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Jeez Louise. My daughter has been a fan of 'Jungle in my Pocket' miniature animal figures from Corinthian toys for some time - and also avidly seeks to possess such other toys from the 'in my Pocket' range (and there are literally, all sorts of animals available) such as marine creatures, puppies, kittens and ponies. So I've long been aware that (to paraphrase the words of one the characters from Kevin Costner's much-maligned - but secretly I think a little bit under-rated - blockbuster 'Waterworld' -
"Is there no end to this water / these teeny tiny velour-covered animal figures?") there are a heck of a lot of these little toys available on the market.
Just how pervasive the Corinthian marketing strategy is I naively, hadn't quite realized until now.
These things are released in waves or 'series', of which the inch-high toys I am currently reviewing are from the first. There are 20 different animal figures in each series, and we're currently onto Series 3 of the Jungle in my Pocket range - so that makes (if I'm understanding Corinthian's marketing policy right ) 60 different animal figures so far. Bear in mind that running simultaneously alongside the 'Jungle' range you have the dogs, the horses, the cats, the undersea animals and goodness knows what else, all for sale at the same time, all being released in (presumably) waves of 20 figures successively, all available in the same sorts of venues (which are toyshops. Supermarkets. The internet).
Series 1 comprised the following animal figures:
Thing that looks like but might not be intended to be a squirrel
Wildebeest (I think)
Possible Dendrobatid tree-frog
Considering the types of animal toy you usually see in the shops this is a very diverse range indeed. It's biased towards - but doesn't exclusively consist of - the nice furry types of animal, and there are some impressively obscure creatures included. I think it's safe to say this is the only toy spotted hyaena I have ever seen, anywhere (we've got that one - it's nice). And the toy warthog must surely be the first representative of its species that isn't specifically Puumba from 'The Lion King' that's ever been produced. I suppose it's nice to also see a couple of reptiles / an amphibian / a token bird being included, but the range could probably do with more of them. If you can produce a toy poison-arrow tree-frog, why not an iguana or Komodo dragon or something?
These figures are sold in a variety of configurations / pack sizes and aren't cheap, but they are nicely made and of good quality (dense plastic inner, coated with nicely patterned / coloured stick-on 'velour'-type 'fur', and bright-painted eyes / noses as appropriate). I can confirm from our in-house experience that the 'attachments' - eg. I'm thinking specifically of the horns of the wildebeest here - aren't too firmly attached, which is a good thing, as they'll drop off before anyone gets impaled on anything. Admittedly, the plastic the toys are made from is probably too soft to damage anything other than a direct eyeball that it's jabbed into, but it's nice to know that they shouldn't get embedded too deeply anyway. (Incidentally the toys are intended for kids aged four and up.)
You can buy 'lucky dip' sealed cardboard boxes containing three animals sight-unseen for about £4 in the supermarket (a real headache for die-hard collectors, these), or transparent blister pack with four figures - that you can see through the packaging, and therefore pre-select - for about £6. They also sell 'mother and baby' ranges where you get one mother / three smaller babies of selected species for a similar price. They also sell 'environments' for the animals some of which come with 'exclusive offer' figures included (orang utans in the Jungle Tree House, for example).
Without the existence of selling arenas such as 'Ebay', I think you'd have a real headache if you had set your heart on collecting the whole range of these figures, as there are so many of them, available from such a variety of places. And that closed-box selling policy! If I paid £4 for three tiny animal figures for my daughter and some of them turned out to be ones we'd already got, I'd be not best pleased. So obviously I'm a bit against that.
But over all, I'm quite fond of this range of toys. I do keep buying them, so it would be stupid of me to rant and rave against them, wouldn't it?
This Jungle In My Pocket Animals 4 pack includes: Nanuk the Siberian Tiger, Heloise the Black Rhino, Big Al the Alligator, Geronimo the Grizzly Bear and a basket.