Pacific Oyster (Nature Techni Colour: Nature of Japan Vol. 1 by Kitan Club)

Shortly before the Nature Techni Colour line was taken over by Ikimon, Kitan Club released three sets (volumes) under the title Nature of Japan. Each set features 10 figures representing animals, and in rare cases plants or geological structures, of Japan. Here we visit one of the figures of the first set, the Pacific oyster (Magallana gigas).

The Pacific oyster is, as its name suggests, native to the Pacific coasts of Asia, however it has been introduced to North America, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. It is a common commercial food source, with on average over 1 million metric tons produced annually at a profit of over 3 billion USD.

This figure is 6.0 cm long, which makes it under 1:1 for a small specimen of about 1:2 for an average-sized specimen. One of the neatest features of this figure is that the base of the shell has a hinge, and the figure can be opened up revealing the inner mantle. The mantle is smooth, soft, and hollow, and when pressed gives a little, simulating a texture not unlike a real oyster! The round white object probably represents the adductor muscle, rather than a developing pearl.

As expected, oyster figures and toys are few and far between. They do not have much play-ability for children and not many collectors are interested in invertebrates. AAA released one (possibly multiple at different sizes) cast from an actual specimen, that is about twice the length of this Kitan figure. Just this year (actually within the last couple months), a company called Toys Spirits released a set of 5 commercial mollusks that includes two Pacific oysters.

This figure is probably for serious collectors only. It is not very big and the hinge is likely to get broken if played with. I recommend two, one to display closed and one to display open :).

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