Bonjour all, and welcome to another review of the classic line from Starlux. I always admire this old line for the variety it provides. Long before CollectA and Safari ltd., Starlux produced a wide range of species, many of which have not been made by a major company since. Here, we see one such example, Palaeotherium, which means “Old Beast”. Common across Europe, these ancient Ungulates existed from the Early to mid Eocene, becoming extinct during the Grand Coupure, like many more ancient species on the era.
Onto the figure! I like paint scheme, going for a colour scheme based off young Tapirs (this will make even more sense later), a mix of browns with white stripes, great for a forest creature that needs to hide from bigger predators. The pose is a gentle stroll, perhaps checking the ground for low vegetation or fruit to eat. It is a relatively small figure, at 2.9″ long, 0.8″ wide and 1.4″ from hoof to shoulder, so would fit in with larger figures from other lines, as Palaeotherium only reached 2 ft 6″ at the shoulder (for the average species, some were larger, others smaller).
To accuracy! Earlier I compared the colour scheme to juvenile Tapirs, and you can see far more similarities in the sculpt, with the head matching a Tapir, as it used to be believed they had a trunk. This is an old idea, and it is now felt that the head was more horse like, giving this figure a more retro design. Aside from this, the rest of the animal is spot on, with the longer forelimbs and three toed feet. Not bad for an older figure.
Overall, while this is pretty accurate, even for it’s time, it really is a retro piece for collectors than for kids to play with, but I do feel it deserves a place in a collection. It is the only model of a Palaeotherium available, so choices are limited, but I do recommend hunting eBay for it.
As with all my Starlux reviews, I will warn of the other reason this isn’t for kids: the brittle nature of the plastic. It’s an older model, and will not survive rough play or being dropped from great heights. While it doesn’t have the smaller protruding parts of other models that could break, I would still watch the ears and trunk. This is a worthwhile grab, but treat it gently.