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Recent reviews and walk-arounds

May 25, 2020, 08:40:42 PM by MansoBoricua
Views: 1503 | Comments: 0

Hello! For this walkaround, I would like to review the American bison released by Safari Ltd. inside the North American Wildlife Toob in the 2010's. This bison figure is likely the most popular among collectors.

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May 25, 2020, 08:26:11 PM by MansoBoricua
Views: 1289 | Comments: 3

Hello guys! I recently acquired one of the greatest Eikoh figures ever from their Miniature Planet series. It's a blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus). This particular wildebeest is the most realistic wildebeest I've ever seen (apart from the Papo wildebeest). I've also included a size comparison with the CollectA White-tailed wildebeest.

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November 24, 2019, 02:20:09 PM by Advicot
Views: 3718 | Comments: 0

I have very limited knowledge about this figure, but it's roughly 25cm and came with three cubs. I have no clue where I got it from and I believe it's a more recent model than some of the other AAA lions.

Sorry it's upside down.
Beetle guy
August 11, 2019, 08:24:21 PM by Beetle guy
Views: 4266 | Comments: 2

The first series of Japanese tree frogs (Hyla japonica) has actually three versions. The version with the clear transparant bases, The colour variation version (with a light blue frog, when frogs have a lack of yellow pigment they look blue) having light green transparant bases.

and this version...The PERFECT COLOUR edition with five figurines on transparant blue bases (no strap figurines in this set).
The colour is beter and with much more details on the legs feet and eyes. It was released in april 2015.

The complete set.

1. Hyla japonica on Half-dyed Slender Ceasar (Amanita hemibapha)
2. Hyla japonica on Panthercap Mushroom (Amanita pantherina)
3. Hyla japonica on Destroying Angel (Amanita virosa)
4. Hyla japonica on Javan Slender Ceasar (Amanita javanica)
5. Hyla japonica on Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)

Comparing the PERFECT COLOUR version of the Hyla japonica on Amanita muscaria with the first edition one.


August 02, 2019, 02:39:15 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 3123 | Comments: 0

Overview of the Butterfly Acrylic Mascot set by Ikimon - Nature Techni Colour, new for 2019. This is a set of 10 flat acrylic figures. They are essentially photographs encased in acrylic. They came with keychains attached but I removed them. Normally I would not collect things like this, but since butterflies are essentially flat with their wings out, I could get into these (similar to the previously reviewed plankton acrylic mascot set). At least both sides of the butterflies and moths are shown: the dorsal side of the figure is an image of the dorsal side of the specimen, and likewise the ventral side of the figure has an image of the ventral side of the specimen. The figures are not to scale; they are on average 4.0 cm wide by 4.0 cm tall.

Of the 10 figures, seven of them, marked with an asterisk (*) are new species for me, possibly totally new in figure/model form!

Because they are flat, I thought I'd do group shots rather than individual pics.

The line-up; left to right, top to bottom:

1. Madagascan sunset moth, Chrysiridia rhipheus*
2. Rajah Brooke's birdwing, Trogonoptera brookiana*
3. eighty-eight butterfly, Callicore kolyma* [this figure as marketed as Diaethria sp., but the markings better resemble C. kolyma]
4. Ceylon blue glassy tiger, Ideopsis similis*
5. plain tiger, Danaus chrysippus*
6. Japanese luna moth, Actias artemis*
7. Helana morpho, Morpho helena*
8. greater death's head hawkmoth, Acherontia lachesis
9. Atlas moth, Attacus atlas
10. Japanese Luehdorfia, Luehdorfia japonica



July 31, 2019, 11:37:08 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 3507 | Comments: 0

Review of the Life Cycle of a Hornet set by Epoch, new for 2019. This is the life cycle of the giant Asian hornet, Vespa mandarinia Smith, 1852, a common and widespread species in the Orient. This is a new take on a commonly-made species.

The set consists of 5 components: queen hornet, worker hornet, pupa, larva, and two pairs of brood chambers (one pair each with the larva and pupa). I have seen various versions of this set sold with extra cells, larvae, and pupae, but the one I ended up getting had one of each developmental stage.

The queen and worker are 5.0 and 3.8 cm, respectively, making the adults 1:1 scale. They come assembled but looks as if they are made up of assembled pieces. The larva, pupa, and paired chambers are all single pieces of plastic.

First, the larva:

Next, the pupa:

Worker hornet:

Queen hornet:

The brood chambers:

The life cycle:

The complete set:

I made the colony bigger by adding the hornet larva made by Shineg:

And lastly we have a super colony with additional adults by Kaiyodo (2x), Rement, Yujin, and Break Co. LTD:

July 31, 2019, 12:19:37 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 3366 | Comments: 2

Review of a nearly complete set of venomous snakes by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. I say nearly complete because the set came with two color morphs of 'tsuchinoko' but I don't collect or display mythical creatures. I was alerted to this set by Brett on his email distribution list. I decided to pursue it because there are 5 new species, and they are the desired size for my Synoptic Collection. Not only are they five new species, but with the exception of the black mamba that was recently made by Schleich, I think four of them are totally unique in toy/figure form.

Each snake is a single piece of plastic and comes with a base with the Latin and Japanese names and degree of toxicity (on a 1-5 skull-and-crossbones scale). This is similar to the scorpion and spider sets I have previously reviewed. To get an idea of the figure sizes, the bases measure 5.4 cm in diameter. The figures sit loosely on the bases, with no pegs or holes.

1. inland taipan, Oxyuranus microlepidoptus.

2. desert death adder, Acanthophis pyrrhus.

3. black mamba, Dendroaspis polylepis.

4. Belcher's sea snake, Hydrophis belcheri.

5. painted coral snake, Micrurus corallinus.

June 23, 2019, 06:57:42 PM by Takama
Views: 3323 | Comments: 0

Once again after a long abcence, i decided to post some walkarounds of figures that i have not posted here before.

This is one of a Few models with a Twig in its mouth

June 13, 2019, 01:26:38 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 3773 | Comments: 0

Review of the complete set of the Frogs in Colour Pictorial Book by Yujin (release date unknown). I am not specializing in amphibians yet (soon though), but this set was available so I snatched it up. I was going to show them when I covered amphibians, but the figures are so amazing I had to highlight itself! These are some of the best figures I own (Yujin were always among the best).

1. Japanese tree frog, Hyla japonica.
I will probably replace this figure with one of the Ikimon figures on a mushroom :-)

2. forest green tree frog, Rhacophorus arboreus.

3. Isikawa's frog, Odorrana ishikawae.

4. Japanese brown frog, Rana japonica.

5. Ryukyu kajika frog, Buergeria japonicus.

6. ornate narrow-mouthed frog, Microhyla ornata.

7. eastern Japanese toad, Bufo japonicus formosus.

8. American bullfrog, Lithobates catesbeianus.

9. red-eyed tree frog, Agalychnis callidryas

10. Malayan leaf frog, Megophrys nasuta

11. Argentine horned frog, Ceratophrys ornata.

12. dyeing dart frog, Dendrobates tinctorius.

Secret A. black-spotted pond frog, Pelophylax nigromaculatus.

Secret B. Nagoya Daruma pond frog, Pelophylax porosus brevipodus.

Secret C. stream brown frog, Rana sakuraii.

May 25, 2019, 11:23:37 PM by Takama
Views: 3537 | Comments: 4

OK I boght this as a Gift for a friend of mine in South Africa (the same friend that will recieve the Fennec). and i was very disapointed to see that the model DOES NOT STAND. Despite the fact that it is made by a Company that i Grew to like.

It is made out of a VERY pliable plastic and as a result, it cannot stand on its own two feet, and the tail is no help either  :'(
It only stood for one photo on its own, but i for the rest i had to leave it in its plastic caseing

April 25, 2019, 01:08:10 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 3669 | Comments: 0

Walkaround of the Mexican red-kneed tarantula, Brachypelma smithi (P-Cambridge, 1897) by Mojo Fun, 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.

Just like my recent review of the Schleich tarantula, this is new, uncharted territory for Mojo Fun. Interesting that two major western companies are introducing arthropods to their standard animal lines and both are starting with B. smithi. I guess if you are going to experiment, do it with something familiar. It now means all major western companies have made this species, except for Papo! See also the last image.

This Mojo figure is similar in size to the Schleich figure, but a little better. The body length is about 4.5 cm, making it just under 1:1 for a small female (or 1:1 for an immature one). The maximum width between the legs in 8.0 cm. The plastic is firm and solid, good quality. The paint job is more matte, which I prefer. The arrangement of the eyes, while not perfect, is still better than the Schleich figure. The mouthparts are consistent with a mygalomorph.

Overall, for people that are generalists and just want a representative or two tarantulas in their collection, this is my recommendation (unless you want to hunt down retired or Japanese figures on eBay). It's a good quality and a good size. If Mojo Fun continues this trend, they are off to a good start!

A collection of Brachypelma smithi made by major western (non-Japanese) manufacturers:
1. Safari LTD (Smithsonian Insects)
2. Safari LTD (Hidden Kingdom Insects)
3. CollectA
4. Mojo Fun
5. Schleich
6. Bullyland

April 23, 2019, 11:50:07 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 4741 | Comments: 6

OK, time for Blaine to get back to bugs! Today is a walkaround of the emperor scorpion, Pandinus imperator (Koch, 1842) by Kaiyodo - Revogeo, new for 2019!

I will be honest, I almost didn't get this (or any upcoming figures in the set, except maybe the crab). They are 1) large, 2) very expensive, and 3) species commonly made. With my 2019 focus being building a synoptic non-arthropod collection, I thought these would wait. I finally decided to get one, and boy am I glad I did! Later this month (or so), a red-clawed crab should be released in this series, and eventually a Japanese giant water bug, Japanese hornet, red swamp crayfish, mantis, and one or more (?) stag beetles.

The figure is hard to measure accurately since the tail is not fully articulated, but it measures about 20.0 cm, which technically makes it 1:1 for a maximum-sized specimen (although it's larger than any I have seen in terraria). It is made of a lightweight, durable plastic. Most of the figure is articulated: body segments, base of tail, claws (including the pincers themselves). The walking legs and the segments within the tail are not articulated. The detail is amazing (as to be expected by Kaiyodo) and the color is good.

The figure is actually not quite as big as I had feared (I think they have people with small hands model them for photos) and is comparable to the Safari Smithsonian figure (see last image). Another reason the figure seems large is that the Smithsonian insects were all supposed to be in the 2:1 range, but this figure does measure about 20.0 cm which technically makes it on the far end of 1:1

The figure comes secure in a nice large box reminiscent of a book (honestly I bet most of the cost of this thing comes from the packaging  C:-) ).

I bought mine on Saturday form Monsters in Motion out of California and got it in 3 days (and it was still one of the few under $100 USD, well, before shipping).


Alongside the Safari Smithsonian figure (right):

April 05, 2019, 10:36:22 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 3778 | Comments: 3

Walkaround of the West Indian manatee, Trichechus manatus Linnaeus, 1758 by Papo,Wildlife, new this year for 2019.

When I started my Synoptic Collection, this figure had just been announced. I was trying to decide if I wanted this one, or the CollectA figure, but since this one came out early enough, I gave it a chance.

The figure is 14.0 cm, making it 1:19-1:25 in scale.

Alongside the CollectA dugong; both figures are about the same length.

April 03, 2019, 03:02:11 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 4935 | Comments: 7

Walkaround of the whale shark, Rhincodon typus (Smith, 1828) by Papo - Marine Life, released in 2018. The whale shark is the largest extant (largest ever known?) species of fish. It is a  filter-feeder in the circumtropical seas. I had the pleasure of seeing these live at the Georgia Aquarium when I lived in Atlanta.

The figure is 23 cm, making it 1:42.5 for an average sized individual. It is displayed with its mouth open, as if about to take in a gulp of plankon-rich water. This is one of the few shark figures for which I did not side with Safari's release :-). The back of the mouth is painted black; it is not hollow (I wasn't sure how easily that was conveyed from my images)

April 02, 2019, 09:12:47 PM by Takama
Views: 3476 | Comments: 3

Heres a Figure that i have not heard ANYONE talk about on this forum. Despite the fact that this company has a major presence on its sister forum.

Xiaohua the Fennec Fox is a Large Fennec Foxfigure that i had no idea exsited, until i stumbled upon it while browsing on amazon. Now normaly i do not Collect any modern animals now Except those from Safari. But I boght this guy because I knew a Friend of mine in South Africa Would love to have it. And its resideing in my house for the time being.

ITs a Farily large Figure. Almost like a Safari Incredible Creatures figure.  Its nice and Solid Too.   Too Bad the box got banged up on its way to my house.

Avalible Here
March 31, 2019, 04:24:55 AM by Takama
Views: 3168 | Comments: 1

Back again with yet, another Safari figure

March 30, 2019, 01:34:32 PM by postsaurischian
Views: 3485 | Comments: 2

  ^-^  Kaiyodo CapsuleQ Museum - Wild Rush III (Polar region, Arctic circle)

                  Ursus maritimus ~ Polar Bear







                                                                       next to Kaiyodo's ASAHIYAMA figure:

                                                   next to Nature Techni Colour's Nature of Japan Brown Bear:

March 29, 2019, 04:21:04 PM by postsaurischian
Views: 2647 | Comments: 1

  ^-^  Kaiyodo CapsuleQ Museum - Wild Rush III (Polar region, Arctic circle)

                  Monodon monoceros ~ Narwhal









                                                                        The figure is in about 1:50 - 1:60


                                                                               next to CollectA's version:

March 17, 2019, 12:45:02 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 1731 | Comments: 1

Walkaround of the scarlet macaw, Ara macao (Linnaeus, 1758) by National Collectibles Entertainment Association (NECA) - Ace Ventura 8" Pet Detective, released this year in 2019. The figure was sold as accessory to an Ace Ventura action figure based on the movie of the same name.

First a little discussion on the identity of this species. Before I researched it, I assumed this was a scarlet macaw because the cheeks are solid white (no red lines under the eyes) and the covets are predominately yellow, with some green highlights (the green highlights are not as pronounced on my figure as they are promotional pics of the toy). However the bird used in the actual movie for which this figure was based on was a green-winged macaw (Ara chloropterus). I did some more snooping around and apparently most companies confuse the identity of these species. The Safari LTD green-winged macaw has the correct color of the covet, but the face lacks the red lines. Mojo Fun released a scarlet macaw but has the red lines under the eyes?!? In 2015, Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. released a macaw for their Biology of the Amazon set; I am not sure which species it is, but the face looks like a scarlet macaw and the covets look like a green-winged macaw. For MY personal synoptic collection, I will use this Ace Ventura figure for the scarlet macaw and probably the Mojo Fun figure for the green-winged macaw. If any of you collect any of these, you can follow the morphology or manufacturers names. I'll stick with morphology.

Back to the figure. It is really well-detailed! The figure is 8.5 cm tall, making it approximately in the 1:10 scale range (average length of actual animal, 81 cm). The detail on the face and feathers is very well-done. The figure is designed to attach to the Ace Ventura figure's wrist, as such it can create some challenges for display. I made a branch out of Super Sculpey clay and painted it with acrylic paints before sealing it with satin varnish (see last four images).

With my custom branch:

I have been randomly picking up bird figures and haven't specialized on any groups yet, so I don't have many macaws for comparison. I do have the Kaiyodo Wild Rush hyacinth macaw however for comparative purposes:

March 15, 2019, 10:23:29 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 2062 | Comments: 5

Time for one of my less-than-conventional walkarounds. This time, the Panamanian white-faced capuchin, Cebus imitator (Thomas, 1903) by National Collectibles Entertainment Association (NECA) - Ace Ventura 8" Pet Detective, released this year in 2019. Historically, most white-faced capuchins were classified as C. capucinus. When justification for separation of the two species was most-recently proposed in 2012, it was realized that the 'familiar' species (e.g., the one featured in film, such as this one) was C. imitator and not C. capucinus. As such, I am going with C. imitator for my figure ( @stemturtle you have yours as C. capuncinus; I wasn't sure which taxonomy you were using).

This figure is actually an accessory to an Ace Ventura action figure from the film of the same name. It was brought to my attention on STS forum, on their thread for animal figures from action figure packs and sets. I had recently ordered the K&M Rain-forest Tube figure of this species, and the NECA figure is far superior!

The figure is hard to measure in this pose, but it seems to be about 6.0 cm long not including the tail, which would make it in the 1:13-1:17 range if I am doing the math right. The tail spins in a 360 degree fashion, so it can be displayed up, or down below the animal, or on its right or left side, all depending on how the figure is displayed.

For some reason, the camera angle makes the head look disproportionately big in my photos; in the actual figure it looks more natural. There are apparent seams at the base of the arms, but the arms do not move.

The set also came with a scarlet macaw and domestic pigeon. They are both fantastic (the pigeon is a bit small). I will highlight them when I focus on bird groups. I need to make a branch out of SuperSculpey clay for the macaw (it was designed to fit on Ace's arm).

With other similarly-sized New World monkeys: the black howler and red-faced spider monkey by Safari LTD and the golden lion tamarin by Papo:

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