Woolly Mammoth (Marx)

3.9 (7 votes)

Why is a requirement that every line of toy dinosaurs includes the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius)? Even if said company otherwise ignores extinct mammals there is almost always a woolly mammoth and this is especially true with vintage companies. In the case of Marx there are only 3 mammals, but one of them is a mammoth. Inpro has a mammoth along with a Smilodon (the other must have). The only mammals in the Invicta line are a mammoth and Glyptodon (and an out of scale/out of place blue whale). I have a set of tiny Bullyland figures that’s all dinosaurs aside from one lonely mammoth. Even when Safari wasn’t producing mammals they still had a mammoth too.

A herd of vintage mammoths. From left to right; TimMee, Inpro, Marx, Invicta.

Why is it that this shaggy elephant has come to symbolize the Ice Age and that last era of pre-history? I think it’s because mammoths are an intimate part of our own history, our species has a relationship with mammoths, but none of us alive today have ever seen one. So they capture the imagination in a way that few other extinct animals can. It sometimes pains me to think about how close I was, in the context of Earth’s history, to seeing a woolly mammoth. The mammoths that once lived on Wrangle Island only just died out 4,000 years ago which makes mammoths not really prehistoric at all. Maybe it’s in our DNA to be drawn to this extinct animal that we once relied on for our survival and no doubt even revered.

The Marx mammoth is a large figure as far as Marx toys go, standing 2.5” tall to the top of the head and measuring 4” long, it’s roughly the same size as the Invicta woolly mammoth. Personally, I actually prefer the Marx mammoth to the Invicta one, but this is the only case where I would even compare the two companies. Like all of the Marx toys I’ve reviewed so far this toy is a part of the second series mold group, PL-1083 produced in 1961.

In terms of accuracy it’s hard to mess up a mammoth, this is an animal that we have frozen specimens of and is depicted as art on cave walls. So needless to say, this toy holds up quite well despite its age, it easily holds up the best out of all the Marx toys. It’s presented in a walking posture with both right limbs stepping forward. The trunk is hanging down with the tip pointed forward. It has an impressive set of curved tusks, a domed head, and high shoulders that together make this a formidable looking animal.

This last mold group from Marx has some of the best toys in the entire line and this mammoth is one of them. Compared to earlier releases this mold group shows a significant improvement in detail and one has to wonder what future toys from Marx may have looked like had they kept producing them. The mammoth is nicely detailed with hair etched along the body and wrinkles sculpted along the trunk. The eyes are sharply defined and strikingly well executed. A length of 28’ and the name woolly mammoth are printed on the underside.  

The Marx woolly mammoth is easily found on eBay with a price point of around $10 USD. As always it’s much cheaper to buy Marx figures in lots than individually. Although there are plenty of mammoth toys out there to choose from I think this one is still worth consideration and if you collect mammoths in particular it’s a must have.

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