollectA)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

When I first joined this community, I fell in love with the company known as CollectA due to their abundance of species that no other company had made before. At the time, their models were only starting to become the gems they are today. For me, my favorite year was 2012, when they released a unique slew of new species including their first hominin figures that just so happen to be prehistoric. The CollectA Neanderthals may not be as realistic as the other prehistoric mammals in the line, but since they came out the same year as the well hung Megacerops, I don’t think we can expect a resculpt of this couple any time soon. Back in 2012, Anthony Beeson said that he had the Neanderthals made to stray away from the common media depiction of these people as stupid ape men that say “Ugh.”

img_8691

​In this review I will be reviewing the two Neanderthals in the order in which I acquired them in, which clearly means that I did not buy them at the same time. In fact, the female was given to me for free for some odd reason by Dan’s Dinosaurs(I don’t remember why, but I sure did thank him for it). One of the things that stood out to me most of us about this model is the fact that her mammary glands are exposed for the world to see. Usually, when a company makes toy Neanderthals, they usually create them in winter attire and thus they are fully clothed. This is the first time I have seen any company create a toy for kids that depicts a topless woman. At the time that this model was first revealed, I was shocked to see it, and I wondered if there would be a backlash from some angry parents. Fortunately, no such backlash has happened (though the Mapusaurus released that year was not so lucky, as collectors were annoyed over the final product). After all, there is nothing overly sexualized being displayed with this model, as she is just minding her own business, carrying a club and the skull of an ungulate.

img_8689

In terms of accuracy however, this model is too cartoonish to be taken seriously. The face should be more rounded and I think the nose should be a lot bigger. The club she is carrying is nice, but it is much too akin to the stereotypical depictions of cavemen, and I don’t think that these type of clubs existed. If they wanted to be more accurate, they should have given her a stick and a stone hammer instead. On her neck is a necklace made from claws and rocks, and she has a series of lines painted along her shoulders and around her arms.

img_8693

Moving on to the male, we can see he is a lot more active, holding what appears to be a stone-tipped spear and using it to poke at some unseen animal. This is as far as I know, accurate, as Neanderthals used short-ranged weapons when hunting large game. He too is topless and not in winter attire. The face has the exact same issues as the female, though personally, I think it looks like my mother’s fiance to an extent. He also has a necklace made of what I presume to be bear claws.

img_8690

The colours on these two individuals are your typical human tans, although the male is a lot darker than the female, which I will assume means that he is a hard worker and must get down and dirty with his life as a Neanderthal. One of the things I noticed when examining these figures is that these two lack undergarments. Fortunately, CollectA was wise enough to leave these regions unsculpted.

img_8692

Overall, if you want a good representation of a Neanderthal couple, there are better choices made by other companies. But if you’re a completist for CollectA’s newer mammals, then these will do for now. Otherwise, you can wait another 10 years when they may finally run out of brand new dinosaurs(Editor’s note: not bloody likely!) to release and start remaking their older models that have not stood the test of time.