Woolly rhinoceros (Starlux)

3.9 (11 votes)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

As mentioned in my last review, Coelodonta, or the woolly rhino, is one of the first extinct mammals that most companies will make into a figurine, after the woolly mammoth and Smilodon. This includes the grandfather of all prehistoric toy lines: Starlux. They began making prehistoric animal figures in 1969 and over a 30 year span, made a wide variety of creatures from Cephalaspis to Cynognathus and from cavemen to (as you can tell from the title of the review) Coelodonta.


Like many Starlux figures, it is quite small in comparison to modern lines, with exceptions like Kaiyodo, being 1.7” high and 4.5” long from horn to tail. The pose is rather boring: it is simply walking forward, nothing more. If it was a modern figure, this would be a mark against it, but this is the first, so it can be excused. The paint is very natural: the fur is a mix of browns (muddy brown on top and slightly more khaki brown underneath) with black fur on the tail and mane. The horns are an off white colour, fitting to modern rhinos. White and black are used for the eyes and red is used to highlight the snout and mouth (though not in a very careful manner).


As it is quite an old figure, it may be unsurprising that it is not the most accurate. It lacks the fatty hump just behind the skull, the larger horn is pointing almost directly forward, as opposed to being curved, and the figure is a little too streamlined overall, lacking much of the bulk that it and its modern relatives have. Aside from this, however, much of this figure is quite accurate. It has the correct number of hooves, the head looks correct, and the fur is represented fairly well, with several scour marks on the body to give off a furry effect.


Starlux went into liquidation in 1996, finally closing its doors in 2005. This, along with the fact that this figure was made in the late 60s’ and early 70s’, makes the woolly rhino hard to come by. It does appear on eBay occasionally, usually from French sellers, so if you want it, they are the best places to look.


A warning, however: the plastic used to make Starlux figures are not as sophisticated or durable as modern companies. They are much more brittle and will not withstand rough play. This is now a collector’s piece rather than a toy. Treat it well or it may lose horns and tails, as can be seen in the picture below.


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Comments 1

  • It’s certainly true about the brittleness of these figures. I managed to get a few figures fairly cheap on ebay a while ago, but this one minus the larger horn. Starlux were great figures though with lots of character.

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