Common Cuckoo (Birdtales Series 2 by Kaiyodo)

I’ve been intending to write a review of this figure for quite a bit now, but until now, schoolwork and other real life issues have gotten in the way of that. Anyway, let the review commence:

Brood parasitism, the act of relying on other individual animals to raise young, is easily one of the most interesting strategies that has evolved in animals, with it appearing in insects, fish and birds. The subject of today’s review is a bottlecap figure of the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), perhaps the most well recognised brood parasite, alongside its host, in this case a great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus).

While they are harder to conduct on this figure than on most, brief measurements with a ruler came up with a diameter of ~1cm for the chick, and a length of ~2.5cm for the warbler. This would make the warbler about 1:10-1:12 scale for the species it’s meant to represent, and while I couldn’t find precise estimates for the diameter of cuckoo chicks, it’s safe to assume that it’s in this range of scales too.

In terms of accuracy, there is little to complain about; the chick colour scheme is impeccably accurate for a figure of its size and the warbler is pretty good too, although the colours are slightly less complex than in life (though this is a necessary sacrifice for a figure its size). Furthermore, the shape, colour and texture of the nest are all faithful to real life, as is it being situated between two reeds. Finally, great reed warblers are fairly commonly parasitised by common cuckoos, so there’s no inaccuracy in that regard. 

Similarly, there is also little to complain about the sculpt and paint job, which are both exquisitely detailed, down to even the tiny eyes of the birds, and the intersection of the warbler’s legs with the reed on the left hand side of the nest. 

Finally, the figure was, in my experience, a fairly easy build, although the reed pieces did require a bit of pressure to fully go in. Some may notice that one of the legs of the warbler will look a bit stretched out; this is intentional and not an inaccurate posture for a bird feeding a chick while standing on one reed.

Overall, if a collector you know is sceptical of ‘puzzle figures’ because of the potential distracting seams and loss of detail, showing them this figure will almost certainly change their mind. In terms of recommendations, this is a must buy figure for generalist collectors, as well as collectors whom specialise in birds, marshlands, biological interactions or whatever else this figure falls under scope. I would, however, not recommend this figure for children (under the age of 12-13), as it isn’t particularly durable, and the individual parts needed to construct it pose choking hazards for very young childen.

Comments 2

  • Wonderful mini ‘diorama’ and the educational value of this figure is fantastic! I have an adult cuckoo from Kaiyodo Choco Q line, I should consider this one as well, to highlight the social parasitism! Especially since, well, I am a professional parasitologist 😀

    • Yeah, in that case, this figure is a must-get, as figures portraying parasitism are fairly rare (and most that do exist are just whale figures with barnacles on them). For your collection, this figure’s also worth getting for the warbler (which to my knowledge hasn’t been represented anywhere else).

      I do plan to get the ChocoQ version at some point in the future, although I can’t say whether it’ll have been reviewed by then or not.

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