Animal Adventures

Rabbit Figurines Playset

Rabbit Figurines Playset

The domestic rabbit is descended from the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Rabbits are believed to have been first domesticated by Ancient Romans for both food and fur. They have played a prominent role throughout human history, and today there are over 300 breeds in 70 countries around the world. The first domestic rabbits were brought to the United States in the late 1800s. In some places, feral rabbits have become an ecological disaster, most notably in Australia, New Zealand, and Chile, where control measures are underway.

Today, rabbits are still bred for fur, wool, and meat, but also as pets and companion animals, show animals, medical laboratory testing, and cosmetics testing. Thankfully, the use of rabbits for cosmetics testing is on the decline due to the efforts of animal rights activists.

Today, we will be looking at a set of no less than 11 domestic rabbit breeds by Toymany! As an added bonus, the set also includes a species of wild hare that, to the best of my knowledge, is the first representative of that species in toy form (more on that later in the review).

Angora:

Angora represents a group of rabbit breeds that are bred for their fur, which is the source of Angora wool. The Angora rabbit is believed to have first been bred in Turkey (Ankara was historically known as Angora) and is now bred nearly worldwide. There are 11 distinct breeds of Angora; the one featured by Toymany today appears to be based on the German Angora in black. It could also represent a Giant Angora, but the only acceptable color for the Giant according to the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) is Ruby-eyed White (albino).

I found an image online that the Toymany figure is based on (Kenc was nice enough to share with me the pictures the figures were based on) and it doesn't specify the exact breed. The figure is 4.0 cm long. Using ear length as a metric (1.5 cm), the scale comes to approximately 1:7.3-1:9.3.

Dutch Rabbit

The Dutch rabbit, also known as the Hollander or Brabender, was originally from England despite its name suggesting a Dutch origin. The Dutch rabbit was initially bred for meat but today it is one of the most popular pet breeds and is bred nearly worldwide. They are calm, affectionate, and easy to train. They come in a wide variety of colors, and this version by Toymany is the classic black.

The figure is 4.8 cm long. Using either shoulder height (2.3 cm) or ear length (1.2 cm) as a metric, the scale averages at approximately 1:8-1:10. 

Lionhead Rabbit

The Lionhead is a relatively new breed, having originated in France and Belgium. One theory suggests it was the result of a cross between a miniature Swiss Fox and a Netherland Dwarf, in an attempt to produce a long-coated dwarf rabbit. Another theory is that it was created by crossing a Jersey Wooly with a Netherland Dwarf. However, there is no genetic evidence yet to support either hypothesis. Regardless, the crossbreeding resulted in a genetic mutation that caused long wool to appear around the head (like a lion's mane) and on the flanks. The Lionhead is a small breed and is mainly used as a pet or companion animal.

The figure is 4.5 cm long. Using shoulder height as a metric (2.3 cm), the scale comes to approximately 1:5.5-1:7.2. 

Netherland Dwarf Rabbit

Unlike the Dutch rabbit, the Netherland Dwarf actually originated in the Netherlands. The breed is believed to have been developed in the early 20th century by mixing small Polish rabbits with small wild rabbits. It was originally bred to be a pet and continues to be a very popular breed worldwide. The Netherland Dwarf has also served as genetic stock for other small breeds.

The Netherland Dwarf comes in a large variety of colors, and it is hard to say which color this figure represents, but it could be any one of several, including Lynx, Orange, or Fawn. The figure is 3.5 cm long. Using ear length as a metric (0.9 cm), the scale comes to approximately 1:5.6-1:7.1. 

Californian Rabbit

The Californian rabbit, as its name suggests, was first bred in the early 1920s in California, USA. The breed was created by first crossing standard Chinchilla rabbits with white Himalayans, and then crossing that hybrid with New Zealand Whites to increase its size. Originally bred for meat, the Californian rabbit is also bred for its fur and is becoming increasingly popular as a pet and companion animal.

This figure is painted in the traditional white with dark points, the only color recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). The British Rabbit Council (BRC) recognizes three additional colors. The Californian is a large breed. This Toymany figure measures 5.5 cm across its widest points, with a body length of approximately 6.0 cm, resulting in a scale of 1:5.1-1:6.2.

French Lop Rabbit

The French Lop originated in the 1850s in France from the selective breeding of the English Lop with the Flemish Giant. The result is the largest of the lop-type breeds, initially bred for meat. In the early 1900s, as lops gained popularity, they were imported to other countries, and the French Lop made its way to America in the 1970s.

Today, the French Lop is popular as a pet, but it requires space and does not do well caged. It is not a recommended breed for beginners, but can often coexist with children, dogs, and cats. The figure sits about 4.0 cm tall. Using ear length as a metric (1.7 cm), the scale comes to approximately 1:7.5-1:12. Lop-style rabbits are not uncommon as toys, and Furuta and Schleich have specifically made French Lop figures.

Belgian Hare Rabbit

Despite its name, the Belgian Hare is a true domestic rabbit, created in 18th century Belgium by crossing early domestic rabbits with wild European rabbits. While it was originally bred for meat, today it is considered a "fancy" breed used primarily for showing and is selectively bred to resemble the wild European hare (Lepus europaeus). The Belgian Hare is responsible for launching the domestic rabbit industry in the United States. It is a large, long, but slender breed known for its wiry frame and powerful hind legs.

It's hard to tell what color variety this Toymany figure is based on. I presume it is tan, but the underside is probably too pale for a winning animal in show! The total figure length is 8.5 cm. Using ear length as a metric (1.5 cm), the scale comes to approximately 1:8.5 for a "typical" show rabbit. To my knowledge, this figure is unique for its breed.

New Zealand Rabbit

Despite its name, the New Zealand rabbit originated in California, USA, possibly from stock originally from New Zealand. It is a mix of breeds, including but not limited to Belgian Hares and Flemish Giants. Like many other rabbits, they were originally bred for meat. The original color is red, as shown here, but they can also come in white, black, blue, and broken.

The white form became popular for its coat, as it was easy to dye different colors. The New Zealand rabbit was also a popular breed for both medical and cosmetics laboratory testing due to their docility and good health. The figure stands about 5.0 cm tall. Using ear length as a metric (1.2 cm), the scale comes to approximately 1:9.4-1:11.6. To my knowledge, this figure is unique for its breed.

Argente Rabbit

The Argente is one of the oldest breeds of French show rabbits. It comes in six varieties, and this Toymany figure is based on the Champagne d'Argent. The origin of the breed is unknown, but it may have been present in France by the mid-1600s. It was originally bred for both meat and its silvery pelt.

I had a hard time finding metrics for this breed. Using body length as a metric (5.5 cm), the scale comes to approximately 1:6, but this should be taken with caution. To my knowledge, this figure is unique for its breed.

Flemish Giant Rabbit

The Flemish Giant is, as its name suggests, an enormous breed of rabbit. In fact, it's the largest breed of domestic rabbit in the world! It is believed to have originated in the Flanders region of Belgium as early as the 16th century. It is a mixture of several breeds and has been the stock of many popular breeds today, including the French Lop and Belgian Hare.

Originally bred for meat and fur, the Flemish Giant is popular today as a show and pet animal, especially since it is docile and tolerates being handled. They can even be trained to use a litter box! Being the largest domestic breed, this figure is one of the largest, if not stockiest, toys in the set. It measures about 6.0 cm long. Using ear length as a metric (2.0 cm), the scale comes to approximately 1:7.6-1:10.2.

English Spot Rabbit

The last domestic breed we'll be looking at in this set is the English Spot, which, as its name suggests, originated in England in the 19th century. The original stock is unknown but is believed to include the Great Lorrainese (Giant Papillon), English Butterfly, and/or Checkered Giant. It was imported to the US in 1910, and the American Spot Rabbit Club was established in 1924.

Originally bred to be show rabbits, today they are popular as both show and pet animals. The figure's length is 7.3 cm. This is another breed for which I had trouble finding metrics, but using ear length as a metric (1.2 cm), the scale comes to approximately 1:10-1:11 (this should be taken with caution).

Antelope Jackrabbit

Last, but certainly not least, is the figure that I bet most collectors were most excited for, the Antelope Jackrabbit (Lepus alleni). Jackrabbits as a whole are fairly rare as toys, and to the best of my knowledge, this figure is unique for its species. The Antelope Jackrabbit occurs in western Mexico and extreme southeastern Arizona, where it can be found in tropical and subtropical grasslands, desert grasslands, and the Sonoran Desert. It feeds on available vegetation, which can include cacti, grasses, and the leaves of trees and shrubs.

This figure by Toymany captures the svelte look of a jackrabbit. The body length is approximately 7.0 cm, which would scale at 1:7.4-1:8.3. However, using ear length as a metric (2.4 cm), the scale comes to approximately 1:5.8-1:7.1. Given the posture of the figure, ear length may be a more reliable metric. The figure is painted with a mostly grey wash, with white accents around the ears, eyes, and mouth, and grey-pink in the ears. One of the characteristics of the Antelope Jackrabbit is an orange wash on its throat, and that, while faint, is present on this Toymany figure!

Overall, this is a spectacular set and comes highly recommended to synoptic collectors, general animal collectors, and collectors of pets and farm animals. When I first started my synoptic collection, I struggled to find a domestic rabbit I liked (and have replaced them twice already). Had this set been available, any one of several of them would have satisfied my needs.

Initially, the only domestic animal I made an effort to get multiple breeds of was cattle. As I expand more and more into domestic breeds (e.g., dogs, cats, pigs, sheep, goats, and even horses), I have thought about rabbit breeds too. However, I was never able to pull the trigger and start investing in them. With this set by Toymany, one can get 11 domestic breeds at once, and very well-made examples of them too. Plus, let's not forget the unique Antelope Jackrabbit!

Luckily, no matter how many figures one wants from this collection, they are available both as a complete set and individually on Toymany's website. Also, you can use the discount code TMAFBM10 when ordering directly from Toymany's website to receive a 10% discount.

Write by bmathison1972 of the Animal Toy Forum, a veteran collector of animal models and a medical parasitologist specializing in parasites of human disease (including arthropods), thanks for writing this blog content for us.

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