Who makes it? Like the earlier FUL Octopus, I found this in a bag distributed by FUL. They are, however, now sold by all kinds of companies, including Wild Republic. It is part of a set of 12 lizards and salamanders.
When did it come out? Hard to say. I’ve had them since 2006 of 2007, but they’re never really clear
Still available? As mentioned, these bulk sets frequently get repackaged for different companies. I know for sure that they are currently sold by Wild Republic as a complete bagged set; these ones were found in dollar stores as partial sets in bags.
Where can it be found in my displays? Of course it is not. It’s in storage.
How does it fit in the collection? It doesn’t really. But for a cheap set of herpetiles they aren’t terrible. And it’s fairly diverse. The kids like them, and given their cost I’m not too concerned about them.
Any story behind it? As with many things, it was a random find in a dollar store. I was actually drawn first to the salamanders (a crested newt and giant salamander. But the whole set is intriguing, so I picked up several. They were great for adding to the Prehistoric Park that frequently took over our basement!
Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): These figures aren’t going to win awards for accuracy, but they do manage to at least convey their subject matter. Which is a poor way of saying, it looks enough like a Gila Monster to tell they were trying to make one (most of the figures are like that). It’s not perfect; the pattern is a little sparse compared to the real animals, and the head could use a bit more definition. But it does the job for a cheap toy animal. It’s also quite small, about 1:10 or so.
Would I recommend it? As with many figures that have randomly come up, ‘recommend’ is a tricky thing here. As a collectible, it would only be for the type of person that want everything. As a kids toy or for diorama/scene building, it would be a great addition. As something for an actual collection of animal figures, not so much. There are better gila monster figures out there (Safari, Yujin, and Play Visions all immediately come to mind), although not all are easily found, but for a reptile collector they’d be more worth the time to track down.