Review and images by Lanthanotus; edited by bmathison1972
Amongst the mammals the typical human is familiar with, the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) holds a firm place. It is just so different from the rest of its class, that even young kids usually know it. While few zoos keep this strange animal for its not-so-easily-satisfied diet, its popularity is held up by its frequent appearance in books, media, and as toys. I had a cheap-but-quiet-good anteater figure in my childhood days which I got from a box at my doctors. Today we want to have a look at the unfortunately discontinued giant anteater figure by the French company Papo.
The giant anteater is part of the diverse fauna of South America that is unfortunately much underrepresented in toy form. While the last years saw some remedy to this, thanks mainly to the efforts of Safari and CollectA, collectors are still hard pressed if they’d like to show their figures grouped with some contemporaries in more or less same scale. Well, that’s another point, so here’s what Papo offered…
Papo’s giant anteater figure measures 12 cm in direct length and stands 4.5 cm high. It is a very handy and sturdy figure and the specimen shown here is not part of my collection, but rather a beloved and much played-with toy figure of my seven-year-old son for more than five years now. Guess that speaks for its production quality. It is an overall good figure with no major flaws. Especially nice is the sculpting of the shorter fur in the head and front of the body and the longer and more bushy in the back and tail.
The coloration is true to the variation of the wild animal and the transition and borders of the several colors look much more natural than in other figures of the same species. Judging proportions in toy figures of furred mammals is always a bit tricky and while it overall looks correct, I personally find the body and legs a bit clumsy and the snout a bit on the massive side.
That being said, amongst real toy figures to play with, this is definitely a solid choice, maybe the best, but that also depends a bit on personal taste. The Safari one with baby is great, but the baby itself looks a bit like a piglet and after all both figures have been discontinued for a while now. The only readily available figure at the moment is the Schleich which in my opinion cannot compete with Papo. If you look for an anteater figure I definitely recommend it, but still hope for some company to offer a still better one in the near future (CollectA hasn’t made one yet…).