Review and images by Suspsy; edited by bmathison1972
What it lacks in size and strength, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) more than makes up for in cunning and versatility. It is one of the most widespread of all canids, occurring naturally throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, and as an invasive species in Australia. Unlike its distant cousins the wolf and the dingo, it is every bit as comfortable in a city suburb or a downtown park as it is in the wilderness. And like certain other animals I have reviewed here on the blog, it enjoys something of a legendary status in human folklore and is usually associated with cleverness, trickery, and mischief.
The 2008 Safari Ltd. red fox is sculpted in a rather regal pose with its head raised high and staring directly ahead. The front limbs are held straight, while the left hind foot is stepping forward and the right hind one is extended back. Finally, the characteristic bushy tail is erect and pointed downwards. Reminds me strongly of various museum specimens I’ve seen over the years.
This fox stands about 4.5 cm tall at the tips of its pointed ears and just under 9 cm long from nose to tail tip (scale roughly 1:8.3 to 1:16). The main colours on its body are medium brown on the back, bright orange on the head and flanks, and white for the underbelly. Black is used for the tips of the ears, the nose and mouth, and around the yellowish eyes. The paws are also black, and the tail is black with a white tip. It’s an attractive ensemble, and accurate to the real animal, but the paint on my fox’s nose has been very poorly applied.
Nothing bad can be said about this toy’s sculpting, however. While some red foxes have a slim and scraggly appearance to them, this one boasts a thick, healthy-looking coat of fur, particularly on the neck and tail. The long, thin limbs give off an air of swiftness and the expression on the fox’s face appears to convey cunning and intelligence. One reason for the red fox’s success is its wide palate: it consumes mainly small rodents, but also birds, reptiles, insects and other invertebrates, fruits, and various plant material. My parents keep a series of bird feeders on a pole in their backyard, and on one winter afternoon, my father looked out the window and saw a red fox feasting on one of the black squirrels that regularly come to feed on fallen seeds. I’m still quite miffed that I wasn’t there to see it myself!
Overall, this is a pretty nice little representation of an iconic and beautiful canid. Recommended.