Review and photographs by Suspsy; edited by bmathison1972
The tiger (Panthera tigris), with its magnificent orange coat and dark stripes, is the largest living cat, even larger the lion. And it is just as famous and revered in human society as its kingly relative, from its honoured status in Asian myth and art to memorable characters such as Shere Khan from The Jungle Book, Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes, Richard Parker from Life of Pi, and Tony the Tiger, mascot for Frosted Flakes cereal.
While most of the extant subspecies of tiger are found in Asia’s tropical jungles, the Siberian or Amur tiger (P. t. tigris) resides in the boreal forests of Russia and China, with a range much, much smaller than it was in the past, tragically. It is widely considered to be the largest of all tigers, with a maximum weight of well over 272 kg (600 lbs), although it is rivaled by the Bengal tiger. CollectA’s 2015 figure measures slightly over 16 cm long and stands 7 cm high. This puts it in scale with the African lion I reviewed previously, and when the two are placed alongside one another, you can clearly see that the tiger is indeed heftier, albeit not by much. I’m honestly not sure which of them would win in a fight; I guess I’ll leave that decision up to my son!
As you’d expect, this tiger’s main colours are light orange and white with black for the claws and the many narrow stripes, grey footpads, a dull pink nose, and dull gold eyes. The ears are black with white on the back and the insides. A Siberian tiger’s stripes are actually coloured a very dark shade of brown, but it’s practically impossible to tell unless you’re right up close to one, so I reckon this figure is just fine colour-wise. The grey on the footpads looks like it could have been applied more neatly, but it’s not you’re going to display this tiger lying on its side. The orange is darkest on the tiger’s back and then gradually blends into the white along the sides. And the stripes look very slick, from the very thick ones on the tail to the long ones on the body and to the smallest ones adorning the head. A tiger’s stripes are like fingerprints in that no two tigers share the exact same pattern, which is handy for researchers and zookeepers.
This tiger is clearly an adult male. He is striding along with his mouth shut, his left front paw forward, his right hind limb extended back, his long tail curling at the tip, and his head turning slightly to the left. He could be doing anything from patrolling his territory to approaching a prospective mate to hunting down some prey. A Siberian tiger’s diet consists mainly of the various species of deer that share its habitat, with wild boar being another favoured delicacy. Smaller game like hares, rabbits, and fish are also consumed whenever they can be caught. Siberian tigers will even sometimes tackle both black and brown bears given the opportunity, although not every encounter with such dangerous prey goes well for them!
Our tiger’s fur is finely sculpted, especially the splendidly bushy hairs around his head, almost like a small mane. Rows of black dots adorn his muzzle for added realism and his eyes have an alert and intense appearance. He also features a thick neck, a deep body, very muscular limbs, and even a tail that manages to come off as powerful. Combine all that with the relatively large size of this toy, and you have one truly terrific representation of the biggest of the big cats.
Overall then, I think the CollectA Siberian tiger is definitely one of the best ever made. It also comes in a white colour scheme, not surprisingly. This is one of my son’s favourite animal figures; its many scratches and scuffs attest to that. He especially loves making it terrify all the other animals in his collection with thunderous roars. Well, all except for the lion. He makes that one roar right back!