Review and photos by Suspsy; edited by bmathison1972
Highly intelligent, masterful at camouflage and deception, and capable of compressing and contorting its body in countless ways, the octopus truly is an iconic and incredible creature. And from plush toys to rubber bathtub toys to good old hard plastic toys, it has long been a favourite among children and collectors alike.
This 2011 CollectA figure appears to be a common octopus (Octopus vulgaris), which is probably the best-known species in its 300-member family. It is found in tropical seas worldwide and grows to a little over a metre in length. This one here measures about 11 cm long by 11 cm wide.
The octopus is sculpted as though it is making its way across the sea floor, with the tips of all eight tentacles curled in spirals. Its skin has a rough texture consisting of countless tiny rounded bumps. The main colour is a slightly reddish brown with black and white eyes. There is a seam running just under the eyes, but it’s not too obvious. The funnel which the octopus uses for propulsion (siphon) is located on the right side of the mantle (body). Unlike other figures, including the one by Papo, this figure accurately has only one siphon (the siphon can appear on either side of the body, but there is only one present).
Flipping the octopus over reveals the twin rows of suckers running down the length of each tentacle, and they’ve been sculpted very nicely indeed. They are painted a very light beige with some pink blended in. The mouth is visible at the centre of the tentacles, although not the hard, parrot-like beak. The common octopus feeds on a variety of mollusks and crustaceans, enveloping them with its tentacles and then using its beak to crack their shells and inject them with venom before devouring them. The octopus is in turn a tasty meal for moray eels, sharks, dolphins, pinnipeds, and seabirds. Fortunately, it has both its ink-squirting and camouflage abilities to help evade all these predators.
Overall, I think this is one of the nicest octopus figures currently available on the market. My toddler appears to concur; he certainly enjoys pressing it up against his parents’ legs and pretending it’s attacking us!