Vault Tales 273 FigureFrenzy Marmot, Velociraptor, Giant cheetah, Wild ass

Another very random batch. Minis. Metals. Mammals. Just more randomness.

Schleich Minis Marmot

We’re going to start small, with this mini Alpine Marmot from the old Schleich mini series series, number 10074. This was a decent set, first produced in 1965, and then discontinued completely in 2005 (although not sure what the time frame was for the marmot). I do know that I would see these little figures in random stores as impulse items at the registers–not just toy stores though. Safari good luck minis often fill that role these days. The Schleich ones has a very broad range of animals, and also varied heavily in design from very cartoonish to moderately realistic. The marmot probably fits in with the latter; a reasonable representation of a marmot even if it is a little stylized and monochromatic (other than the eyes painted black). The figure is generally referred to as an Alpine marmot, but could probably stand in for most marmot species). Given the small size, that is certainly helpful for people that like to create dioramas or display in similar scales; for the most part, many modern animal figures are about 1:15 to 1:30 scale, so small rodents like this would fit right in there. Of course, it’s no longer in production, and the collectability of these small figures is actually pretty high (though variable). Worth a look if you really need a small rodent, but I’d recommend search in Germany!

Ral Partha DnD Beastmasters Velociraptor trio

Now we go to a trio of small metal Velociraptor from Ral Partha, part of the Beastmasters series. This one was item 01-712 in the line. As with all of the Beastmasters, there was also a small human figure included, but as with most of them, I didn’t keep them. What was unusual was that the Velociraptor was actually sold as a trio of figures–and three different poses no less. This is pretty reasonable, even as a figure released in the mid-90s, since these dinosaurs were assumed to be pack or group hunters so it makes the most sense. Also, the arms were separate from the bodies, and so needed to be attached (this is also true of a Phorusrhacos from the same set). At the time I didn’t have much in the way of adhesives, so they are attached with a fairly chunky epoxy; it’s not too obvious, but stands out. Maybe if I painted them but I don’t see that happening. It should also be obvious that these figures clearly predate the well-accepted presence of some kind of feathering, although they are at least light and spry looking. Nice figures, but it’s not exactly hard to find small ‘raptor figures, even in a similar old-fashioned style. Which is good because they are of course discontinued (twice, I think–there was a later reissue about 10 years ago). But they can still be found if you look.

GeoWorld Travel-to-Go Ice Age ‘Giant Cheetah’

Okay, this is a bit of a more obscure one. Back in about 2013, when I first started the online store, GeoWorld was just coming on to the scene, with a large range of dinosaur models as part of their Jurassic Hunters series. At the same time, they also produced other products like travel kits–including a few Travel-to-Go kits, which contained a play mat, some scenery and of course some small animal figures! The only one I was able to get in was the ‘Ice Age’ kit, which was easily the most interesting–the dino ones contained generic models available everywhere, but the Ice Age ones were unique–miniature versions of the Cornellisen larger models like the ‘Smilodon’ seen here. Fortunately, the sets also came with info cards…because I would have never picked this as a Giant Cheetah, Acinonyx pardinensis. Great to see the species depicted but way too heavy. I have the larger figure and thought it might make a reasonable Patriofelis or something like that. Maybe the larger Ice Age jaguar subspecies? It’s unique at least, and worth adding to the collection–unfortunately, GeoWorld appears to be in a constant state of flux, and these sets were not available long–I’m not sure if they can still be found (by any company–the figures are clearly from some other source).

CollectA African Wild Ass

And now, an African wild horse that isn’t a zebra, the African Wild Ass released by CollectA as part of their WildLife collection, number 88664. As with most CollectA models, this figure is an excellent depiction, and we can always count on CollectA to include a few unique, obscure, or rare (sometimes all 3) animal figures in their collections, and this is one that fits all three categories. There is a lot of great detail in the figure, although it does seem a bit static (would be nice to at least see a swishing tail or a moved leg). But there can be no complaint about the paint detail or application–and the face has a wonderful amount of personality in it. All in all, an excellent figure that could appeal to a wider range of collectors–not just wild animal collectors, but for the (apparently much larger) horse collecting crowd. And as an extended collectable, for those interested in (recent) prehistoric models, the Wild Ass could probably fit in a bit as one of the many now-extinct horse species (ones that would be more lightly built that a Przewalski’s horse (how have I not hit one of those figures yet?) It’s still available at least and should be widely available–definitely recommended for a wide range of collectors.

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