Since joining the Animal Toy Forum, the Yowie Group company has quickly caught my attention. The chocolate wrapped eggs they produce offer a wide range of toy animals inside them, many species not readily produced by other companies. For whatever reason I didn’t think I could get these Yowie eggs myself, I thought they were unique to other countries overseas. As it turns out, I was wrong, and they’re actually far more common in the United States than I was aware. Since discovering them I’ve been buying a few here-and-there and opening them up has been fun for both me and my daughter. So far most of the figures have been underwhelming, that is until I opened the egg containing today’s review subject. You could swear I was a kid again, and I was definitely more excited than my 6-year-old.
Shark Week may be over, but I hope you’re not tired of shark reviews, because here’s another. Today we’re looking at the Yowie zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum). It should be noted that Yowie erroneously markets this shark as a leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata). Both aforementioned species are often called leopard sharks due to their leopard-like colors and patterns, but Yowie didn’t even produce one with the leopard-like coloration, instead producing a juvenile with zebra-like striping. The fact that this toy has the juvenile coloration actually makes it more appealing to me than if it were an adult.
Yes, so different are juvenile zebra sharks from the adults that for a time they were considered two different species. Young sharks have a zebra like pattern that fades in adulthood, being replaced by a yellowish coloration with dark spots.
Zebra sharks measure 7-14″ (20-36 cm) as hatchlings. Measured along its curve the figure comes out at about 3” (7.6 cm) so that puts it at about 1/2-1/4 in scale. I already reviewed the Safari zebra shark for the ATB so if you want some information about the species itself then I suggest checking it out.
The Yowie zebra shark is presented in a curved posture so that it can fit into the egg, appropriate since the species probably looks like this inside its actual egg as well. The figure faithfully reproduces the anatomy of the actual shark, albeit somewhat simplified.
It only has four gill slits when it should actually have five but the 4th and 5th gill slits overlap in the actual shark so it’s not a real issue here. Spiracles are present behind the eyes, which allow this species to sit stationary on the sea bottom while breathing. The fin shape and placement is correct with the dorsal fins placed far back and an elongated upper lobe on the caudal fin. Even the five ridges that should be sculpted down the back are there. All in all, I’m really impressed with this figure and excited to have it displayed next to the Safari toy.
If you want one of these for yourself, you’ll be forced to either buy a bunch of Yowie eggs or head off to eBay. On eBay it’s of course overpriced, selling for around $8, but if that’s the figure you want it might be cheaper in the long run than buying a bunch of candy eggs. However you choose to acquire it, happy hunting. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve caught the Yowie bug, so expect more reviews of them in the future.