Going to look at another set today–the first series of Australian Yowies! It was a big set, with 50 figures (not counting variants) but I have managed to get a number of them. Let’s take a quick look! I did discuss one of the figures in detail once before, the Northern Mastiff Bat, and visited the Knob-tailed gecko in a trio recently, but now we’ll see the rest.
The first series of Yowies first came out in Australia in 1997, but I wasn’t aware of them until the early 2000s. From what I can tell, most of the animals represented were from Australia or New Zealand, or surrounding areas. One of the reasons that I don’t have many of them may be that there is not a single fish in the whole set! Or even a weird reptile. Overall, the figures in the set are very stylized, and somewhat cartoonish. Of the reptiles that I have, for example, are not great representatives…but are usually the only existing ones, even now.
The series definitely named a whole lot of animals, in particular birds, reptiles and a number of arthropods, not normally made as toys. They all came with information papers, which had the positive and negative effect of showing what the animal should look like…at least it was educational. One interesting thing is that while many favorite and popular Australian animals were produced with this first series some of the ones that would probably first come to mind (kangaroos, wombats, crocodiles, white sharks) wouldn’t show up until later series. But it did mean lots of different animal species.
Still, not a bunch of animals that I would have personally sought out. If I had to guess, I probably got these models as parts of much larger groups that I purchased in auctions. One of the most fun things is to get those big lots, which at the time often featured a bunch of figures that were just jumbled of pieces…and that meant family assembly time! It also means that I have several multiples of some of these…like, so many. Nowadays, Yowie collectors and sellers are a little more aware of the value, so they are often sold in individual bags, packaged all carefully. It also means that they can cost more too…For collectors that like a wide variety definitely a set to try and get hold of, there are whole groups online dedicated to their collecting, probably the best way to get hold of them. They are not going to satisfy people that want very accurate models, and the pieces and plastic mean they aren’t often great toys. I know that I don’t personally display any of these, although my kids have several on their shelves.