Who makes it? It’s a cast of a museum diorama piece from the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. It’s name is Archie! Based on fossil material from that province!
When did it come out? It never really came out…but judging by the inscription on the base, 1988
Still available? It was never available, so I suppose the status has never really changed.
Where can it be found in my displays? Actually, I keep it stored away. It’s pretty big, and since it’s in rough form I haven’t put it out yet
How does it fit in the collection? Well, surprisingly, it hasn’t yet come up that prehistoric mammals are a big part of my collection. I even did my Masters’ on fossil mammals–from the same area where this guy’s fossils are found (yes, I found enteldont material. But, I studied fossil rodents. That is a very small figure collection). So figures like this get a pretty big chunk of space.
Any story behind it? Well, yeah. As mentioned before, I managed a dinosaur museum, in an area with a rich fossil history of dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals. This model is one of several that are on display in the dioramas of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum–and since we had a working relationship with them and fossil material on display, I thought it would be great to have some visual aids available as well. And while we were making casts of the few moulds that could still be found, I got a few for myself as well! Now I just need to be confident enough to clean them up and paint them…that is not my personal skill.
Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): I haven’t kept up on advances in knowledge as much as I’d like, but the first thing I notice is how much more gracile and pig like the model is. It literally takes the idea of a pig on stilts and makes it a model! But something else that stands out is the closed mouth–and the calm expression. I blame the BBC documentary Walking with Beasts (AKA Walking with Prehistoric Beasts) because almost every model since then (so…all of them) tend to have open mouths and angry faces. Which, to be fair, they were probably capable of some pretty sever aggression–but maybe they were just hanging around too? It even has the floppy ears of an animal that knows it’s safe and isn’t worried about anything.
Would I recommend it? I can’t in good conscience say yes, since this thing would be harder to get than the FaunaCasts Leedsichthys. Fortunately, for those who enjoy toys of scary pig-like mammals from the Oligocene and Miocene, there are several available options out there now from CollectA, Mojo and Safari (plus a few harder to find ones). And for the modellers, I’m sure there are a few resins out there too. But for me, given where I studied and worked, it has some nostalgic value!