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Author Topic: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)  (Read 2781 times)

bmathison1972

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Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« on: November 12, 2016, 12:44:15 AM »
Review of the entire set of Exotic Beetles by Play Visions (1998). Eight different beetle species released as one of the taxon-specific sets by Play Visions in the late 1990s.

The figures are somewhat flat and of one piece; very nicely detailed (at least dorsally) for their size. Common (rarely Latin) names are printed on the bottom. Some of the Latin names below are of my decision (I think only the Jumnos and Macrodontia are labeled with their Latin names on the underside). The first name presented below is what is actually on the bottom of the figure; if it is a common name then the Latin/scientific name that follows is my interpretation.

A recommended set; Play Visions figures are becoming increasingly rare and hard to find.

On to the figures (in no particular order):

1. buprestid beetle, Chrysochroa sp.
This is a perplexing figure. It is labeled 'South African Longhorned Beetle',  and the elytra are painted like Tragocephala variegata, but it is clearly modeled after a buprestid. I considered it T. variegata for years but in the end I put sculpt over paint, so I am backtracking and calling it a buprestid, with Chrysochroa being the most-likely option based on general form. This is probably another example of a mislabed figure (such as the 'chigger' and 'deer tick' in the Fleas, Ticks, and Lice' set).



2. Carrion Beetle, Nicrophorus sp. An interesting choice away from the usual scarabs, cerambycids, and buprestids that usually get all the attention. Not sure confidently of any other carrion beetle figures, but there is an unusual beetle in the K&M Wild Republic Polyvinyl bag insect set that when painted right sure looks like a nicrophorine (Andre did it I know)...



3. Fungus Beetle, Erotylidae, gen. sp. I still do not even have a genus level on this guy but it is clearly modeled after something in the family Erotylidae (and the only erotylid figure I am familiar with!).

EDIT 1/24/2017, I have tentatively identified this as Micrencaustus lunulata



4. Goliath beetle, Goliathus regius. This is the only figure attributable to this species (based on color). The related G. orientalis was made by DeAgostini for their massive World Insect Data Book and G. goliatus was made by Furuta (Choco Egg Funny Animal Series). Notice the elytra are closed when in flight, a characteristic if most (if not all) cetoniines.



5. Macrodontia cervicornis. One of the coolest in the set, this species has been made once before by Kabaya (Insect Directory).



6. Wood-boring beetle, Rosenbergia straussi. Another unique figure. The common name on this one led to confusion that the T. variegata (above) was maybe a buprestid.



7. Jumnos ruckeri. A rather flashy figure. If you want a figure of this species that may be more realistically colored, I suggest the XX figure.



8. Emerald Weevil, Eupholus sp. Ah nice! Weevils are not common as figures despite being the second largest family of beetles (recently lost first place to Staphylinidae, due to the sinking of several families into the latter). So, getting a weevil, and one of these gems, is a great addition to this set!



« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 12:06:48 PM by bmathison1972 »




brontodocus

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2016, 10:37:47 AM »
Ah, wonderful set, my favourite may be either the Nicrophorus or the Eupholus. 8) Hmm, the first beetle still looks more like a buprestid to me (by sculpt, not by colouration). While Goliathus goliatus also comes in colour morphs with much white on the elytra I was wondering if the figure wasn't actually made to be representing G. regius instead (pronotum colour seems to match goliatus better than regius, though).

bmathison1972

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2016, 01:06:04 PM »
Ah, wonderful set, my favourite may be either the Nicrophorus or the Eupholus. 8) Hmm, the first beetle still looks more like a buprestid to me (by sculpt, not by colouration). While Goliathus goliatus also comes in colour morphs with much white on the elytra I was wondering if the figure wasn't actually made to be representing G. regius instead (pronotum colour seems to match goliatus better than regius, though).

the first one that looks like a buprestid is specifically labeled as a 'South African long-horned beetle'. That being said, PV has made errors in their common names (e.g., 'chigger' and 'deer tick' in the ectoparasites set). However it looks a lot like this one: http://www.mindenpictures.com/search/preview/longhorn-beetle-with-wings-spread-about-to-fly/0_90001248.html

Jetoar

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2016, 01:28:58 PM »
It is a pity that Play Vision doesnt exits and continue making thsi figures  :-\. Thanks for sharing them.
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bmathison1972

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2017, 05:07:30 PM »
Ah, wonderful set, my favourite may be either the Nicrophorus or the Eupholus. 8) Hmm, the first beetle still looks more like a buprestid to me (by sculpt, not by colouration). While Goliathus goliatus also comes in colour morphs with much white on the elytra I was wondering if the figure wasn't actually made to be representing G. regius instead (pronotum colour seems to match goliatus better than regius, though).

Corrected to G. regius; I agree it's a better fit

bmathison1972

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2017, 01:40:30 PM »
I have re-uploaded these images to Postimage

bmathison1972

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2018, 02:33:36 PM »
I think I finally have an ID for the 'Fungus Beetle': Micrencaustus lunulata; a friend/colleague who specialized in Erotylidae agrees.

Beetle guy

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 06:43:19 PM »
Very nice set! espacially the weevil, why did the Japanese companies never made one?!

ps:  I would repaint it If I ever encounter and purchase   ::) But I never saw it for sale yet.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 06:44:36 PM by Beetle guy »
To beetle or not to beetle.

bmathison1972

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2018, 08:12:39 PM »
Very nice set! espacially the weevil, why did the Japanese companies never made one?!

ps:  I would repaint it If I ever encounter and purchase   ::) But I never saw it for sale yet.

Paint a Play Visions figure? Blasphemy!  C:-)

Beetle guy

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2018, 10:34:06 PM »
Very nice set! espacially the weevil, why did the Japanese companies never made one?!

ps:  I would repaint it If I ever encounter and purchase   ::) But I never saw it for sale yet.

Paint a Play Visions figure? Blasphemy!  C:-)

That hurts, doesn't it >:D
To beetle or not to beetle.

Beetle guy

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 10:43:01 PM »
I always thought that number 1 a Chrysochroa species. Taken into acount the blue abdomen and iridescent wings and legs (green stripes).

Although the elytra look like a Tragocephala variegata. The later has spines on it's broad thorax, yellow wings, brown abdomen and very long antennae compared to it's body.
Do you have a pic of the front and underside?
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 10:43:32 PM by Beetle guy »
To beetle or not to beetle.

bmathison1972

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2018, 11:06:24 PM »
I always thought that number 1 a Chrysochroa species. Taken into acount the blue abdomen and iridescent wings and legs (green stripes).

Although the elytra look like a Tragocephala variegata. The later has spines on it's broad thorax, yellow wings, brown abdomen and very long antennae compared to it's body.
Do you have a pic of the front and underside?

well it is specifically labeled 'South African long-horned beetle' [although Play Visions does not always name their figures correctly, best example is the argasid tick labeled as a chigger]

Also, undersides are not painted.

You can take this two ways: a poorly-sculpted T. varigata, or a poorly-colored and incorrectly-named buprestid. I will go with the former for my collection ;-)
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 11:06:53 PM by bmathison1972 »

Beetle guy

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2018, 07:21:57 AM »

well it is specifically labeled 'South African long-horned beetle' [although Play Visions does not always name their figures correctly, best example is the argasid tick labeled as a chigger]

Also, undersides are not painted.

You can take this two ways: a poorly-sculpted T. varigata, or a poorly-colored and incorrectly-named buprestid. I will go with the former for my collection ;-)

I ment seeing the mandibles ;-). The proportions just do not fit for a Tragocephala variegata. Although the elytra and head paint looks like no buprestid (known to me) but indeed like that of Tragocephala variegata.

Interesting to know is that all these Play-visions excotic beetles are represented in the book 'An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles' by A. Evans, C. Bellamy (photographed by Lisa C. Watson) and even many of the models have the same poisture of the beetles in the book!!
Really striking! There is a photo of a flying buprestid beetle (same colours except elytra) and a flying Goliathus regius that have the same poisture. Even the fungus beetle is represented. If you have the book, look it up you will see. Really interesting. Otherwise I mail the pic's almost can't be a coincidence. :o

Remains the question....were do you get these?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 09:53:40 AM by Beetle guy »
To beetle or not to beetle.

bmathison1972

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2018, 11:46:37 AM »

well it is specifically labeled 'South African long-horned beetle' [although Play Visions does not always name their figures correctly, best example is the argasid tick labeled as a chigger]

Also, undersides are not painted.

You can take this two ways: a poorly-sculpted T. varigata, or a poorly-colored and incorrectly-named buprestid. I will go with the former for my collection ;-)

I ment seeing the mandibles ;-). The proportions just do not fit for a Tragocephala variegata. Although the elytra and head paint looks like no buprestid (known to me) but indeed like that of Tragocephala variegata.

Interesting to know is that all these Play-visions excotic beetles are represented in the book 'An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles' by A. Evans, C. Bellamy (photographed by Lisa C. Watson) and even many of the models have the same poisture of the beetles in the book!!
Really striking! There is a photo of a flying buprestid beetle (same colours except elytra) and a flying Goliathus regius that have the same poisture. Even the fungus beetle is represented. If you have the book, look it up you will see. Really interesting. Otherwise I mail the pic's almost can't be a coincidence. :o

Remains the question....were do you get these?

I don't have that book anymore (although I know Evans); can you tell me, is the fungus beetle identified by name? Is my identification correct?

As far as getting Play Visions, good luck. They were made in the mid-late 1990s and are very sought-after these days. I bought mine at Yikes, a toy store in Tucson, Arizona that specializes in toy animals and die-cast cars. Sometimes they show up on auctions of eBay but are often very expensive and go fast.

I have extras of almost the entire Exotic Insects set, but no extra Exotic Beetles.

By the way, after our exchange yesterday I studied this figure some more and I am more and more convinced this was modeled after a buprestid. This is probably another example of sculptor + painter not communicating, and a mis-printed figure. I may walk back and call this Chrysochroa. In the long run, I typically put sculpt before color/paint...
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 11:58:26 AM by bmathison1972 »

Beetle guy

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2018, 01:49:54 PM »
I will check the book and send some pics via e-mail, so you can see what I mean. The fungusbeetle is not named to the species level I think.
BTW isn't it Micrencaustes

Is PlayVisions an US based company?

« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 02:07:19 PM by Beetle guy »
To beetle or not to beetle.

Isidro

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Re: Exotic Beetles (Play Visions)
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2018, 02:14:35 PM »
I think I finally have an ID for the 'Fungus Beetle': Micrencaustus lunulata; a friend/colleague who specialized in Erotylidae agrees.

Hey, maybe can I send you an image of an unidentified pinned specimen of Erotylidae for you sending to your friend for identification? Thanks!