Review and images by Lanthanotus; edited by bmathison1972
It is said Charles Darwin wrote in letters to his few friends, that he gets sick thinking about the flamboyant and useless plumage of the Indian peacock, it just would not fit into his view on the evolutionary process. Today, 160 years after the publication of The Origin of Species, we know that the ‘fittest’ may not necessarily need to be the biggest, strongest or fastest, sometimes you just need to be good with the chicks; sorry, but I guess you can see it’s just the point in this case.
The male of the Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus), better known as peacock, which is somewhat of the essence of a masculine braggart. Its plumage may make it clumsy, slow, and be a fairly easy target for eagles, owl, wolves, and tigers, but for the evolution of the species it seems to cut the deal, as the females can’t escape the mesmerizing show, and the success in breeding and raising the offspring guarantees the persistence of the population.
Despite the popularity and world wide distribution in zoos and parks, the Indian peacock is not rendered by a lot of widely available toy figures, several being long discontinued, antique models, and/or hard to come by. Maybe that is because its plumage is so hard to recreate. Papo gave it a try in 2013 and they did a good job, but if you look a bit more closely you can easily see where the sculpt falls short. The figure stands 11 cm tall at its highest point and is 12 cm wide, The bird itself is 6 cm high from the feet to the top of the head (without crown). Instantly recognizable in all its features, it is nice to see that Papo also considered the back half of the bird carefully and recreated it in a reasonable way both in sculpt and color. The legs are definitely too strong in side view, but given the weight the material has to carry, it is good they went this way and it is not too distracting from the front view. The upper beak is unfortunately too long and blunt and looks like a stubby nose.
The most remarkably feature of the Indian peacock is with no doubt its display fan. Compared with the true animal, the rendition here is too small in diameter, too heavy, and not dispersed at the edges, as well as only mildly true to the original colors.
All that being said, I still deem Papo’s peacock the most accurate on the market, especially as the main body proportions are right and it is the least stylized one around. It also is very durable and can withstand its time in a toy bin if your kid loves those kinds of bird toys (few do, I guess). A real shame though is, that there’s again no female nor chicks to accompany this lonesome male.