Today we will look at three very different figures, all of extinct animals. After that…they’re all completely different from each other. Even a variety of materials!
Kaiyodo Lawson Dinotales Series 7 Huayangosaurus
Our first figure today is from the last Kaiyodo Dinotales series, series 7, released as a Lawson series. As with the fifth and sixth series, there were two versions of each figure. This Huayangosaurus is number 114 in the line, part of the ‘B’ or set, also called the ‘Blue’ line. I think the papers were different colours but I haven’t looked. I actually had the complete series, with both versions of every figure (10 species, the fewest of all of the Dinotales series). But I decided which of the two I preferred, and sold/traded/gifted out the others. I’m sure other people would gasp and want all of the figures, in every variant…but my shelves are so full already! And when this set came out, I didn’t have the same display set up and had even less room then! Plus, it means other people get to have a few too, so all good.
The figure itself is of course very well done. The sculpting is highly detailed, and the joints are generally well-hidden given the small pieces it is made out of. The colour is very interesting to me…reminiscent of a thorny devil lizard or something. The pointier plates, spikes and thagomizer are a bit dulled and rounded, but this could be for safety. Or maybe it’s accurate (it isn’t like there aren’t Dinotales with thin, pointed pieces). The face might need a bit of paint detail; the sculpt is there but the flat colour makes it hard to make out. No matter, this is definitely a great figure, and certainly one worth tracking down…but as always, it might not be easy (but again, worth it).
Ral Partha DnD Beastmasters Cave Bear (with Druid)
Next we have a small metal figure from the Ral Partha Beastmasters series (we visited one before). This time it’s a cave bear Ursus spelaeus, product number 31-016. One funny thing about the series, and Ral Partha DnD figures, is that the figures are more or less to scale. Which means compared to the other figures, it makes a cave bear seem so small! But the sculptor did do a really great job of capturing the details on this figure, giving it the pronounced hump of these big Ice Age bears. Also interesting is how relatively uncommon cave bear figures are; I have a few, and there are a couple more recent ones, but it seems like a big extinct bear would get more traction as a figure.
As can be seen, this figure, and all Beastmasters figures, came with human familiars (I refuse to believe that the human parts were the selling feature…). I kept this one for whatever reason, I think it might have been a later release. Or maybe it was a druid so I decided to keep it around. Either way, the details on both are very good, and when the whole series is displayed together, it makes a unique image of a number of uncommon prehistoric figures, mostly mammals. You can also see the difference in DnD figures…the guy up above pictured with the Huayangosaurus has a very different style! The Cave bear, and the rest of the Beastmasters, are no longer available, but I think the line, or at least some of the Ral Partha lines (there were a lot) were briefly revived by another company but I don’t know the status on that.
Yowies Forgotten Friends B Thylacine
Finally, we have a Thylacine from the Yowies Forgotten Friends series. This was the last run of Australian Yowies figures in the early 2000s. Like the Lost Kingdoms series, Forgotten Friends focused on extinct animals. Unlike Lost Kingdoms, Forgotten Friends focused on recently-extinct animals, most if not all driven to extinction by human activity or some kind in more recent memory. There were two series in total, with a wide range of animals from around the world but special attention to Australia and surrounding areas. In as set like this, it was a given that we would see a Thylacine, but it is surprising that it was not until series B, the second and last set. It is number 6 in the series of 30 animals, so at least it was high up on the second list!
It is possible that the Thylacine was held off until the B series because Yowies had actually included one already, in their Lost Kingdom series–there were other recently extinct animals in that series as well. It was definitely a positive to have a revised Thylacine in the Forgotten Friends series, the earlier one was not as well made. As for this figure, it isn’t a bad representation–the proportions are a little off, especially in the head and neck. But it does capture the general essence based on what we see in existing photographs, if a little cartoonish and simple in the expected Yowies style. There are of course many figures of this species now, in a range of sizes. The FF Yowies figure is worth tracking down if you are a completist, but there are more recent, easier-to-find ones…and harder to find ones too I suppose. The Yowies one, like most Australian Yowies, will be much easier to find from a source in Australia.