Tamandua (Miniature Planet Vol. 5 by Eikoh)

Review and images by Lanthanotus; edited by bmathison1972

Ants are a very common and numerous form of recent insects, and so it is no wonder that there is also a variety of myrmecophagus animals. A lot of them, though by far not all, rely on strong claws and long sticky tongues to get their small quarries out of their narrow burrows. So do the tamanduas (Tamandua spp.), the lesser known cousins of the giant anteater. While the last is very popular and also represented in quite a number of toy figures, the tamanduas are lesser known and there are only a few figures to choose from – although it could be said that their even smaller cousin, the silky anteater (Cyclopes didactylus) is even lesser known and has not a single figure I am aware of.

The tamanduas live in Central and South America and are arboreal animals, mainly active during night. They walk on the sides of their forefeet as their long and sharp claws do not allow them to walk on their palms. Their eye sight is poor, so they rely on their smell and hearing; the ears are more prominent than in their cousins.

Eikoh’s figure is a very nice representation and as cute as the real animal is too. It measures around 8 cm in direct line and is of a cream white base color. The markings are basically black, but of different strength, so rather grey than black in the snout, belly, and feet. As the head is very bright I consider the figure to represent Tamandua tetradactyla, the southern species. All the details you would expect are there: the thick fur, tiny mouth and nostrils, as well as the claws which you can only see from the underside. The base color may be a bit bright and maybe should be a bit more yellow or blonde, but other than that, this is a very beautiful figure, made from a sturdy plastic (PVC I guess) that should also enable it to serve as a safe and durable toy.

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