Schleich today occupies the high-end of dinosaur models. They're barely even toys - they tend to have little or no articulation, and cost a lot of money at the store when you find them. The detail is amazing, and you get what you pay for. Before that, they were best known for Smurfs, and the Mammut (Mammoth) I have here has been in my dinosaur toy box since I was a little kid. It's much simpler, as you can see.
If you don't count the tusks, the grey little guy is only 2 1/2-inches long. The word "MAMMUT" is stamped on his left front leg, and "W GERMANY" is on his stomach. For those of you unfamiliar with history, Germany was split up in the years following World War II - upon reunification, the West Germany culture seems to have basically flourished over East Germany. Few (if any) plastic toy exports to the USA came out of East Germany, although "Made in Germany - US Zone" showed up from time to time as well. The "mammut" stands a mere 2-inches tall.
The only deco is black paint on his eyes and his white tusks are slightly discolored with age. Like the Smurf figurines, these were largely toys. Charming, cute, one-color, and less than accurate even for their day. I have a few of these (and you'll be seeing them here in the coming months) that have stayed with me and I have to say, they're pretty neat. I wouldn't say they will amaze anyone until you consider how far they've come - the new figures are stunning while these are things I assume most adults would balk at. Interestingly, it's the kind of evolution we've seen in action figures too - the divide between toy and "serious collectible" grows by leaps and bounds, with extreme detailing and bigger size coming at quite the cost, while kids are largely priced out of the market for a lot of this stuff.
When they appear on eBay they're under $20, and I've seen photos with them in alternate colors. I can't tell if they've been painted, so I assume that they have - I only recall seeing this one as I'd preferred to have had brown. The evolution of cheap rubber toys into the preeminent dinosaur toy in most American toy stores is quite fascinating and I didn't even realize that these were from the same company when I was fishing them out of my dinosaur toy box. How fortunate for me, I suppose! The simple design is quite durable and has been battered around in a box of other toys for 20 if not more years, and has moved to at least 5 residences. I'd say it held up amazingly well and is another reason I'm increasingly favoring cheaper, simpler toys as collectibles. They really hold up over time and their cartoony simplicity and stylized features can't be trumped by increased realism. They'll always look like this.
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