Vault tales 49 Yowies Northern Mastiff Bat

Who makes it? Yowies, as part of their first series of animal figures.

When did it come out? The series came out in 1997

This is a very smiley bat. But it really doesn’t feel like it’s really capturing the face of the real thing.

Still available? Each series was short-lived, probably lasting about a year each. So not in original form, but probably easily available as resale or trades.

Where can it be found in my displays? I don’t think this one is on display. Or, I should say, these ones–pretty sure I have more than one.

Any story behind it? Yowies are a fascinating series of figures. Released only in Australia (at least…this kind of Yowies) in the late 90s and early 2000s, they were blind-capsule put-together figures inside of chocolate creatures called Yowies (an Australian cryptid). Sort of like Kinder Surprise, but only animals. For the most part, the range was focused on Australian and southern ocean animals, but eventually they branched out to some broader animals as well as prehistoric and recently extinct animals. In my searches for the various species that were more specifically of interest to me, I often found them in lots on eBay that contained others. This bat was one of the ones that frequently showed up as an extra while I tracked down the weird fish and reptiles, etc. that I was seeking. But the kids did enjoy putting them together.

The Northern Mastiff bat is also known as the Northern Freetail bat…they forgot the tail.

Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): I have to be blunt. It’s pretty bad. Many of the earliest Yowies are heavily stylized, but this one…let’s start with the weirdly tiny wings. They re too small. And the legs are way too long. And given the alternative name ‘northern freetail bat”, this animal does not have a tail at all. The face isn’t turned up and blunt enough, and the teeth look like over-sized dentures. In short, it’s a bat, maybe, but does not do justice to the real animal. It’s more like a cartoon caricature, but not one that I can personally appreciate.

The Doctor isn’t quite right for scale, she’s a bit big (the bat is closer to 1:4). But she looks silently amused by the oddity of this figure more than I am.

Would I recommend it? I am kind of disappointed that out of the dozens of Yowies the ol’ Random Number Generator picked this one first…because it is honestly not their best work. Worldwide there are fans of these figures for the range and quality they brought out, but I doubt this one has many specific fans. You’d have to be a absolute collector of Yowies and/or bat figures to need this one. But the good news is that I don’t think they’re held too tightly, I know I have several and don’t know what to do with them, for example. They also aren’t great for kids–the figures are composed of a number of small pieces and they don’t stay together well. In case you’re wondering, there are decent Yowies bats figures.

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