Who makes it? Colorata as part of their Ueno Zoo Endangered animals box. It’s number 12 in the set.
When did it come out? The box was originally released in 2004.
Still available? From what I understand, the set is still available at the Ueno Zoo in Japan. Unlike most of their sets, this one is not listed on the Colorata site, so it may be exclusive to the zoo. Outside of Japan it’s going to be necessary to find a source there. They don’t ship outside of Japan.
Where can it be found in my displays? Funny thing–I have two of this figure. This is technically supposed to be the one on my daughter’s shelves, but due to internet trickery I am using the one from my own displays. They look the same anyway…!
How does it fit in the collection? I don’t think I’ve mentioned before, but certain animals just appeal to me. Like okapis! I’m a fan of these weird forest giraffes, so I often get them as figures.
Any story behind it? Not much of one–I’ve mentioned before that I used to have a great source from Japan where I could get individual Colorata figures. This is another one. Later, I had an opportunity to get the whole box set relatively inexpensively. Which is why I have two!
Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): I don’t think it can be said enough, Colorata makes some amazing figures, although difficult to get outside of Japan (and yet, I have found a way many times). This figure is very well-sculpted and proportioned, giving the slightly longer from limbs and relatively heavy chest of the real animals. The colouring is a little flat, with a fairly uniform brown over much of the body, and the legs in white with brown striping. The overall feel is very smooth, with no fur texture–this is a common occurrence in Colorata mammals. The face has a lot more detail in it, with some nice dark brushing on the cheeks. The ossicones and ears are also brown. The figure is free-standing, but a base is included. It is a grassy or flattened plant disc, with 4 spaces for the hooves. They fit quite snugly, but the flexibility in the legs allows for the feet to be positioned properly. The figure is about 4.5cm long, so it’s not very big, about 1:38 scale.
Would I recommend it? Let’s be honest, I will always recommend Colorata figures. They are so well made, and the sets often include some really interesting animals (the Ueno zoo set also includes a pygmy hippo and aye-aye, for example! I discussed the Aye-Aye here for the Animal Toy Blog). The best thing about Colorata figures is that they are (almost always) made of a strong PVC material that would allow them to be unusual toys for kids, not just shelf models. Admittedly, the sets aren’t cheap, so maybe encourage gentle play. But for collectors of animal figures, they are definitely worth tracking down.