African Elephants have always been my favorite living animal and are part of a proud, diverse family that can be traced over much of the planet. These Proboscideans included some of the Earth’s largest land mammals with the subject of today’s review one of its most impressive. Deinotherium dominated Africa as well as Eurasia approximately 10 million to 10,000 years ago, possibly crossing paths with early humans. Its name means “terrible beast” and was larger than modern elephants though with a shorter trunk. Its most distinguishing characteristic, however, were its tusks that curved downward from its lower jaw. In most other members of the elephant family, tusks jut from the upper jaw and curve in the opposite direction. The reason Deinotherium’s evolved this way is still up for debate with some suggesting they were designed for digging out roots and tubers much like a backhoe. Another notable featured that differed from its more dome-headed cousins was a nearly flat skull.
There are a few Deinotherium models out there but CollectA’s is my favorite thus far. This was the first model I’ve ever purchased from their Prehistoric Life Collection which boasts accurate renditions of extinct animals, approved by noted Archaeologist, Anthony Beeson.
The first thing that struck me after unpackaging this item was its weight. This is a solid piece of hard plastic and much heavier than I’d expected. The texture is phenomenal with great detail to the animal’s hair and rough, pachyderm skin. There’s also plenty of wrinkles and folds to give it that extra sense of realism and nod to modern day elephants.
One thing that really sets this model apart from its contemporaries is the pose. Instead of just standing with its legs straight and trunk down, this animal looks like it’s in the midst of conflict. It’s front, right leg is in a “ready to charge” position while the head and truck inspire a sense of “alarm.” The mouth is open as if its vocalizing and, if you look inside, you can see accurate, elephant-like teeth.
So let’s review the stats…
General Appearance: An elephant-sized thank you to CollectA for taking the time to consult with the right people and create this spectacular model! It’s absolutely stunning and a worthy representation of such a majestic beast!
Size: 1:20 Scale measuring at 9.1 inches long and over 4 inches high. And did I mention this thing’s heavy?
Display or Diorama worthy: Definitely! I can’t wait to have this one up on a shelf with more CollectA “Prehistoric Life” models!