Review and images by Sirenia; edited by bmathison1972
When most think of dangerous animals in Africa, known for killing people, most will think of lions, crocodiles, and hyenas (oh my!). But the animal that actually kills the most people is the common hippopotamus, as they can be very aggressive about their territory. But leave them be and they are benign, incredible animals. These megafauna inhabit much of Africa and a small part of northern Colombia (where it was introduced), living out their amphibious lives happily, though threatened by destruction of the environment. They have had many figures made of them, this one dating back to 1994. It was released by Toy Major for a special line produced by FINA Petrol to draw attention to endangered wildlife.
The first thing to investigate here is identification: which hippo is it, the common hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius) or the pygmy hippo (Choeropsis liberiensis). Given the familiarity of the species, and that other figures in the line are common, familiar African animals, this is probably a common hippo. The color is less like a common hippo, but Toy Major is known for taking liberties with the colour of the figure. This is not and bad colour scheme, but could do with a little grey or pink, as the common hippo does have this too.
Accuracy wise, this has most the features spot on, with some particularly well sculpted feet. The sculpt in general is pretty high quality, for it’s time. My main gripes are that it could be a little larger in the body and rounder in the head shape (things which made it a struggle to identify). The pose is a nice docile one, making a change from the usual yawning or feeding poses.
This is quite a pleasant little model, with a good quality design, decent paint and good durability (certainly survived despite my playing with it as a kid). They pop up on eBay fairly regularly for a reasonable price. If you want a good hippo model from the past, this is worth considering.