American Alligator, 2013 (Wildlife by CollectA)

Review and images by Bryan Divers; edited by bmathison1972

One of the things that distinguishes an alligator from a crocodile is that an alligator is usually dark gray, green, or black in color, sometimes with bright yellow bands on juveniles and more faded ones on some adults. Crocodiles are lighter in color, often very light greens and browns with mottling. Yet this is something that many companies get wrong with their alligator figures. This is one of the reason I chose this figure…the stock picture on eBay wasn’t very flattering but I chose it because of the good quality plastic and the accurate coloring; though I have to say that the stock photo really misrepresented this little guy or gal–now that I have him or her in my hands, this is actually quite a nice little figure, especially considering his/her small size.

The pose is also quite unique for toys of crocodilians, which typically show them with their bellies flat on the ground. CollectA has made, not one, but two exceptions to this rule however–CollectA has made an alligator in a walking position and a Nile crocodile in a leaping position. This American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) carries his/her belly off the ground with the legs held below the belly in a nice natural walking position; with the legs close to each other on the figure’s left side and stretched further apart on the right side. The tail is held off the ground as well; another rarity among toy crocodiles and alligators.

The scutes and armor plates are nicely detailed and not too sharp, and lots of round pebbly scales are sculpted on the sides of the body with larger more rectangular scales on the belly and the tail. The feet rest flat on the ground, and the mouth is slightly open, but the jaw is not articulated. I really don’t mind that though. Nice detailing is on the stomach muscles as well, which appear to be sagging a bit at the sides from the belly being held up off the ground. Also the front feet accurately show five toes and the rear feet four, which is nice because many alligator toys get this wrong. Those are all the positives about this figure.

I only have one complaint about this figure, and that is that I think the jaws taper a bit too much toward the nostrils. But this is not a glaring error; the snout is still plenty wide enough to make sure this is obviously an alligator and not a crocodile. But this was the only thing I could see to critique. I have seen some people on the blogs who sometimes really slaughter some very nice figures, so I try to compliment all the good points first and think very carefully before I mention any negatives.

This is a great little alligator for a toy or even for a diorama and very reasonably priced for the quality. CollectA also prides itself on its non-toxic, BPA and phthalate-free plastic. As far as I know this figure is still in production and is probably still available on Amazon, though you’re likely to get a better deal on eBay.

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