Ice Quest: Arctic Rescue is a short lived adventure line that really captured the arctic exploration feel. There were only a couple different sets made, and most featured vehicles that were straight up repaints of earlier Wild Quest or Soldier Force issues. Nevertheless, the line looks really great. Information on it is rather hard to come by, but this is what I've gathered in terms of boxed sets.
Here's a medium set.
Note the 'snow' repaint of the Wild Quest 2 lynx and the dire wolf that we know well from Pirates Expeditions and Adventure Heroes. Also that sled is a unique vehicle, I don't believe it was ever produced again but for this line.
This set includes the fantastic Smilodon, and a repaint of the famous medium sized 'little bird' chopper from Soldier Force.
Here's another medium set, again with the Smilodon and the fourth human figure.
And, a large box that includes the Wild Quest jeep repainted, as well as the line's centerpiece, a fantastic Mammoth!
Here's a look at the back of the medium box.
I know for a fact there's more to this line; for one, an extra large set that is shown on the back features the Wild Quest 2 Mega Hauler, repainted in arctic camo. It sold extremely well in my country.
I've also come across evidence of another set that has larger Dino Quest jeep repainted in white with blue highlights, and included the polar bear.
Last Edit: Jan 5, 2011 13:18:42 GMT -5 by Ghouldrool
The first giant animal to review in my collection is the Woolly Mammoth. The Mammoth is indeed a "mammoth" of a figure. This creature first appeared in the Ice Quest line during 04 and 05. It has been the center piece of the series since then. The Ice Quest line appeared on store shelves at Big Lots but never had the mammoth, eventually it was a Toys R Us exclusive playset by Animal Planet. The playset also came with an Eskimo looking figure, a Kayak, cage and snow leopard. Their was also a bio card that came with the set that gave a description of both mammoth and snow leopard. The original is all but impossible to find now except on ebay. However in 2008 a new Viking series premiered with a gray haired mammoth sporting tattoos.
The Mammoth is a huge solid block of plastic except for the top of the head which allows the jaw to move. The mammoth is hollow inside making it extremely light and easy to carry. Screws are fastened to the right side and expose several small holes. It keeps the figure together but is an eye sore for picky collectors such as myself. The Mammoth also features a sound attack feature when the head is pressed. As with all Toys R Us, Animal Planet figures the sound device has been removed; so I have no idea what this figure sounded like. Perhaps one of our fellow board members from over seas could tell us. ;D
Color wise the Mammoth looks just like a Mammoth. With the discovery of preserved frozen mammoths scientists have a pretty good idea what color the body hair looked like. The eyes are red which is a little odd; either this mammoth has an eye irritation or it is one pissed off mammoth.
Aside from the Mammoth and the Smilodon these are by far the only Quaternary mammals Chap Mei has put out. I hope the company will consider expanding this line in the future. It would be nice to see a Woolly Rhino and Giant Sloth to add with the other two. The Gastornis was a nice addition however they existed during the Tertiary which was right after the age of dinosaurs. The Mammoth was featured in my dio-story Call of the Mastodon which also had the Smilodon, a Dire Wolf "pirate wolf" and a Short Face Bear "Giant Grizzly". Thanks to photobucket you can now wipe out those ugly screw holes on the right side of the body.
Now see, I am not completely a bug and dinosaur addict, I like furry things too. Furry things that will eat you... Not long after discovering Chap Mei, Wild Quest I found out about Ice Quest. I remember seeing the sets at a Big Lots store in Charlotte. At first I saw just the polar bear and wolf but then upon gazing at the back of the box I noticed a Smilodon and OMG; a Woolly Mammoth! Soon after I picked up my first Smilodon at another Big Lots store. Later that year I picked up the Mammoth and my ice age beast collect was in high gear. The Ice Quest Smilodon was certainly not the first Saber tooth cat the folks at Chap Mei made. They did one for the Beast Raider line that was bright orange and wore battle armor. Basically a surreal version of Battle Cat.
The Smilodon was part of the medium size assortment along with the polar bear. The Smilodon had a stubby tail, three of its legs could rotate and a button on its back would make the jaw move and the right arm to raise. This gave the big cat the appearance that it was striking at its prey. The smilodon does have a stocky muscular appearance, which is spot accurate. The mold is completely original and perhaps Chap Mei might have studied a few pictures of one in a scientific journal. It looks well; just like a smilodon. My only gripe about the Smilodon. The spring mechanism inside the cat breaks easily. The arm appears to stay inside the socket but the arm is extremely loose making it impossible to stand on a hard surface. I hope Chap Mei will read this because this needs to be fixed. If the Smilodon was constructed like the Wild Quest lion or tiger it would be perfect.
As far as paint application is concerned well Chap Mei did a swell job. Its as if the cat lunged off the pages of prehistory. Light brown fur with black stripes on its back, wild primal eyes and a extremely detailed mouth. All in all; great paint apps Chap Mei
I have my doubts that these big cats were strickly Ice Age adapted. Sure they lived up to the time that the Ice Age occured but they seem to be more adapted for temperate perhaps even tropical environments. Most Smilodon fossils were found just out of reach of the Glacial Divide. Smilodons most likely hated snow. Granted there were Arctic cave lions that hunted big game up to the close of the Ice Age.
One of the dream Chap Mei lines that was posted, I wanted to see was an Ice Age line with Prehistoric mammals and cave men of the Cenozoic era. Well we got the cave men and even a few additional prehistoric creatures; namely a terror bird. Over the years I have been building my Ice Age line using mostly animals from Wild Park and Wild Quest. The pirate wolf as a Dire Wolf, the giant grizzly from Wild Park as a short face bear. I used these creatures in a dio story a few years back; about GI Joe stopping a COBRA plot to develop a time machine. As a result both Joe and Cobra are thrown back several thousand years and must survive in a harsh world with Smilodons, Short face bears and Mammoths. My only wish was to include the giant warthog from Wild Quest II in the story. I'm sure if Chap Mei ever did a Ice Quest II the Giant hog would be included. If I ever get my hands on one you can bet I will post a review of it.
Those are fantastic pictures, Zinggia! Welcome aboard. If you would, could you post a close up sot of that green canoo in your picture? I've only now just noticed that there's an animal pelt attached to it! That's great detail, I've never seen it before and I'd love to see more of it!!
Post by Ghouldrool on Jan 22, 2011 14:21:43 GMT -5
Indeed, that is one fantastic piece! I love that animal pelt, there's gotta be a million other figures I want to use that with, Chap Mei or otherwise, it's that good. Also, makes me think that this was the very first version of this vehicle and that the Soldier Force repaint, which of course is much more common, came later.
Post by Ghouldrool on Mar 15, 2011 14:54:27 GMT -5
Here's a remarkable Stateside repack of the Ice Quest Arctic rescue mammoth, this time under the oft seen Animal Planet brand. Toys 'r Us in particular makes common usage of these repacks, but I believe they're also often found in zoos and other theme parks likewise.
Firstly, the Mammoth; you definitely owe it to yourself to get this if you're anything of a 3 3/4 inch collector. It's totally awesome and there are already some loose shots that can attest to that. Also note the inclusion of the snow cat. I'm sure the creature has a scientific name but I'm not quite willing to research exactly what kind of species it is. I do know that this particular sculpt is also done in desert colours and they always fetch good prices, as many animal figurine collectors who hunt Schleich figures and the like also pick up Chap Mei. With good reason, the animal sculpts are fantastic.
Third detail: The canoo that Zinggia so kindly posted close ups of: it's included here, but conspicuously missing is the skinned wolf pelt. Ah, obiviously Animal Planet has a problem with teaching kids that killing animals for their hides or pelts is acceptable. So be it - but a shame that we're missing out on a great sculpting touch with this set, then.
Post by Ghouldrool on Jun 29, 2012 14:01:27 GMT -5
Spotted on Ebay, a full set of four small ses from Ice Quest: Arctic Rescue. I have never seen these particalur configurations before.
All four figures and a small vehicle/accessory. I'm particularly excited to see the hoverboard (which showed up in Soldier Force) in bright neon Ice Quest colours. I am quite positive it was also released in Ninja: Hero of the Dark or Dino Power Ninjatron colours, as the vehicle looks like it's MADE for that line, but these colours would look great with the Ninjas too!!