Today here in the United States it is Thanksgiving (it is celebrated on other days in other parts of the World)! And what better way to celebrate the holiday than a review of the turkey, Meleagris gallopavo. This figure was produced by CollectA in 2016 but is also distributed by Breyer in North America (as my figure was, hence both companies in the Categories). When the figure was first announced, there was some discussion on the forums whether it was meant to represent a domestic or wild turkey. When I went to buy my figure, it was marketed as the breed ‘Bronze’, supporting the former (the morphologies are similar enough it could be used for either, however).
The turkey is endemic to North America, covering much of the eastern half of the United States and adjacent Canada and parts of central Mexico. While wild turkey is popular to hunt for food in the United States, the domestic turkey that is the source of most commercial production is descended from a Mexican subspecies. Domestication first occurred over 2,000 years ago, but is believed to have occurred more than once from wild stock. It is often taught that Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the turkey the National bird instead of the bald eagle! This belief comes from a letter he penned to his daughter that, when the first design of the National Seal was proposed, the eagle depicted looked more like a turkey (undoubtedly a jab to the artist and not the bird). And while he did criticize the nomination of the bald eagle, his suggestion of making the turkey our National bird was sarcastic in nature and it was never formally proposed.
The figure stands 8.0 cm tall at its highest point (the top of the tail feathers). The scale is difficult to calculate since birds are typically measured from dead specimens that are stretched out. The sculpt is extremely detailed; every feather is present with individual barbs etched as well! Unlike most bird figures with thin delicate legs and feet, the feet on this figure are devoid of a base! Luckily the wings are just low enough to prop the figure up but still give the impression it is standing…well, on its own two feet.
If this figure is in your taxonomic or ecological wheelhouse (not everyone collects domestic animals), then this figure is a must for you! The detail is absolutely stunning and the paint job is pretty good too (a little simple on the head, but well-done on the feathers).