Edible Crab (Marine Life by Papo)

Today we are looking at the edible crab (Cancer pagurus) released just this year by Papo. This is an exciting figure. It is Papo’s first crustacean, and only the second crustacean in a Western company’s ‘Sealife/Marine life’ line following CollectA’s 2019 king crab (I am not counting figures in the Incredible Creatures line by Safari Ltd.). This figure is sometimes advertised online as a Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) but that is probably a translational error by Papo, which happens sometimes with this French-based company (for example the 2020 sailfish being advertised as a swordfish). However, I feel the morphology and paint job best fits a member of the genus Cancer proper, with C. pagurus being the most-likely candidate.

The edible crab is native to the northern Atlantic Ocean, from Norway to northern Africa and the Mediterranean. It is one of the most commercially important crustaceans, especially in Western Europe. Edible crabs themselves are active predators, feeding on other crustaceans and mollusks.

This figure has a legspan of 8.0 cm and a carapace width of 4.7 cm, making it a scale of 1:3-1:5, with females being slightly larger than males. The abdominal flap on the figure is a bit exaggerated, but it appears to be a female crab.

The sculpt is very nice. The carapace has 10 rounded lobes on each side. Normally edible crabs have nine lobes; whether this is a minor oversight, or there is variation in nature, or this figure was really intended to be a different species, I am not sure. Microsculpturing on the legs reveals tiny tubercles. The paint job is accurate and subtle, with a nice matte finish.

This figure comes highly recommended. It is well done, a good size as to not take up much space, and is a unique or, at the very least, rarely-made species. Good job Papo; I hope this is a start of a new trend. Papo made their first arthropods in 2016 with a scorpion and wolf spider, added a praying mantis in 2019, and six more this year, with this crab and five insects.

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