Giant Deep-sea Isopod (Dango Mushi 05 by Bandai)

Review of the giant deep-sea isopod (Bathynomus giganteus) by Bandai, released recently in November, 2019 for the fifth set in the Dango Mushi Line. I am not going to go into too much detail on the animal itself, as this was covered when the species was first introduced to the Blog. This figure represents at least the fifth species of isopod to be released in the Dango Mushi line and the sixth species overall (the other being a pill scarab). Teaser photos suggest upcoming releases will have two more scarab species and a box crab. Depending on how creative the folks and Bandai get, we could even see pill millipedes, trilobites, or armadillos!

I have to admit, somewhat shamefully, when promo pics of this figure were first released I did not know they were capable of rolling into balls! And while they do not ball up as tightly as their terrestrial cousins, they can partially close-up to conceal their vulnerable undersides to would-be predators. Bandai designed their figure well, showing that the legs are still partially exposed!

As the figure unravels, the legs can be rotated into place for a ‘walking pose’. The uropods are also movable and can be expanded and retracted. The fully unraveled figure is 15.0 cm long, making it just under 1:1 for a very small specimen or 1:2 for a rather large specimen. The fine detail is pretty good (the quality of Dango Mushi figures has improved quickly in just under two years when the first common pillbug figure was released).

The following image shows this figure alongside the life-sized figure by Kitan Club and the smallest representative of the species in my collection, which is by Kaiyodo.

Here are four of the five isopod species in the Dango Mushi line, from left to right: Bathynomus giganteus (reviewed here), Armadillidium vulgare, Cubaris murina, and Armadillidium klugii. Not shown here is Armadillidium maculatum (which is currently en route to me); Bandai has been able to create multiple species easily by simply repainting the Armadillidium mold (note however the three genera have different sculpts).

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