Review of the Australia’s Deadliest Nature Tube, by K&M International for the Wild Republic line. The set was released in 2018. To be honest, I bought this set specifically for the three arthropods, since I am a completist when it comes to arthropods identifiable to the species level. However, now that I am building a Synoptic Collection, I thought I could use the octopus too. Then as I researched the set more, I learned the three snakes are also new! So what started as a venture for three figures, turned into seven! The origin of this set is unknown. It is not on the Wild Republic website. I emailed Jason at Minizoo (where I bought mine); he doesn’t know the origin either but said it is common in shops in Australia. It was probably commissioned by someone in Australia and then sold broadly in that country. Like other recent Wild Republic tube/bucket sets, figures are painted with a matte finished. The plastic is stiff to slightly pliable, but is not hard and brittle nor rubbery. Coming up with only 10 deadly creatures in Australia is a challenge, as they have the deadliest snakes, spiders, octopi, and jellyfish. Still K&M managed to come up with a nice little assortment. The common names given below are stamped on the underside of the figures. The giant centipede (and possibly the coastal taipan) are unique in toy/figure form!
Species: common death adder, Acanthophis antarcticus
Length/scale: Figure length 8.0 cm; cannot calculate scale accurately without measuring down the body.
Comments: I was happy to learn this was a different species that the desert death adder (A. pyrrhus), a species I already had represented by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S.
Display worthy? Sure, why not
Species: giant centipede, Ethmostigmus rubripes
Length/scale: body length 9.5 cm; total figure length 12.5 cm; scale 1:1.7
Comments: What a pleasant surprise. When I first saw the pics, I thought this was Scolopenra subspinipes, a widespread species (including Australia) that has been previously made twice by Kaiyodo. Ethmostigmus rubripes represents both a new species and genus for my arthropod collection!!! In fact, it should be unique in toy/figure form.
Display worthy? Yes!
Species: blue-ringed octopus, Hapalochlaena lunulata
Length/scale: Figure length 7.5 cm; scale roughly 1:1.3
Comments: Hapalochlaena species are surprisingly uncommon among toys and figures. Luckily this figure is a different species than the one produced by Kaiyodo for their Toxic and Dangerous Animals collection (that at the time of this writing, I am still searching for).
Display worthy? Sure, not a lot of options out there.
Species: tiger snake, Notechis scutatus
Length/scale: hard to measure and scale, maximum figure dimensions are 7.3 cm long, 4.5 cm high
Comments: Another new species for my personal collection. The rings should have been closer and more numerous. I love the dynamic pose, as unrealistic as it may be (seriously, do any snakes present like this in life?).
Display worthy? Sure, at least until something better comes along.
Species: coastal taipan, Oxyuranus scutellatus
Length/scale: Figure length 10.0 cm; hard to accurately calculate scale without measuring down the body.
Comments: Another pleasant surprise. I was happy this figure is a different species than my Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. inland taipan (O. microlepidoptus). In fact, this might be a unique species in toy/figure form (there are a few taipan figures not marketed at the species level that may or may not represent this species)!
Display worthy? Yes, as I think it could represent a ‘unique’ species.
Species: saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus
Length/scale: 9.5 cm; scale 1:63 for a large specimen
Comments: Because of its size (and overall quality/appearance), this figure will not be retained for my Synoptic Collection (besides, I am happily awaiting the Southlands Replicas version due sometime soon, we hope). For all intentions, this figure looks like any other generic crocodile toy, and like so many crocodilian toys it is painted green with a yellow venter.
Display worthy? Nah
Species: bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas
Length/scale: 9.5 cm; scale 1:24 (average, for both genders combined)
Comments: This is another figure that is too small for my Synoptic Collection (besides I am more than happy with the Safari Ltd. figure). The sculpt is actually pretty good and they got all the fins right. The figure is a sky blue rather than the usual beige. Also, like most shark figures, the number of gill slits is not correct.
Display worthy? If you display small sharks, this one might fit in nicely. Otherwise, pick a standard-sized figure from a major brand.
Species: great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Length/scale: 8.5 cm; scale 1:43 average (male); 1:55 average (female)
Comments: What Australia’s deadliest this-or-that would be complete without a great white shark? Like the bull shark above, I will not retain this figure due to its size. Unlike the bull shark (above) the dorsal and pectoral fins on this figure are a bit more exaggerated. Also, the white venter is reduced to the extreme underside of the figure, rather than coming up the sides a bit. The gill slits appear to be accurate on one side but not the other.
Display worthy? Nah
Species: Sydney funnelweb spider, Atrax robustus
Length/scale: body length 4.0 cm (total figure length 6.0 cm); this figure is within the range of 1:1 scale
Comments: The most venomous spider in the world! I have several other figures of this species, and while this one is probably not the most realistic, it is still is pretty nice! The chelicerae (fangs) are oriented properly, but like so many spider figures, the eyes are generic and do not have the arrangement of the actual animal. They eyes are also pained white; something one sees with Halloween-decor spiders!
Display worthy? Not if your other A. robustus figures are by Bullyland, Takara Tomy A.R.T.S., or Science and Nature. If they are Cadbury Yowies, this might be a slightly better option.
Species: redback spider, Latrodectus hasseltii
Length/scale: body length 3.5 cm (total figure length 8.0 cm); scale 3.5:1
Comments: This is my third exemplar of this species, Australia’s cousin to the black widows of the United States. As with the A. robustus above, the eyes and their arrangement are not accurate for this species.
Display worthy? Sure!
Overall there are some winners, some not-so-winners. Either way, this tube is a welcome set for collectors of species diversity!