When researching the frog species in the recent Capsule Q Museum release by Kaiyodo, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that 14 of the 16 figures in the Tropical Rain Forest Frogs collection box by Colorata were new species for me! I decided to buy a complete set, as paying for a whole set for 14 figures is still more cost-effective than hunting down individual figures of interest. One thing that stands out about the set is that they figures are all roughly 1:1 in scale. This is good news for those of you who like to collect life-sized figures, but it also means a couple of them are on the large size. If you are not super scale-conscious, this set affords many rare and unique species!
Each figure is a single, solid piece of plastic. Five of the figures in the set come with a habitat-style base, three of which appear to be permanently attached to the base. The bottoms of the figures are variably marked. Some have the common name, some a year, some both. Those stamped with a year are stamped ‘2005’ but the accompanying booklet is marked 2019, which leads me to believe my set is a recent re-release. Some of you with older sets may have a different species composition than mine! I would be interested to hear if so. The Animal Toy Wiki site lists the same species, as does a 2014 post of the set on the ATF by stemturtle (maybe only the booklet was updated in 2019).
Initially I was only going to photograph the figures I had intended to keep for my Synoptic Collection forum post, but after seeing the figures in-hand, I decided to do a two-part review for the Blog. Normally these figures would probably be deserving of their own indiviual posts, but I was feeling ambitious. This first part will cover the eight Neotropical species in the set; the Part 2 will cover the eight African, Madagascan, and Asian species. For each figure, I will give the common and Latin names, figure size (snout to vent length, keeping in mind they are all in the 1:1 range), plus other interesting information, including the acknowledgement of other figures of a given species in toy/figure form, assuming of course there are any others.
No. 1. Strawberry poison frog, Oophaga pumilio
Figure length: 2.8 cm
Notes: Among toys and figures, this species is the ‘go-to’ poison dart frog, having been previously made by nearly every major and familiar company, both Western and Japanese. This small species is endemic to Central America from Nicaragua to Panama. The species comes in several color morphs. This figure depicts the ‘blue jeans’ variety, which is the most common form in nature, but less common in the pet trade.
No. 2. Green-and-black poison frog, Dendrobates auratus
Figure length: 3.2 cm
Notes: This is another species that is not uncommon in toy and figure form. This species is larger than the previous, but lives in a similar geographic area. Whereas the strawberry poison frog is primarily a leaf litter denizen, the green-and-black poison frog is arboreal.
No. 3. blue poison dart frog, Dendrobates tinctorius, variety ‘azureus‘
Figure length: 3.5 cm
Notes: Historically this frog was considered a valid species, although more recently it has been regarded as a variety of the dyeing poison dart frog, D. tinctorius. This is another species commonly made in toy and figure form. I have the Yujin figure to represent a variety more in line with the type, but I plan on retaining this Colorata figure to represent the ‘azureus‘ form. This variety is endemic to forests surrounded by Sipaliwini savanna in southern Suriname and northern Brazil.
No. 4. Darwin’s frog, Rhinoderma darwinii
Figure length: 3.5 cm
Notes: This was one of the figures in the set I was most excited to get! I think it is a unique species as a figure (I had thought Yujin made one in their set based on Play Visions models, but after some more research I guess not). This enigmatic species lives in Chile and adjacent Argentina. The species is sexually dimorphic; females are typically brown whereas males are brown to green. Bright green individuals (as shown here) usually indicate a brooding male.
No. 5. Clown tree frog, Dendropsophus leucophyllata
Figure length: 3.5 cm
Notes: This figure is marketed as D. sarayacuensis, but the morphology (color pattern) is clearly intended to represent D. leucophyllata. This figure comes atop a leaf, and from what I can tell, it is permanently attached (if it does come off, it does not come easily, and I will not try to hard for risk of damage). This true tree frog is endemic to much of the Amazon Basin.
No. 6. Red-eyed tree frog, Agalychnis callidryas
Figure length: 5.0 cm (total height of display, including base, 8.0 cm)
Notes: Without doing the actual math, it is probably safe to say this is the most common species of frog produced in toy/figure form (not taking into account all the variations of Japanese tree frog made by Kitan Club sitting on various mushrooms…). The figure is displayed clinging to a branch to which it is clearly permanently attached. This common and familiar species occurs throughout much of Central America, from Mexico to northern Colombia.
No. 7. Amazon milk frog, Trachycephalus resinifictrix
Figure length: 6.5 cm
Notes: This large true tree frog (and this figure is on the small end of the species’ size range) is endemic to the Amazon region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Suriname, and Guiana. It is also known as the mission golden-eyed tree frog. This is only one of two figures of this species I know of, the other being by Yujin.
No. 8. Chacoan horned frog, Ceratophrys cranwelli
Figure length: 6.8 cm.
Notes: First of all, a little discussion on the identity of this figure. It was marketed as the ornate horned frog, C. ornata. However, discussions on the ATF by brontodocus (who is well-versed on these critters) suggest it should actually be C. cranwelli. Apparently the morphology, most-notably the more pronounced eye horns, is more indicative of C. cranwelli rather than C. ornata. While I would normally go with the ID provided by a company such as Colorata that puts so much research and detail into their products, apparently it is very common to mix up these two species (even in the zoo and pet trades), to the point that even a well-respected company might make such a mistake. Besides, by accepting the ID of C. cranwelli, it gives us as collectors a unique species and me a new species for my Synoptic Collection :-). As its common name suggests, this species is endemic to the Gran Chaco region of Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil. If intended to be in the 1:1 scale, this figure is at the very low end of the species’ size range.