When I first introduced the Yowies to the Blog, I started with a relatively recent figure from the US-based Yowie Group. Today we are going back to the Yowies’ Australian roots, when they were still being produced by Cadbury. Specifically, we will be looking at the spinifex pigeon (Geophaps plumifera) from Series 4. I picked this figure this time around because I wanted to do another bird and this recent acquisition is charming and unique!
The spinifex pigeon is a small pigeon endmemic to the spinifex grasslands of arid and semiarid northern and central Australia. Unlike many birds, sexual dimorphism is not obvious. Spinifex pigeons are gregarious and relatively sedentary, rarely venturing farther than a few kilometers from a reliable water source. They forage on a variety of seeds, other plant material, and insects.
The figure is 6.0 cm long and stands 4.5 cm tall (including the head crest). The scale is difficult to calculate since most birds are measured from dead specimens stretched out, but it can be assumed to be roughly 1:4. Like other early Australian Yowie figures, this one comes in multiple pieces encased within a chocolate-covered capsule and needs to be assembled. Because I bought mine used on eBay, it came pre-assembled, but it looks to be made up of five pieces: head, left half of the body, right half of the body, feet, and tail.
Also, like the earlier Australian Yowies, the figure is quite stylized, but not as cartoony as many of the Yowie mammals were. The paint is simple but matches well the characteristic color of the actual animal. The feet however are a gaudy bright pink!
Because of the often stylized nature of the figures and that assembly is required (often with visible seams or poorly-designed points of articulation), the earlier Yowies are not popular with most. However, they offer a great opportunity to get a wide range of species endemic to Australia that otherwise would not get made in toy/figure form. This spinifex pigeon is a classic example of such and comes recommended to collectors of species diversity.