Vault Tales 172 Bullyland Woolly Mammoth

Happy New Year all! Today, to wrap up the year we’re going to look at another great Bullyland Stuttgart Museum figure. This time, that classic beast of the Ice Age, the Woolly mammoth! And yes, coincidentally, we already visited a mammoth earlier this week, along with some other prehistoric mammals. It isn’t planned, just kind of random.

The Bullyland Woolly Mammoth is number 58355, and was among the earliest models made in the Prehistoric Mammals series. Unlike many of their lamented and discontinued (twice! sometimes!) figures, the mammoth appears to be available even now. That said, Bullyland is not particularly active as an animal-figure maker these days, so it must say something to the popularity of the species that it is one of their few still available. Even more surprisingly, they are apparently making a woolly mammoth calf available in 2021! This figure was apparently an exclusive at a museum in Germany, but it will see general release at some point (again, insofar as Bullyland gets their figures out there anymore…)

Given that this figure has been around for more than twenty years, there have been alterations in the paint scheme through these times. Mine is a very dark brown, fairly uniformly coloured. Later ones were a lighter chocolate brown, while the current version is a more reddish brown, with better highlights and dark washes. I suppose, for a collector, this would be good to know–it means that I can be certain mine is from the earliest run of the model; this makes sense as I would have had it in my collection by 2001. Otherwise, there do not appear to be any other changes to the figure; if I had to guess, the first paint revision probably came at around the time of the 2012 re-releases of the rest of the series; the current paint scheme is probably very recent, to coincide with the new calf and reflect different hair colours found in frozen specimens!

Overall, the figure still holds up very well representing the most famous of Ice Age giants. There is a lot of detail in the sculpt itself, and a lot of effort has been made to highlight the thick fur. The paint scheme is relatively simple on the earlier model–other than some light highlights around the legs and feet, the paint is pretty much single-toned. The tusks are at least painted off-white, more like ivory should be. And as with many Bullyland figures of the era, especially ones like mine that have moved may, many times, there is some wear in the paint. For this figure, it doesn’t appear to hinder the appearance at all, in fact it gives a little life to it. But I’ll still be careful with it! I would certainly suggest tracking down this model if you can–Bullyland isn’t always easy to find, but it isn’t impossible (especially in Europe) and the price isn’t too bad. There are others of similar size of course–no prehistoric company gets away without making one–so unlike some animals, it at least isn’t the only option! But, it might be harder to hunt down the dark version, as I don’t think it has been around for some time! Just in case you’re a completist!

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