Vault Tales 98 Yowies UK Frilled Lizard

It’s pretty rough, but there aren’t many other animals it could be!

It seems like we just visited the Yowies a couple days ago and here we are with another classic version. This time, it is a figure made by Cadbury for Yowies in the UK. Although they still came with chocolate, the UK figures were single-piece figures made of PVC. There were only two series released, and while there was still a high proportion of Australian fauna, by series 2 there was a heavy influence of more worldwide-ranging animals. In a way, the new revised Yowies series more closely hews to this style than to the otherwise more familiar plastic put-together figures from the original Australian series.

Look at those huge feet! And blobby…everything, really.

This Frilled Lizard was number 14 in the first series. I probably would never have gotten it, or any of them, except by chance. I wasn’t even aware of them, as they were released and discontinued before I even knew about the Australian Yowies (2000 or so). But, I was working out a trade with someone in the UK (an elephant trainer, of all things!) and he offered some as part of the deal. I didn’t know what they were, only the list of species he could offer–so among a number of others, I got this lizard. It is a very strange looking figure. I don’t believe that I have any of the UK Yowies actually on my shelf. Not sure anymore. They aren’t among my favorite.

Another view, to get a better look at the back of the frill. It is very thick.

Objectively, this figure is a rough approximation of a frilled lizard. The head is clearly characteristic–not many other living lizards have frills like that–but there is a distinct lack of detail. The body is a plain brown with some perfunctory spots, but this does not even reflect the true patterns of the real lizard, that often has dark speckled bands along the body. The frill is also way too thick, it should be at best a membrane of skin (but production issues would exist there). As well, the body is molded such that the hind limbs and tail are kind melded into one shape, especially the right hind leg and the curled tail; the left hind leg looks like a frog leg. The front limbs are at least distinct, but again very massive, with huge feet. Overall, the figure is the model version of what you’d get if I tried to draw one from memory (I am not a drawing person)–a vague notion of what it is, but clearly the real animal is far more lithe and interesting. As mentioned, it is tube-animal sized, about 8.5cm along the back and tail curve, putting it at roughly 1:10 scale.

The lizard and girl here are about to scale. She’s more realistic.

I will have to say, only a die-hard collector of all things Yowies or frilled lizard should go after this model. It’s pretty rough, and there are definitely other ones out there that better represent the animal. For those wondering, of course there is a Australian Yowies one from their very first series in 1997. Skip that one too–I’ve only seen pictures but that’s enough to know. On the other hand, this is one that is perfect for a toy box because it’s not breakable, and you won’t be too concerned about it. I know that sounds harsh, but have recently looked at Kaiyodo, Colorata, Safari and other brands…this one stands out as being meh.

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