Category Archives: Wild Republic

Woolly Mammoth (Mini Cuddlekin by Wild Republic)

Review and photo by Bryan Divers, edited by Suspsy

Meet Ellie, the favourite of favourites in my whole dinosaur collection! I was so inspired by her that I even draw a cartoon called “Skinny and Ellie,” featuring a caricature of her. Ellie is a Wild Republic woolly mammoth, also known as a Cuddlekin. But she is also part of the Mini Cuddlekin family; being only eight inches long and about five inches tall, making her perfect for travel.

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The pattern of her fur is also beautiful, with a soft, reddish-brown, felt-like material composing her face, trunk, mouth, legs, rump, and tail. It is very possible that mammoths’ hair was shorter in these areas.

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Ellie’s cranium tuft and the areas around her hump, shoulders, and stomach are made of longer, dark-brown plush. Mammoths had longer hair on the top of their heads and on their bodies, so that is also nicely accurate. Other nice details are the black nostrils stitched in her pink trunk tip and her open mouth, also made of the same pink material. Black hairs crown the tip of her tail as well. I also really admire that the white tusks grow out of brown tusk sockets attached to the sides of her face, rather than just being stitched directly to her face. This detail is overlooked in a number of stuffed woolly mammoths and elephants.

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Ellie is, without any doubt, a five star toy in my mind. She is beautifully artistic in her construction and as appropriate for any mammoth-loving child as for an adult mammoth lover who likes to travel with a little friend, like me. She is easy to find in museum gift shops or online at Stuffedsafari.com, Amazon, or eBay, where I got mine.

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Woolly Mammoth (Cuddlekins by Wild Republic)

One of the minor perks of being a parent is being able to buy your children things that you want but cannot justify buying for yourself. Such is the case with this cute little plush we’re looking at today. I don’t personally collect plush toys but I appreciate a lot of the nicer made ones and those that do an above-average job of representing prehistoric animals in particular. So when I found this mammoth at my local grocery store I knew that my daughter had to have it. As soft and cute as it is she’s kind of blasé about it, but she’s only 16 months old (she’ll grow into it). I, on the other hand, quite like it so I’m introducing it to you folks here on the Dinosaur Toy Blog.

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Once again the woolly mammoth proves its popularity by being represented not once by Wild Republic but three times! That’s right. Wild Republic has produced three of these pachyderms, all of which are identical aside from their size.  For those that really want to spoil their kids there is a $60 mammoth measuring 30”. The one I bought is the 12” version and there also exists an 8” version. Among the prehistoric lineup offered by Wild Republic there’s also a fairly nice Smilodon and a few generic looking dinosaurs representing the classic genera.

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This plush mammoth checks off all of the classic mammoth attributes; the humped shoulders, tall cranium complete with a patch of hair, long curved tusks, small ears, and a brown shaggy coat. Interestingly, the shaggy portions only cover the shoulders and belly which makes the body of this toy resemble an American bison more than a woolly mammoth once you get past the head.

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The inside of the feet are filled with small plastic pellets which make the feet and legs stiff and heavy, this means that the toy does a reasonable job of standing upright. The trunk is curved upwards with a pink tip around the nostrils; the open mouth is also pink. The tusks are stiff and made with a felt-like material and a small tail is attached to the rear with a black tuft of fur. The eyes are simple black beads inset into the fur. The toy seems well constructed and durable; the seams on this guy shouldn’t break open anytime soon. The toy is incredibly soft, so much so that even an adult might feel compelled to snuggle with it.

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For those that collect plush toys, mammoths, or have a small person in their lives I would recommend this Wild Republic woolly mammoth. However, there is another plush mammoth out there by Hansa that is a much more life-like toy that would serve as a better display piece. That said this one appears to be an easier to find and more affordable toy.

Baryonyx (Dinosauria by Wild Republic)

Wild Republic (or K&M International) have collaborated with the Natural History Museum in London to release a line of small, cheap plastic dinosaur toys with the tagline “When dinosaurs ruled the earth”, which I feel could do with an exclamation mark – mainly because it reminds me of a cheesy old Hammer flick (there was also a little tribute in…that movie). The set includes the famous British spinosaur Baryonyx, which I’m looking at today.

No doubt you’ve already noticed the fish and thought to yourself “Aha – the use of a fish as a prop to lean on is highly reminiscent of the superior Invicta Baryonyx, as reviewed by Marc a few months back! I’m feeling quite hungry actually – time for a packet of crisps.” It does make one wonder if the sculptor was paying tribute to the Invicta model, as no other Baryonyx toys (most of which are hideous) come with a seafood dinner. Homage or not it’s a nice touch, and saves the toy from relying on its tail for support. The angle of the fish implies that the dinosaur is scooping it up from the ground.

As you might have already noticed, this isn’t the finest, most anatomically accurate sculpt of a Baryonyx ever produced. However, while I probably shouldn’t be excusing the flaws of a toy on the grounds that it’s cheap, this really is very cheap indeed – I bought it new from a museum gift shop for £1.50 (about 2.40 of your Ameri-ken dollerrrs). Besides, other manufacturers have produced worse, and at a higher price point. Most pleasingly neither forearm is pronated (and if you think forearm pronation in theropod dinosaurs isn’t a big deal, well, you’re very wrong and I shall ask you to leave this site immediately, sir, and not come back).

The proportions of the body aren’t bad at all for a toy at this price point. The tail’s (probably) too short of course, but the arms and legs are about the right length and the fingers are the correct length relative to each other. The famous ‘heavy claw’ is present on both hands and is being used to grip the fish. Thanks to the unconventional tripod stance of the toy the feet aren’t hugely oversized either. Overall it’s surprisingly pleasing anatomically and puts a lot of other efforts (OH MY GOD) to shame.

In fact, the only really disappointing feature of this very inexpensive toy is the head. Again, it’s not the worst ever – it’s fairly long and low and the nostrils are retracted closer to the eyes, and there’s a hint of the distinctive jaw shape. However, it’s otherwise not a great match for the real thing. In particular it seems to get rather wide at the back, there is no midline crest and the eyes point upwards so much that it almost resembles a plesiosaur from certain angles (I’m sure Dr A would take great umbrage at this, but it does to a layman/thicko like me).

Still, given the price and the pretty decent size – about 15cm long – I’d say this toy is one worth keeping an eye out for. It’s available in a boxed set with a number of other dinosaur toys from the range (which are of mixed quality) but may also be found, less commonly, on its own, so it’s worth fishing around in gift shops for (DO YOU SEE?), especially as good spinosaur toys are so bafflingly rare.