The emperor scorpion, Pandinus imperator, is a large species of scorpion endemic to the rainforests and savanna of Africa. Because of their large size, hardy nature, docile behavior, and relatively mild venom, they are popular in the pet trade (I had them growing up). This species is no stranger to the toy animal industry, and today we are looking at the 2020 rendition of this species by Mojo Fun. This is only Mojo’s second arthropod, the first being a Mexican red-kneed tarantula that was released last year. I commend them on continuing to be adventurous with one of the less popular groups of animals to collect.
The figure is difficult to measure as the tail is help partially upright over the body. The body, minus the metasoma (tail), is 6.0 cm. The figure overall appears to be in the 1:1 range. The number of segments in the metasoma is correct. The figure is well-sculpted, but to me it appears a bit ‘flat’ (but not overly so); from what I remember, emperor scorpions have rather robust bodies (but in nature there is sure to be a fair range of variability). The large pedipalps (pincers) are textured appropriately.
The color is OK. It looks to be painted a base red-brown with darker highlights on the dorsal surface, tail, and pincers. It is somewhat reminiscent of the semi-vintage figures by AAA and Toy Major (see below). I would have preferred a more jet-black base with white or gray highlights representing the membranes between the sclerotized plates on the body. The stinger is red, as it usually is in nature.
Emperor scorpions are VERY commonly made as toys, figures, and models. This Mojo figure represents my 15th example, and I know there are others I do not have. There are roughly 21 species of Pandinus, but unless a company specifically states otherwise, I would assume they are intended to represent P. imperator. If someone wanted to introduce an emperor scorpion to their collection, there is a lot of variability in terms of size, quality, cost, and availability. For standard-sized figures, this Mojo figure is probably the best readily available due to its recent release, but the best in terms of accuracy is probably the 2009 offering by Bullyland. The figure by Edu Science is also very nice, but probably harder to acquire (and is a puzzle like the 4D Famemaster line). Probably the best emperor scorpion figure overall is the Revogeo figure by Kaiyodo, but it is very large, articulated, and expensive! For smaller figures, the best are the Night Aqua Museum figure by Kaiyodo and the figure by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. for their Scorpions collection (the Takara set had a secret figure that represents a second species of Pandinus). The Epoch figure from The Poison collection is nice too, but not quite as realistic as those by Kaiyodo and Takara.