Lion, King of the Jungle from Papo: A Review of a Miniature Toy Animal
Lion: King of the Jungle
Out of the continent of Africa comes the “King of Beasts”, the second largest of the big cats, the lion. Though its range of habitat has shrunken over the years, labeling it as “vulnerable”, the lion’s popularity has grown, making its image one of the most recognized and far from vulnerable.
The Lion, King of the Jungle, made by Papo, lives up to his animal counterpart’s reputation. Made from a hard, durable vinyl, carefully sculpted and hand painted, the majesty of the King of the Jungle is almost lifelike in its demeanor and bearing.
When you first pick up the figure, you know straight away that this is a quality toy, not your run-of-the-mill drugstore novelty. Weighing in at 4.7 ounces, its 5.5 inches long and 3.5 inches tall stature is heavier than other lions by the major competitors. But size isn’t everything in the miniature market, and this figure delivers, as should any member of royalty.
The most noticeable feature of any lion is his main and this lion's certainly draws your eyes. A substantial main wraps around his head and shoulders, a royal crown on the head of the king. The sculpted hairs sweep with lifelike detail over his brow and to his back and chest. At times you are tempted to stroke the fur, only to be disappointed that it is merely vinyl.
The regal countenance is obvious when you look at the lion’s face. If the eyes are the windows to this soul, then his soul is laid bare for all to see. His glare is wary, not harsh, as he watches over his pride, keeping guard against interlopers. His jaw, set strong and ready, juts out in a powerful half-smile, as if he knows none can stand against him.
Along his chest is an array of sharply defined ribs and muscles that let you know that this cat doesn’t lay around, he gets out there and does his share of work. The powerful muscles in his legs confirm his active life, as they ripple with energy. You can see how toned they are, ready to pounce and take down any prey or enemy that dare challenge his reign. His paws, wide and sturdy, hold him at the ready, so when the time comes and his gaze falls on the right moment, he is prepared to bring down whatever he attacks.
Ultimately he ends where most animals end, in a tail. His tail is as unassuming as the king himself. It slopes over his rump in an almost casual manner, but like the king, it perks up at the end, ready for anything.
From the whiskers on his muzzle to the pads on his paws, the Papo lion is as realistic as could be, going the extra mile in even the detail of the short fur. It's not just it the play of light and shadow from the sculpt, but the variation in colors of the paint, which makes the realism of the King of the Jungle stand out.
Papo’s figures are usually a bit more expensive than those made by Schleich or Safari, Ltd, but it’s worth it with this figure. It is worthy of the title “King of the Jungle”, as a collectible, in a display, or for play by children age 3 and up.
The Lion, King of the Jungle can be found online on many websites including Ebay and Many Miniatures.
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