Vault Tales 167 CollectA Smilodon

Here we have today’s VaultTale, just a single figure–the standard-collection Smilodon figure from CollectA. This figure was the second Smilodon released by CollectA for their standard collection, in 2015 as item number 88715. The previous model, available from 2009-2016, was…a much weaker figure (I had it once, but no longer). As far as prehistoric mammals go, Smilodon is a near given, alongside mammoths and…okay, that’s about it. CollectA has actually been pretty consistent about giving us a range of Cenozoic mammals (maybe it’s time for a Mesozoic one?) but it’s great that they took the time to improve the iconic big cat.

This figure seems to walk a line between representations that seem too lion-like (often with manes!) and ones that seem to be basic cats, like a puma, with fangs stuck on. The body Is overall nice and hefty, although not especially thick; some interpretations imagine the animal as much heavier in build but this one is more lean. The legs come across as a bit gracile, given that these animals are thought to have sprung fast and grappled with their prey. The neck, though, is very thick which would make sense for putting those big teeth to work; it looks a little long, but that might just be a perspective thing. There is also an exaggerated slope to the body that doesn’t seem quite right–it’s more like something we’d see in scimitar cats like Homotherium but again, that might be due to the pose. The figure does look like it might be roaring or challenging a competitor.

For anyone with a collection of prehistoric animals, it is very likely that you’d have at least one Smilodon in it. They are iconic ‘ice age’ animals in both figures and general public media after all. I personally quite like this one, it has a good feeling of representing a living animal, and the sculpt and paint job are very nicely done. It is also a fairly active figure, and would look great on a shelf. It is a bit big to try and scale with all those other Pleistocene prey animal figures…there’s a Macrauchenia out there from Safari…okay, there aren’t many (but there should be) but has a great hand-feel to it. Fortunately, this figure should be readily available from the usual sources, so it shouldn’t be hard to add this one to your collection.

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