Orangutan (Wildlife by CollectA)

Review and photographs by Suspsy; edited by bmathison1972

The word “orangutan” means “person of the forest,” and you need only observe one of these beautiful and brilliant apes for a few minutes to see what a fitting name that is. There are presently three species: the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), the Sumatran orangutan (P. abelii), and the Tapanuli orangutan (P. tapanuliensis). Tragically, all three are critically endangered due to habitat loss and poaching.

The Tapanuli orangutan was only described in 2017, so it’s safe to say that CollectA’s 2015 figure does not represent it. Rather, it appears to be a Sumatran orangutan, which can be distinguished from the Bornean species due to its longer face and thinner body. This individual is clearly an adult male due to his large cheek flanges and heavy build. He has been sculpted standing upright with his right arm raised above his head, his left one stretched out to the side, and his fists clenched. I’m not sure what exactly he’s supposed to be in the midst of doing, but I reckon it could be anything from climbing in a tree to posing for a female to getting his groove on. In any case, it’s a nice change from the usual sitting or quadrupedal pose that most ape toys are in.

Our orangutan stands 8 cm tall with an arm span of 11.5 cm, making it approximately 1:21 in scale. His fur is reddish-brown with faint dark brown patches scattered across his body. His face, hands, chest, and feet are dark grey and he also features light brown eyes and a small white beard, which makes him appear quite distinguished. Mature male orangutans can weigh up to 200 lbs/90 kg or more, making them the largest of all living arboreal animals.

Orangutans are also probably the shaggiest of the great apes, and this figure does a fine job of reflecting that characteristic. The fur looks long and thick, especially on the back and the arms. The face and chest have a pitted texture and the hands and feet are knobby and wrinkled. It is also worth noting that the soles of the feet have been sculpted to show the tips of the toes, complete with nails. Given that these details cannot be seen when the orangutan is standing up, it would have been easy to omit them without really hurting the rest of the toy’s appearance, so my compliments to CollectA for being so thorough!

The orangutan’s aforementioned beard, large brow, and deep-set eyes make him seem like a wise and gentle soul. As well as being the most arboreal of the great apes, orangutans are quite possibly the most intelligent. They craft tools to extract insects from trees and seeds from fruits, they use leaves to amplify the sounds they make, they are capable of learning sign language, and they quickly pick up other behaviours that they observe from humans. As one researcher has put it, “If you give a chimpanzee a screwdriver, he’ll break it; if you give a gorilla a screwdriver, he’ll toss it over his shoulder; but if you give an orangutan a screwdriver, he’ll open up his cage and walk away.

As far as I am concerned, the CollectA orangutan is a must-have for anyone who’s fond of their fellow apes. Nice pose, accurate appearance, superb sculpting, and a distinct personality to boot.

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