So for once, we are going to just look at one figure–something I usually reserve for larger or more notable figures. In this instance, it’s a figure from one of the best lines released in the late 90s until the early 2000s, from a company that seemed ready to make a huge impact. Which they kind of did. For a while. I am of course talking about the Bullyland Prehistoric Animals & Humans line made in conjunction with the Stutgaart State Museum of Natural History (I discussed the ‘ratite’ from the series here). In this instance, I’m looking at one of the most popular figures from that very popular line–the Deinotherium (listed as ‘Tusk Elephant’ in their promotional materials), model number 58351. This figure was originally released in 1998, and then retired in the later 2000s.
And then, in 2012, Bullyland surprised a lot of people when they re-released the whole series, and a number of their other prehistoric figures. My understanding was the the line was supposed to be restricted to the Stutgaart museum, but it ended up being sold in a lot of online stores. For some people, this was great news–the mammals had been discontinued for several years, and the prices to obtain them had gotten crazy, well over $100 per figure. So…probably bad news for people that had paid those amounts in that between time. Of course, nothing lasts forever and the line was discontinued permanently (for now?) soon after the re-release. For me, it meant a chance to get this figure a second time–my original one suffered from the same problem many Bullyland figures do/did–a lot of paint wear.
Therefore, a great opportunity to freshen up the collection shelves. And, I suppose, someday someone might need a version of their own–I still have my other one, it is on my son’s shelf for safe keeping. The Deinotherium figure from Bullyland (from either release) is painted to resemble a modern elephant in colour and style, but captures the long legs and, of course, strange recurved lower tusks of a deinothere (painted ivory, not white!). The Bullyland reconstruction has given their model the shorter trunk hypothesized by some (and seen in most figures). At the time, the only other well known model was from Starlux–and it has a longer trunk! I guess it depends on the sculptor. There are a lot of nice sculpted hair details on the back and head, and the washes and paint application is top notch. But, being Bullyland, I would still be careful with it since I don’t think they did anything better with the stability of their paint.
As I mentioned, the figure I am showing is from the reissue of the figures. And as I also mentioned, the series has been discontinued twice now. So once again, this figure is not readily available, and the prices have started to rise; this has happened with a number of the figures from that series. This is terrible for collectors, since the line is almost entirely full of amazing figures that every collector would want on their shelves (the ‘cave bear’…meh). The better news is that most of the animals in the line have now been made by other companies, most of which are still available. This is certainly true of Deinotherium, as many of the current favorite companies have one available. Of course, they are all very different interpretations, so I would still suggest tracking this one down to add to the lineup!