Animal toy reviews and walk-arounds

Recent reviews and walk-arounds

Today at 02:07:02 PM by bmathison1972
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This is the review of a set (complete?) of small, stylized boxed insects from an unknown Japanese manufacturer. I bought them from Beetle Guy, who got them in a large mixed lot. I have no idea who made them, what year they were released, or if the set is complete or not. I do know that among these 10 simple figures, I added six new species and three new genera to my synthetic insect collection ;-).

As I said the figures are stylized, but not to the point I could not made a decent attempt to identify them. Eventually and entomology colleague originally from Korea helped with the names on the back and confirmed or corrected my initial hunches (I had all the genera correct, just 1-2 species were off).

The figures sit in a nest of cotton and are contained within a small box that measures 50 mm x 35 mm x 17 mm. The box is a hard plastic, but the clear top is soft and taped on (so it does not have a hard clear cover). The boxes all interlock so it can form one unit (see the first pic below). On the back (in Japanese) is the scientific name, order, family, and a little biological information. The figures can be removed from the boxes (but I will display them boxed up).

I know this set is not for everyone, but it’s a great chance to get some very interesting species.

This first pic shows the interlocked set (note the numbers were for another post and do not correspond to the individual images below). The Japanese text on the right is a mirror image of the figures on the left so if you want to match figure with text, you must mentally flip the image horizontally :).

And on to individual figures:

1. Deraeocoris ater
This is a unique species for me, at both the genus and species levels. Terrestrial Heteroptera are not common, so I am always excited to get one. This is the figure that inspired me to contact my Korean colleague, since he is an expert on Miridae.

2. Nezara antennata (green stink bug)
I originally had this identified as the more familiar, N. viridula but apparently it is intended to be N. antennata. Another unique figure at both the genus and species levels, and another terrestrial heteropteran.

3. Anoplophora chinenses (Asian citrus longhorned beetle)
This figure is marketed as A. malasiaca, which is generally considered a synonym of A. chinensis, and I will consider here as well unless otherwise convinced. This species was also made by Rement and Hayakwa Toys.

4. Allomyrina dichotoma (Japanese rhinoceros beetle)
No set of Asian insects would be complete without this species. This little gem marks my 45th figure of this species! It has been made by over a dozen manufacturers!

5. Parasteatoda tepidariorum (common house spider)
This was a pleasant surprise, a spider marketed to the species level (and a unique figure for me at both the genus and species levels). This spider is in the same family of the widows (Theridiidae) and marks my first member of the family not in the genus Latrodectus.

6. Carabus insulicola (left) and C. gehinii (right).
Two unique species of Asian carabines is a nice treat! The only other species in this genus I am aware of is C. auratus which was made by Bullyland and Kaiyodo. K&M International had a Carabus species in their European Garden Tube.

7. Chrysochroa fulgidissima (left) and C. buqueti rugicollis (right).
Two jewel beetles. The former has been made by Yujin and F-toys (the latter of which should be coming to me soon from Brett). The second species is unique. A third species, C. limbata was made by DeAgostini.

8. Coccinella septempunctata (seven-spotted ladybug)
Another commonly-made species, but a welcome addition to this set.

Today at 04:53:27 AM by bmathison1972
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Review of the complete set of The Greatest Beetle Legend by Maruka. I was completely unfamiliar with this brand when I stumbled upon this set on the Japanese Yahoo! auctions. At a glance in the packaging, the figures appeared to be knock-offs of small Sega or Kabaya figures, but in fact they all appear to be original sculpts (well, original compared to anything else I have). They all have a round, flat surface on the bottom which suggests they may have been copied from something with magnets? If they are copies or knock-offs, I am not sure of what.

There are eight figures, each representing major males of large flashy scarabaeoid beetles (as the name of the set suggests). None of these species are uncommonly made, and they represent fairly standard fare. The Lucanus cervus is uncommon among Japanese manufacturers, so that was a pleasant surprise (even though it is commonly made outside of Japan). The figures are the same size as small Sega beetles or most gashapon-style figures. They solid-piece PVC and have detailed texture. Some are more accurate than others...

The figures came in a blister pack. On the back, the figures are identified to the species level., along with their Japanese names and some other stats in Japanese.

I am going to forgo my usual breakdown of each species, and all the companies that made each of these species, since all of these species are commonly made in toy/figure form and have been previously covered in other reviews of mine. So, on to the pics (in numerical order on the packaging):

001. Dynastes hercules.

002. Lucanus cervus.

003. Chalcosoma moellenkampi.

004. Prosopocoilus giraffa keisukei.

005. Prosopocoilus inclinatus.

006. Allomyrina dichotoma. [marketed as Trypoxylus dichotomus]

007. Chalcosoma caucasus.

008. Megasoma elephus.

November 19, 2017, 05:55:31 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 59 | Comments: 1

So, I have been acquiring a lot of Sega beetles lately, and there has been some interest on STS to review them. So, this post is specifically the Sega beetles I have in my personal collection.

Sega made A LOT of sets containing primarily, if not entirely, stag beetles (Lucanidae) and rhinoceros beetles (Scaraebaeidae: Dynastinae). That is a lot of figures for only two suprageneric taxa! Figures can vary from very small to very large; some are solid, some are articulated; some require assembly, others not; some are flying; some are on bases. Many are marketed under the brand 'Mushi King' which I believe is a Pokemon-like card game. Beetle Guy on the AFT is an expert on Sega beetle figures and I am sure he will embellish more on what I am presenting here.

The thread is not to do a comprehensive review of all Sega figures, but rather to highlight the sets and figures in my personal collection (and frankly, help me organize what is what--when you get so many versions of the same species, it can be hard to keep things straight!).

Feel free to comment all you want, but as with my 'Bug of the Day' thread I ask that you do not post images to this thread. I want everything to be mine for logistical reasons.

So, without further rambling, here are my Sega beetles. Posts will be updated as I add figures.

1. Large series, standard. These are very large figures, many probably 1:1 if not larger. I am not sure how many were made, but at the time of this writing, I have the following four. All are stamped with the year 2003. Some assembly (legs) are required.

Left to right, top to bottom: Mesotopus tarandus, Dorcus titanus palawanicus, Allotopus rosenbergi, Megasoma actaeon.

2. Large Series, DX.
These are the ‘Deluxe’ versions of the larger figures, with slightly better materials and paint jobs (although the large standard figures are very nice as they are). Again, I am not sure how many were made, nor are any of them stamped with the year they were released. Like the standard figures, some assembly is required, the legs and sometimes the prothorax-mesothorax juncture.

From left to right, top to bottom:
Prosopocoilus giraffa, Dorcus alcides, Megasoma actaeon, Megasoma mars, Dorcus titanus palawanicus

From left to right, top to bottom:
Mesotopus tarandus, Dynasts hyllus, Allomyrina dichotoma, Dynastes hercules

3. Small Series, standard
This is the largest series I believe. There were (at least) 100 figures spread over 10+ sets. While there are a few duplications for color morphs, etc., the vast majority of the figures represent different species. At the time of this writing I have 62 of them. They are small, roughly gashapon-sized, single-piece plastic and very realistic for their size. Many are unique at the species if not genus level! The following are shown in alphabetical order for my convenience:

From left to right, top to bottom: Aegus platyodon, Allomyrina dichotoma, Allomyrina pfeifferi celebensis, Allotopus rosenbergi, Augosoma centaurus, Beckius beccarii, Beckius koletta, Chalcosoma caucasus, Chalcosoma moellenkampi, Chiasognathus granti, Cyclommatus elephus, Dipelicus cantori.

The Dorcus species, left to right, top to bottom: D. alcides, D. grandis, D. hopei binodulosus, D. rectus, D. rubrofemoratus, D. tityus.

The Dynastes species, left to right, top to bottom: D. granti, D. hercules, D. hercules (blue morph), D. hyllus, D. neptunus, D. satanas.

Left to right, top to bottom: Eupatorus gracilicornis, E. gracilicornis edai, Eupatorus hardwickei, Eupatorus siamensis, Golofa pizzaro, Heterogomphus hirtus, Hexarthrius forsteri, Hexarthrius mandibularis, Homoderus mellyi.

Left to right, top to bottom: Lamprima adolphinae, Licomedes buckleyi, Lucanus gamunus, Megasoma actaeon, Megasoma gyas rumbucheri, Megasoma mars, Mesotopus tarandus, Neolucanus delicatus, Neolucanus maximus.

Odontolabis species, left to right, top to bottom: O. burmeisteri, O. cypri, O. duivenbodei, O. imperialis, O. spectabilis.

Left to right, top to bottom: Oryctes gigas, Prosopocoilus fabricea, P. giraffa, P. hasterti, P. inclinatus, P. wallacei, Rhaetulus didieri, Rhaetulus speciosus.

Left to right, top to bottom: Rhyssonotus nebulosus, Scapenes australis, Sphaenognathus feistameli, Strategus mandibularis, Trichogomphus martabani, Xylotrupes gideon, X. pubescens.

4. Small series, DX
These are the ‘DX’ versions of the small standard figures. I know very little about them, and at the time of this writing I only have the following two (Allotopus rosenbergi and Golofa porteri). I doubt there are 100 different figures, however.

5. Mushi King.
There are several sets under the name ‘Mushi King’ (I think they were all affiliated with card games). If I remember, my twelve figures are from two sets of 6. They are all stamped ‘2003’. I am not sure how many others came like this on bases. They can swivel on the bases but cannot be removed from them.

Left to right, top to bottom: Megasoma elephas, Dorcus hopei, Mesotopus tarandus, Lucanus maculifemoratus, Dynastes neptunus, Dynastes hercules, Dynastes granti, Allomyrina dichotoma, Odontolabis burmeisteri, Prosopocoilus giraffa, Allotopus rosenbergi, Chalcosoma caucasus.

6. Mushi King – magnet set
These six figures are small, even smaller than the small standard and DX sets. I have six figures, which probably represents a complete set but I am not sure. They all have a small, unobtrusive magnet on the underside.

Left to right, top to bottom: Chalcosoma caucasus, Dorcus grandis, Allotopus rosenbergi, Dynastes hercules, Megasoma actaeon, Mesotopus tarandus

7. Mushi King – Flying Beetles
There were at least two sets of beetles depicted in flight. I have a complete set from 2005 and a partial set from 2006. Some assembly is required, notably, the attachment of the elytra and flying wings, sometimes also the pro-mesothorax juncture. They are all elevated on clear rods and bases and attach in a hole on the bottom of the prothorax (making the figures a little back-heavy). The PVC is relatively soft on these. Where species are duplicated, the sculpts are not 100% identical.

2005 set (complete), clockwise from top: Allomyrina dichotoma, Prosopocoilus giraffa, Dorcus hopei, Dorcus rectus, Mesotopus tarandus, Dynastes hercules.

2006 (partial), clockwise from upper left: Dynastes hercules (blue morph), Chalcosoma moellenkampi, Prosopocoilus giraffa, Dynastes satanas.

8. Mushi King – Fighting Beetles
These figures seem to have been made for some game whereby one figure can ‘flip’ over another by means of an articulation between the pro- and mesothorax. Again, I am not sure how many there are, but my figures are stamped with years 2003, 2005, and 2006 so there were at least three sets. These are normally something I would not collect, but after getting a few free from Beetle Guy, I decided to invest in more.

Left to right, top to bottom: Dynastes neptunus, Dorcus hopei, Hexarthrius mandibularis, Chalcosoma atlas, Xylotrupes gideon, Prosopocoilus inclinatus, Megasoma actaeon, Allomyrina dichotoma (black), Eupatorus gracillicornis, Odontolabis burmeisteri, Allomyrina dichotoma (brown), Rhaetulus speciosus, Dynastes hyllus.

9. Trunk Figures
These figures are small (the tree trunks are roughly 20 mm long) and single-piece plastic. I am not sure if this set if complete or not (or maybe multiple sets together), but it's one of my favorites. Because of their small size, it was sometimes hard to confirm the identifications.

1. Lucanus maculifemoratus
2. Mesotopus tarandus
3. Dorcus rectus
4. Dorcus hopei
5. Hexarthrius mandibularis
6. Prosopocoilus inclinatus
7. Megasoma elephas
8. Chalcosoma moellenkampi

9. Dynastes granti
10. Allotopus rosenbergi
11. Xyotrupes gideon
12. Allomyrina dichotoma
13. Chalcosoma atlas
14. Chalcosoma caucasus
15. Dynastes herculus
16. Allomyrina dichotoma (anime style)

10. Miscellaneous figures
These are random figures made by Sega. The largest is a two-piece Lucanus maculifemoratus. The seven 'mini' figures (which might not be part of the same set) include Chalcosoma atlas, Dorcus hopei, Allotopus rosenbergi, Prosopocoilus inclinatus, Eupatorus gracillicornis, and Odontolabis burmeisteri (identifications on the Chalcosoma, Dorcus, and Odontolabis are tentative due to their small size and lack of detail). The silver figures are a Dorcus species (Neolucanus?) and Prosopocoilus giraffa. The gold one is Allomyrina dichotoma. Lastly, there are two 'anime' style A. dichotoma. I was debating on whether or not I would retain them.

Beetle guy
November 19, 2017, 05:13:43 PM by Beetle guy
Views: 38 | Comments: 0

Walk-around Mesotupus tarandus by Sega (Mushi King DX series) which was released in Japan around 2006.

The Sega Mushi King DX series include: Dynastes hercules (yellow (red eyed and revised black eyed version)/grey/dark brown type), Dynastes neptunus, Chalcosoma caucasus (red eyed no revised version), Megasoma gyas, Megasoma acteon, Megasoma mars, Hexarthrius mandibularis (red eyed and revised black eyed version), Dorcus palawanicus, Dorcus alcides, Allomyrina dichotoma (only one with wings in this series. the later revised DX version had no wings!),Procopocoilus giraffa (red eyed and revised black eyed version) and Mesotopus tarandus.

So here is Mesotopus tarandus, the figurine is almost 9,5 cm in lenght (measuring tip mandibles to tip abdomen not measuring the legs).

November 18, 2017, 06:07:46 AM by MajesticHumpback
Views: 92 | Comments: 2

The Sofubi Toy Box Humpback Whale by Kaiyodo

Beetle guy
November 15, 2017, 10:14:23 PM by Beetle guy
Views: 57 | Comments: 0

Walk-around Chalcosoma atlas by Sega (Mushi King DX series) which was released in Japan around 2006.

The Sega Mushi King DX series include: Dynastes hercules (yellow (red eyed and revised black eyed version)/grey/dark brown type), Dynastes neptunus, Chalcosoma caucasus (red eyed no revised version), Megasoma gyas, Megasoma acteon, Megasoma mars, Hexarthrius mandibularis (red eyed and revised black eyed version), Dorcus palawanicus, Dorcus alcides, Allomyrina dichotoma (only one with wings in this series. the later revised DX version had no wings!),Procopocoilus giraffa (red eyed and revised black eyed version) and Mesotopus tarandus.

So here is Chalcosoma caucasus, the figurine is about 11 cm in lenght (not measuring the legs).

 I have painted the eyes more realistic, below the original.

November 02, 2017, 11:28:46 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 105 | Comments: 0

OK, this is a rather fun and silly walk-around. I like to do reviews of obscure or unusual figures, or neat figures of odd or unfamiliar brands. Today I bring you the review of a centipede, gen. sp. by Target Brands, as part of their Hyde and Eek! Boutique line of Halloween decor. This past weekend I was visiting a friend in Minnesota for her annual Halloween party and when I walked into her house, this is the first thing I noticed! She took me to Target to get another, but they were out, so she gave me one of the two she had bought earlier!

The figure is LARGE, measuring 52 cm, not including appendages. It is articulated (see the third image) and can be manipulated to some degree. It is not super accurate from a scientific standpoint, especially given its size, but it's a fun figure nonetheless.

I also have a large stag beetle in this series, and my friend gave me a couple large cockroaches that may be in this series (you probably saw them all in Recent Acquisitions).

Really not much more to say, so on to the pics:

On my kitchen floor with my other very large centipede:

With my smallest centipede figure, a small hard plastic vintage figure (possibly inspired by the old Creepy Crawly Thingmakers sets):

October 21, 2017, 02:26:38 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 156 | Comments: 0

Walk-around of the caterpillar of the puss moth, Cerura vinula (Linnaeus, 1758) by Sun Wai Toys. This species occurs throughout much of Europe, temperate Asia to China, and northern Africa.

A little history about this figure. I found it a few years ago, randomly online on Archie McPhee's novelty website when doing various Google searches for 'toy insects'. The first one was actually lost in the mail (quite possibly stolen from my front porch--that happened a couple times during that period), and was replaced free-of-charge by Archie McPhee. I knew nothing about the figure, but to find a toy of such an interesting and distinctive caterpillar, I had to have one. I didn't realize how interesting this figure was to other people. I have had a few private messages asking where to get one, and even a couple people practically begging me to sell them mine! This ranks up with my Imperial Toys walking stick as a real treasure!

I think Sun Wai made at least a sphinx moth caterpillar as well. Sun Wai figures, at least the few arthropods I have, are larger, yet detailed novelty-style. Most are fairly realistic (although their lobster looks like a mashup of a Maine and spiny lobster...)

Like many of the Sun Wai toys, the figure is large and a soft, hollow plastic. The figure measures roughly 225 mm (not including the caudal appendages), making it nearly 3:1 for an average caterpillar (although its stature makes it appear so much bigger). It is surprisingly detailed for what amounts to a novelty toy.

On to the pics:

October 13, 2017, 02:26:33 AM by ErinH | Views: 302 | Comments: 3

Hello! I have a HUGE Schleich horse collection, but recently, I've noticed that their horses have gone down in quality and number. So now I'm searching for high quality horse figurines. I looked at the CollectA website. To me, the horses appear of lower quality than Schleich. Does any one know where I could go to a store to take a look at them or some other company I might like? Thanks!
-Erin  :)
October 11, 2017, 12:40:07 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 152 | Comments: 1

This is one of the reviews of those odd, more novelty-type figures, a spiny lobster, Panulirus sp. by Aquatop. Aquatop specializes in aquarium accessories and this is intended to be displayed in an aquarium as decor. They make a few other animals including jellyfish and a Mandarin goby! Sphyrna18 alerted me to this on eBay and it was not too expensive, so I decided to give it a try, and I am glad I did! Interesting timing, too, as it appears Safari LTD will be releasing one this year. Will be interesting to see whose is more accurate...

The figure is 100 mm long, not including legs or antennae. So, it is larger than a gashapon-style figure, but smaller what what one usually gets with Safari Incredible Creatures crustaceans. It is essentially a solid piece TPR (rather than the usual PVC), although the tail segments could pop off if pulled on firmly, as the tail is fully articulated so it can appear to move when in water. There is a suction cup on the underside (that I removed, of course) to attach to the side of an aquarium or bury in aquarium gravel. Other than the articulated tail, the legs and antennae are rather stiff. It is advertised to glow under UV light (probably the hot pink parts). I bought the red version, but it also comes in blue and teal (I might invest in another if I can associate it with a precise species).

I am not an expert on spiny lobsters but the dorsal surface texture and detail is amazing for aquarium decor. I am not sure what species, if any, it is attended to be. From what I can tell, spiny lobsters have a fairly uniform morphology among the species, and as I said I am not a specialist in this group.

On to the figures:

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