Category Archives: Mojö Fun

Quagga (Mojo Fun)

The quagga (Equus quagga quagga) was a South African subspecies of zebra, immediately recognizable by its unique stripe pattern. During the 19th century, it was hunted relentlessly for its skin and meat, and to eliminate it as competition for domestic animals. Last minute attempts to preserve the species failed and the last known individual died in captivity in 1883. An effort is currently underway to selectively breed Burchell’s zebras with reduced stripes, but they will never be the same as the original quagga.

Mojo Fun’s 2013 take on the quagga measures 10 cm long and stands slightly under 9 cm tall. Its colour scheme is in keeping with what we know of the animal’s appearance: brown for the upper portion of the most, white for the underbelly, legs, and tail, and very pale beige for the stripes and main. Black is used for the muzzle, eyes, and hooves.

This individual, which is clearly a male, is standing tall and proud with its right hind hoof pawing at the ground. The tail is moulded to the left hind leg, which I find somewhat unfortunate, but not disastrous. As far as accuracy goes, this is a perfectly good rendition. Aside from its colours, the quagga’s anatomy was virtually identical to that of the still-extant Burchell’s zebra, to the point where telling their skeletons apart is said to be impossible.

Sculpting on this quagga is decent. The musculature is well-defined, the hide has a pitted texture to simulate fur, and the hairs on the mane and tail are done well enough. Overall though, it’s safe to say that this equid isn’t sculpted nearly as beautifully as the ones from CollectA or Schleich.

Like most recently extinct animals, the quagga is seldom depicted in toy form, so I’m very grateful to Mojo Fun for producing this one. I wish I could say that we as a race have learned something from its extinction, but I fear that is just wishful thinking. 🙁

Tylosaurus (Mojo Fun)

Very occasionally, the fossil record allows us a fascinating glimpse into interactions between various extinct animals. Take the “Talkeetna Mountains Hadrosaur” for example. Discovered in Alaska in 1994, it is a juvenile specimen that washed out to sea after its death and eventually sank to the bottom to become fossilized. Preserved toothmarks on the bones suggest that the corpse was scavenged upon by a mosasaur, probably Tylosaurus proriger.

Today’s review will focus on Mojo Fun’s 2010 interpretation of that famous and fearsome mosasaur. As you can see, it’s sculpted with its long tail swinging sharply to the left. This gives the toy a length of around 16 cm. Main colours are dark and light olive green with black eyes, white teeth, and a pale mouth interior with a purple tongue. And for some strange reason, Mojo opted to add a series of medium green and pale pink spots on the flanks, and rather sloppily at that. Needless to say, the toy would have looked much better without them.

The Tylosaurus‘ skin has a fine crisscrossing wrinkle texture all over. The head has the proper conical shape of a mosasaur, although it looks slightly too thick for Tylosaurus and the teeth are too small. The tongue, however, has a forked tip, which is a definite plus. And the tail features a fluke at the end. Granted, it’s more eel-like than shark-like, but it still looks good.

And now let’s address the two elephants in the room. First, as you can see from the comparison photo, the Mojo Tylosaurus bears a very suspicious resemblance to the version from CollectA. I’m generally cautious about tossing around accusations of plagiarism, but in this case, it may well be justified. And second, like its CollectA doppelganger, this Tylosaurus is missing its nostrils. Lame.

Overall, the Mojo Tylosaurus is an okay toy at best. Not the worst rendition I’ve come across, but far from the cream of the crop. Kids will no doubt enjoy playing with it though.

Deinotherium (Mojo Fun)

The name Deinotherium means “terrible beast,” and this powerful pachyderm must have seemed like one to our early hominid ancestors who lived alongside it in Africa during the Pleistocene epoch. Standing around 4 metres tall and weighing anywhere from 10 to 13 tons, it was possibly the third largest proboscidean of all time after the 24-ton Asian straight-tusked elephant Palaeoloxodon namadicus (the largest land mammal of all time!) and the 15-ton mastodon Mammut borsoni.

Mojo released this Deinotherium toy in 2013. Appropriately, it’s a massive mound of solid plastic that stands 11 cm tall at the shoulder and measures 18 cm long. This is another figure you certainly wouldn’t want falling off the shelf and hitting you on the head. Such a painful incident is unlikely though, as it stands very firmly on its pillar-like legs. Indeed, the casual walking pose gives this animal a calm, confidant air. It knows full well that it’s the biggest and strongest thing in its environment, and that any would-be predator who tries something is only going to end up either fleeing or flattened.

The Deinotherium‘s colour scheme is based on that of a modern African elephant: taupe grey with faint patches of dusty brown, black eyes, toenails, and tail tuft, and white tusks with airbrushed rust near the roots. The hide is also sculpted like an elephant’s, with thick folds and wrinkles covering huge muscles. It’s not as intricate as the sculpting on the CollectA version, but it works. Oh, and looking at this individual’s underside, it appears to be a female, which is pretty rare among prehistoric mammal toys!

In addition to its sheer bulk, this toy displays the other characteristic features of Deinotherium: curved tusks extending from the lower jaw, small ears, and a large but relatively short trunk. It’s unknown just how precisely this animal employed its tusks; they may have been used to strip bark from trees or pull down branches to reach leaves. They also would have been dangerous weapons in battles between rival males. The length of the trunk is another matter of ongoing speculation. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I do prefer the longer trunk on the CollectA version. I think it would’ve made it easier for an animal as tall as a double-decker bus to take a drink. Or you can pretend that the Mojo version represents D. giganteum while the CollectA represents D. proavum, which may have had a longer trunk, as depicted in the National Geographic link in the intro.

Say what you will about Mojo Fun’s dinosaurs, but their prehistoric mammals have been pretty darned swell. This Deinotherium is well-sculpted, accurate, looks very naturalistic, and is certainly big enough to appear imposing among your other toys. And it bears repeating: it’s great that it’s a female instead of yet another male. Overall, an excellent toy!