When most think of big cats in heraldry, most will think of lions, rampant on shields, but very often they will represent another of Africa’s magnificent big cats, the leopard (Panthera pardus). These rosette-marked cats had large ranges across Africa and Asia, now only pockets of their former territories remain, pushed out by humans, by hunting and loss of habitat. Owing to their beauty and variety of subspecies, several figures have been made. This is an example of a youngster by AAA,
As the specific subspecies isn’t named, it is once again a guess, but I would say, owing to the style of the rosettes, that it is an African leopard. This is an example of a model that AAA would re-release over the years as other models, notably a snow leopard, but we’ll come to that in another review.
Despite it’s rather large size, measuring 5.1″ long and 3″, the large paws, and slightly under developed skull show that it isn’t quite fully grown. The pose is quite nice, sitting calmly, looking outwards, perhaps surveying the area, seeing what’s happening. The rosettes aren’t as good as they could be, lacking the browns it should have, though the sculpt is very well done, for the time at least.
Though this is an older figure, I’ve always loved this figure, ever since I was a kid. There are better leopard models out there, but I think this little cutie has it’s worth. It is discontinued, so eBay is your best bet. If you like it, I really do recommend it.