Animal toy reviews and walk-arounds

Recent reviews and walk-arounds

January 12, 2019, 11:49:40 PM by Takama
Views: 62 | Comments: 1

These are old photos i took with an Expirimental Black background

Not too sure it holds up.

FYI this model is hollow @doug watson can you say why this particular model is hollow? :)

January 12, 2019, 12:52:15 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 69 | Comments: 0

Walkaround of the Mexican red-kneed tarantula, Brachypelma smithi (P-Cambridge, 1897) by Schleich, new for 2019. I am going to start with a little taxonomic disclaimer. There is confusion to the identity of spiders referred to as Mexican red-knees, since the description of a cryptic sibling species, B. hamorii Cleton and Verdez, 1997. The two species are indistinguishable morpholoically and can only be separated by DNA barcoding and strict geographic distribution. In the absence of a figure being specifically ascribed to a given species, I am referring to all figures as the classic B. smithi.

First thing first. This is, to my knowledge, Schleich's first standard-sized arthropod figure (they had some in their vintage 'Mini' line and some recent accessory sets, such as the Death Valley set or Scorpion Nest). But I think this is the first in a standard line, and I commend them on it! After so many years, this marks uncharted territory for Schleich. I encourage Schleich fans to buy it so they'll make more :-) . But my congratulations and thanks to Schleich for venturing out to this group of animals. Mojo Fun is also releasing their first arthropod this year, and the same species, too!

The figure is nicer than I thought it would be, looks better in-hand than in publicity shots. It is made of a solid, good-quality PVC (very similar in texture and feel to CollectA's insects and spiders). The size is nice, a little smaller than I anticipated, but I am actually grateful for that. The body length is about 4.0 cm, making it just under 1:1 for a small female (or 1:1 for an immature one). The maximum space occupied by the legs is 7.0 cm by 7.0 cm.

If there is one morphological mistake, it is with regards to the number and position of the eyes. For spiders, the eye arrangement usually defines the family, and this figures eyes are not consistent with members of the family Theraphosidae. While this might seem like a nit-pick, other major companies can get this right (see Papo's spectacular wolf spider, for example).

The underside is marked copyright '18, I guess because that is when it was commissioned. It also says, I think, 'Am Lines'. Perhaps this in reference to American dealers of Schleich? I don't know, it's my first ;-).

On to the figures:

Smaller than it's cousin from Bullyland:

With other figures of comparable size. Clockwise from top-left: Kaiyodo (Capsule Q Museum - Toxic Animals), Schleich, and Safari LTD (Authentics Insects)

January 11, 2019, 10:53:11 PM by Takama
Views: 68 | Comments: 1

My second Invertabrate for my Wild Safari animal Collection

January 08, 2019, 06:02:29 PM by Takama
Views: 56 | Comments: 0

My one and Only Gorilla Figure.   It is a nice sculpt, and a decent size as well

January 08, 2019, 05:58:56 PM by Takama
Views: 34 | Comments: 0

For a while, Standing Bear figures have become a trend. As a man who only collects one model per animal, i decided to get the standing verison of this beast. and its a simple Walkaround too

January 08, 2019, 05:56:09 PM by Takama
Views: 60 | Comments: 1

I cant beleive no one has posted a walkaround of this model yet.    And im mad at myslef for not posting this sooner.

January 08, 2019, 05:52:03 PM by Takama
Views: 86 | Comments: 1

Sorry for the long abcence

Here is a American Bison which replace my older version of the animal

January 05, 2019, 02:37:11 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 90 | Comments: 8

I am posting today some beetles by an unknown, presumably Japanese, manufacturer that were released as premiums in conjunction with Coca Cola. Three mysteries remain: 1) who made them, 2) what year were they released, and 3) how many were there. At the time of this initial writing, I have five. I was hoping posting them would spark recognition by someone.

The figures are small, typical TOOB/tube/gashapon sized. To put things in perspective, the diameter of the base is 3.5 cm. The beetles are single-piece, good quality plastic that can easily removed from the base. The base has the Japanese name on one side and the Coca Cola logo on the other. They are pretty nice in terms of quality and accuracy.

I am pretty sure Kaiyodo did not make them, as they usually mark the base if not the figure itself (but I could be wrong). Takara Tomy and Bandai are possibilities. Any help in identifying the manufacturer would be most appreciated!

The lineup (as of now):

1. Prosopocoilus inclinatus

2. Dorcus hopei binodulosus

3. Dorcus rectus

4. Lucanus maculifemoratus

5. Allomyrina dichotoma

January 01, 2019, 04:15:08 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 55 | Comments: 0

Review of a set of five generic spiders by AAA. These were sold together, from the same distributor as my recently-reviewed set of 10 AAA insects.

There are 5 figures, comparable in size to the other AAA insects. None of these spiders appear to represent actual species. It looks like they were influenced from actual species, but artistic license was used with regards to color and in some cases, eyes and other adornments. It would be futile to try to ascribe species names to these.

Highlighting them here for the AAA fans on the forum.

January 01, 2019, 03:50:31 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 154 | Comments: 8

Review of a set of insects by AAA. I am surprised I have not reviewed this set previously! I am not sure all the ways AAA markets their figures, and some of these may be available individually, but I bought mine as a bagged set.

There are 10 figures, medium in size (I will put individual measurements below with each image). They are all stamped with the AAA logo and a common English name (one of which is incorrect, they are discussed individually below). Scientific names below are of my assigning.

AAA is popular with collectors so I thought I would highlight this set! Enjoy. In no particular order:

1. Longhorned beetle, Cerambyx cerdo. If you accept my Latin name here, it would be a unique species. Length = 6.8 cm (not including appendages)

2. Ladybug. Length = 5.0 cm

3. Weevil. This figure is incorrectly marked on the underside as a 'dung beetle'. Length = 6.5 cm (including snout)

4. Hercules beetle, Dynastes hercules. This species is commonly made but this might be the only female! It is the only one I am familiar with. On the underside it is stamped 'rhinoceros beetle]. Length = 5.0 cm

5. Rhinoceros beetle, Xylotrupes gideon. On the bottom stamped 'two horned beetle'. Length = 6.5 cm (including horns)

6. Stage beetle. This is probably modeled after something specific, but I do not know what. Length = 8.0 cm (including mandibles)

7. Grasshopper. Length = 8.0 cm (not including legs)

8. Green darner, Anax junius. Simply marked 'dragonfly'. Length = 6.3 cm; wingspan = 9.3 cm

9. Emperor scorpion, Pandinus imperator. Length = 10.0 cm (including claws, to the point at which the tail curls upwards)

10. Cicada. Length = 6.2 cm (including wings)

December 30, 2018, 02:44:53 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 87 | Comments: 1

Walkaround of the Mexican red-kneed tarantula, Brachypelma smithi (P-Cambridge, 1897) by Veronese Design. I am going to start with a little taxonomic disclaimer. There is confusion to the identity of spiders referred to as Mexican red-knees, since the description of a cryptic sibling species, B. hamorii Cleton and Verdez, 1997. The two species are indistinguishable morpholoically and can only be separated by DNA barcoding and strict geographic distribution. In the absence of a figure being specifically ascribed to a given species, I am referring to all figures as the classic B. smithi.

This species is probably the most commonly-made spider figure, and we will be getting two this year, by Schleich and Mojo Fun (and for both those companies their first standards-sized arthropods!).

This is my second walkaround of a Veronese figurine, the other being an emperor scorpion roughly one year ago. Like the scorpion, the tarantula is cold case resin, making it more of a statuette than a figure/toy. The detail is extraordinary and better than any toy version of this species. The body length (not including appendages) is about 6.5 cm making it slightly larger than 1:1 for a large female specimen.

The figure is permanently fixed to a very detailed base that includes a bonus arthropod, a 1:1 ladybug!

On to the pics:

December 29, 2018, 05:03:34 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 64 | Comments: 0

Walkaround of the Old World swallowtail, Papilio machaon Linnaeus, 1758 by Enesco. The figurine is rather generically painted, but I think P. machaon is the most-likely candidate given the paint job and the wide Palearctic distribution of this species.

The figurine is made entirely of porcelain. When I bought it on eBay I had the assumption the butterfly was porcelain and the base was actual wood, but it's all porcelain. That's fine with me, I have a growing collection of porcelain butterflies :).

The wingspan is 6.0 cm and it stands about 6.0 cm at its highest point. It is not detailed on the underside.

On to the pics:

December 29, 2018, 12:16:33 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 51 | Comments: 0

Walkaround of one of the more peculiar figures in my collection, a dung (rhinoceros?) beetle by Jasman Toys, original release date unknown. A little backstory on this figure. When I first started collecting insect replicas, I started with scarabaeoid beetles, and I started in 1998 or so. This was one of my earliest figures, and I believe when I first bought it, it was released (re-released?) in conjunction with the Disney movie, A Bug's Life. At some point I misplaced the toy, I think I just forgot to pack it up when I moved from Phoenix to Atlanta in 2007. Well, last weekend I was seeing what's new on eBay and I found it for sale, so I bought it and here it is again!

When I first bought it back in the late 1990s, I was not to savvy with manufacturers, and only now that I am reunited with it, did I realize it was produced by Jasman Toys!

As I said it's a peculiar figure. In fact it could just as easily represent a rhinoceros beetle rather than a dung beetle, but to me it looks more like a coprine (besides, when I bought my first one years ago, I was a specialist in dung scarabs :) ). First thing you will notice is that it lacks a head. The cephalic horn comes right out of the prothorax! Also, the first pair of legs do not come off of the prothorax (a common mistake in generic toy figures). It is a large, solid piece of plastic. It is 14.0 cm long (not including the horn) and 7.5 cm tall at its highest point.

This toy is really only for the most taxonomically specialized, or those interested in weird novelty-type figures. On to the pics:

December 27, 2018, 12:31:20 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 94 | Comments: 3

Reviews of the complete sets Beetle Battle by Epoch. Both sets were originally released in 2005. These were always sets I said I would get if the opportunity came up, but I never aggressively pursued them. Now that I have them they are nicer than I thought. Both sets have 6 figures.

Minimal assembly is required, and the come with a base and an elevated peg on which to display them. The two sets have different colored bases and pegs. The concept is they can be 'locked in battle'; the bases even loosely connect to one another. They are small, similar in size to early Kaiyodo or Furuta figures, or standard TOOB/tube-sized figures. Some of the species are common, and one (as far as I know) is unique.

Thanks to @Beetle guy for selling them to me  ^-^

Set 1:

Dynastes hercules vs. Dynastes neptunus.

Cyclommatus metallifer vs. Prosopocoilus inclinatus.
Cyclommatus species don't get a lot of attention so good to see one here!

Allomyrina dichotoma vs. Lucanus maculifemoratus.

Set 2:

Odontolabis lacordairei vs. Hexarthrius parryi.
The O. lacordairei is, to my knowledge, a unique figure.

Allotopus rosenbergi vs. Megasoma elephas.

Augosoma centaurus vs. Chalcosoma moellennkanmpi.
A. centaurus doesn't get a lot of attention, so nice to see it here!

December 02, 2018, 03:15:55 PM by stemturtle
Views: 245 | Comments: 2

Sea Bottom Biological Seal Books by Ikimon, Nature Technicolor

After resisting for years, I finally bought this set for its educational value. I wish the items were 3D figurines instead of seals.
Thanks to Brett for his service dealing with YAJ.

80 species of marine invertebrates are depicted. A duplicate of each seal is included. The seals are flat, about 1.25 inches (3 cm.).
The obverse shows a color photo. The reverse identifies the scientific name in English on a paper that can be peeled off to expose an adhesive surface.
See images on the company site. There are 8 categories (called books), each with 10 species.

Echinoderm I
Echinoderm II
Arthropod I
Arthropod II
Cnider Animals (Cniderians)
Ring/Star Mouth Animal (Annelid & Sipunculid Worms)
Flat/Outer/String/Chordate (Chordates, Bryozoans, Flatworms, Ribbon Worms)

Example of a postage stamp stock page (not included) used to display the seals from book 8.
Small printing requires magnification. I prepared labels having a legible sized font.
November 21, 2018, 04:09:01 PM by stargatedalek
Views: 258 | Comments: 1

Unlike those Lunkerhunt I reviewed last night, LIVETARGET products are anything but generic. They have a large range of baitfish, small sportfish, and frogs, most of them recognizable and many of them marketed to a species level. The threadfin shad is available in 3 1/2" (pictured) and 4 1/2", but many of the larger fish range above 6 inches.

Threadfin shad are small plankton feeding freshwater fish found on the East coast of the United States, and introduced throughout much of the United States. Their range has also expanded due to warming temperatures. It would be a stretch to call them invasive however given they don't compete with any other fish species in these habitats and provide an easily accessible food source for larger fish.

The LIVETARGET threadfin shad unfortunately comes pre-rigged, meaning it's going to require an operation to remove that massive hook. It also has a "mechanical" plastic form on its tail to give it a swimming motion in water. It's one solid piece of rubber, painted, and the eyes are glued on top, that being said the paint hasn't given me any issues yet and the eyes seem to have a coating of some additional sealant on top of them keeping them secure.

The tail is an easy tweak, any pair of small scissors or cutters will do. Assuming you have a good pair of metal cutters or a very good pair of wire cutters, the hook shouldn't give you much trouble either. You just slide the fish back along the hook starting from the exposed end by about a half an inch and then snip, this ensures the sharp end where you cut it is out of reach and won't pose any hazard for handling it.

Where I goofed was in trying to remove the loop from the fishes belly. I ended up with a very sharp piece of thick metal sticking out of the fish, and in order to actually get in deep enough to cut it off I did considerable damage to the fish. I recommend just putting up with those little loops. I filled the whole using super glue mixed with white paint, then coated the spot again in glue to seal it, rather than using normal paint sealant. It doesn't look very pleasant, but it's good enough.

I recommend these both for species completionists (it is a very interesting little fish after all), or for use as a generic "food fish" to be used alongside large animal figures.

Keep these out of reach of children unless it's been altered, and as always out of the reach of real pets.
November 21, 2018, 02:44:06 AM by stargatedalek
Views: 128 | Comments: 0

In our collecting many of us, especially those whose focus lies outside the usual "African Safari" cast members, will find ourselves drawn to novelties, children's toys, or other animal related products from a species completionist perspective. While that wasn't the case here, it is where most of the collector interest in things like fishing lures would lie.

I'm going to be reviewing a number of fishing products from a collecting perspective over the coming days, and most of them will be less than glowing, so I thought I should start with a stand out gem. The Lunkerhunt Bento is by all accounts an incredible surprise, and shining example of what unconventional figures can bring to the table.

The package backing reads;
"Designed to perfection, the Lunkerhunt Bento is one of the most realistic baitfish imitators on the market. The Bento features a lively tapered split tail, holographic core, and biologically correct detailing. All of these elements are incorporated into a soft yet durable body construction that enables the Bento to come to life with the slightest movement."

It's not marketed at a species level, but I think the best ID is a juvenile feeder goldfish (presumably a common goldfish or comet goldfish), as opposed to a gold white cloud minnow, golden shiner, or fathead minnow. The mold is fairly stylized and was used for a number of colour variations, so unfortunately an ID is likely trivial in this example.

I purchased this set along several other brands to compare and hopefully find some that would be appropriate for us as "props" in dioramas. I thought something that looked like feeder goldfish would be perfect for the role.

The package wasn't wrong when it described these as durable, many rubber fishing lures are surprisingly fragile because of reflective foil reaching the surface of the plastic, the eyes are often poorly glued on top, and paint is an afterthought. Lunkerhunt has avoided all of these problems by placing the entire assembly deep within the rubber body of the lure, nothing is touching the surface, even the eyes are embedded inside. The downside is that there are small air bubbles within, but that is far from the only part of these that looks off on close inspection.

Despite lacking all fins but the tail, they are decently convincing even up close (convincing as dead fish that is), and when partially obscured in the jaws of an appropriately sized predator I imagine they will make for some great photographs.

I highly recommend these to anyone seeking feeder fish stand-ins for photography or for making your own play sets to go with a hungry plastic pet.

Some fishing lures are sold already with hooks in them, and are not appropriate for children unless these are first removed. Use your own discretion but be careful. Pets may also attempt to eat them.
November 16, 2018, 10:23:30 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 212 | Comments: 4

It is that time of the year again, when Halloween decor means more buggies for Blaine! OK, it is a little late for Halloween, but I only got this model today, a gift from a friend who picked it up at her local Michaels store in Minnesota a couple weeks before Halloween. It's a stag beetle. It is fairly stylized, but it seems to be influenced by Lucanus, and given the position of the mandibular teeth I am going with Lucanus cervus (Linnaeus, 1758). You can argue with the identification all you want, this is what I am going with  C:-).

The model is very large and robust. It measures 16.0 cm without and 21.0 cm with the mandibles. It appears bronze but it is actually brown plastic with gold highlights (the gold paint is not very well applied and it flakes off if you are not careful). I had seen these online and I am actually glad it isn't true bronze (metal is one medium I don't collect in, bronze statuettes in particular).

The underside reveals hooks in a couple locations, indicating it was designed to hang on the wall. I'll put mine on the floor with other large plastic figures.

This is something only for taxa-specific collectors like me or fans of fun, novelty-style toys and figures, if you can tear yourself away from museum-quality replicas!

November 13, 2018, 10:46:55 PM by Takama
Views: 149 | Comments: 1

This Mockingbird, is great, if not a bit simple in teaxture. Its nice and small too.  Perhaps the only Song Bird in the Wings of the World Collection

November 12, 2018, 11:11:54 PM by Takama
Views: 146 | Comments: 0

My last Sea animal from Safari.   The Whale Shark. AKA the largest liveing Fish in the world (unless im wrong, in which case I will stand corrected)

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 15