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Topics - bmathison1972

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1
New for 2018 / CollectA - New for 2018
« on: November 02, 2017, 11:44:36 PM »
With many thanks to Numaan on the STS who is generously sending me CollectA 2018 pics as they get formally announced.

African civet



ring-tailed lemur



bongo, calf (to compliment the adult from 2017)



Pere David's Deer



white-tailed deer



blue whale



gray whale



common zebra



Friesian, foal



quarter horse, foal



Morgan Bay - deluxe model



Belgian Mare, chestnut



Falabella Mare, Palomino



Warmblood Stallion - Bay



Icelandic stallion - blue dun



There will be updates weekly, and I will update this thread as Numaan gets me images.

2
Other/Miscellaneous / Centipede (Target Brands - Hyde and Eek! Boutique)
« on: November 02, 2017, 11:28:46 PM »
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):


3
Classifieds / PV Exotic Insects for trade
« on: November 02, 2017, 12:39:35 AM »
I have an extra set of 7 of the Play Visions Exotic Insects (missing only the leaf insect). I have available: assassin bug; thorn bug; velvet ant; grasshopper; bush cricket; lantern bug; mantis.

My interests are:

1) missing PV and K&M Insects
2) missing Wing Mau arthropods
3) larger, retired Bullyland insects/arthropods
4) Safari Smithsonian Monarch (adult).
5) anything else of interest

Pics avail by email, but they are in perfect condition and the paint jobs look like my pics on the review page: http://animaltoyforum.com/index.php?topic=1996.msg16003#msg16003

4
Other/Miscellaneous / Puss Moth Caterpillar (Sun Wai Toys)
« on: October 21, 2017, 02:26:38 AM »
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:














5
Other/Miscellaneous / Spiny Lobster (Aquatop)
« on: October 11, 2017, 12:40:07 AM »
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:












6
Other/Miscellaneous / Scorpions (Takara Tomy A.R.T.S.)
« on: October 08, 2017, 06:59:41 PM »
Review of the [nearly] complete set of Scorpions by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. (I do not remember the release data). Like the spider set, it was probably released about the time of the merger with Yujin (this set came out either the year before, or after, the Venomous Spiders set). Also like the spider set, the species are not restricted to Asia/Japan (T-ARTS often seems to be more diverse, geographically).

Unlike the spider set, which had 6 figures (5 + 1 SECRET), this set has 7 figures (6 + 1 SECRET). At the start of this post I say nearly complete, because I do not have the secret figure. If I remember correctly, it is second species of Pandinus (and if I remember, they just painted the P. imperator in this set a different color). Otherwise there are many similarities to this set and the spiders. For one, a few have a habitat-style base (although they do not attach to it - I secured mine with glue), and all have a round flat base with the Japanese name, Latin name, and degree of toxicity on a 1-5 scale using skulls-and-crossbones.

The figures themselves are typical gashapon-sized and made of a single-piece PVC. When the set was released, five of the species were unique (including, I assume, the secret), but at the time of this writing one has been made a second time. So, below I will only be showing 3 unique species.

On to the figures, in order they are illustrated on the accompanying paperwork:

1. emperor scorpion, Pandinus imperator.
No scorpion set would be complete without this quintessential species! It is the most commonly-made species at the genus level, and I have many other figures (assuming that if not otherwise indicated, emperor scorpions represent P. imperator), including those by AAA, Bullyland (two versions), Cadbury (UK Yowies, a tentative ID by me), Chap Mei, Discovery Channel (Deadly Kiss), Edu Science, Kaiyodo (Night Aqua Museum, plus they will release one in 2018 as part of the Sofubi Toy Box series), Safari LTD (Smithsonian Insects, Authentics Insects), and Toy Major. 4D Master did an anatomy model I do not yet have. Also, the scorpion in the K&M International Desert Polyvinyl Bag set looks like it was sculpted based on Pandinus.



2. South African fat-tailed scorpion, Parabuthus transvaalicus.
This remains a unique species! Notice the misspelling on the base.



3. deathstalker, Leiurus quinquestriatus.
Initially, this was a unique species but in 2014 Kaiyodo released one as part of their Toxic and Dangerous Creatures set in the Capsule Q Museum line.



4. yellow fat-tailed scorpion, Androctonus australis.
This might be the only figure specifically attributed to this species, however it is clear the CollectA and Papo scorpions are intended to represent it.  The Safari LTD Venomous Creatures TOOB and T-ARTS B.I.G. Insects scorpions are probably also at least in this genus.



5. lesser brown scorpion, Isometrus maculatus.
This is a unique species. Love the rock on which it sits!



6. dwarf wood scoprion, Liocheles australasiae.
This is a unique species and is the smallest figure in the set. It comes with a piece of bark on which to sit. Another with the misspelling of the genus name on the base!


7
Other/Miscellaneous / Venomous Spiders (Takara Tomy A.R.T.S.)
« on: October 06, 2017, 09:23:27 PM »
Review of the complete set of Venomous Spiders by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. I do not remember the year of release but it must have been during the acquisition of Yujin, since urls for both companies are listed on the paperwork. Kind of a funny name for a set, they could have just called it 'Spiders' since 1) all spiders (except for, I believe, Uloboridae) produce venom and 2) not all the species in this set are venomous for humans!

There are 6 figures in the set, 5 standard and one secret. Unlike most sets from Japanese manufacturers, the species are not specifically Asian or Japanese. They are standard gashapon-sized. All are single-piece PVC. Some come with a habitat-style base of some kind that they can be attached to and removed from. All of the figures have a flat, black, display base that they cannot be attached to (i.e., they sit freely and loosely on it). The display base has the Japanese name, Latin name, and the degree of toxicity on a 1-5 scale represented by skull-and-crossbones.

T-ARTS released a similar set of scorpions (that I am sure I will review soon...).

On to the figures:

1. black widow, Latrodectus mactans.
This figure's habitat-style base is a leaf. This is probably the most common spider made at the species level. Other figures have been made by Discovery Channel (Deadly Kiss), Safari LTD (Hidden Kingdom, Smithsonian Insects, Glow-in-the-Dark, and possibly the Good Luck Mini to be released next year), Club Earth, K&M International, and Play Visions, plus several of unknown origin.



2. redback spider, Latrodectus hasseltii.
This is the Australian mainland cousin to L. mactans. The only other figure I have is by Science and Nature (Animals of Australia). This figure's base appears to be a grate of some kind, or maybe a vent or screen (definitely hints at an anthropophilic association).



3. Japanese sac spider, Cheiracanthium japonicum.
This is my favorite. Not only because it is a unique species (even at the family level), but I love the base of a rolled leaf complete with its egg sac!



4. Sydney funnelweb spider, Atrax robustus.
Considered the most venomous spider to humans, this set would not be complete without it! As an Australian species, of course it has been made by Cadbury (for both Australian and UK Yowies) and Science and Nature (Insects of Australia), but the biggest and baddest of them is the large model by Bullyland!



5. European wolf spider, Lycosa tarantula.
Not really venomous to humans, but it was believed for a long time to be venomous and cause tarantism, which can only be cured by dancing the tarantella. Hence, it has the species epithet, tarantula, which is now commonly applied to the hairy mygalomorphs in the family Theraphosidae. This is a nice figure, but Papo's figure from 2016 is the best. Also made by Bullyland and unspecified wolf spiders have been made by Club Earth (Spiders to Go), Funrise Toys (World of Nature Insect Collection), and Safari LTD (Cave Dwellers TOOB).



6. SECRET, cobalt blue tarantula, Haplopelma lividum.
This figure is covered with a light felt-like fabric coating. This species was also made by Club Earth (Spiders to Go).


8
Review of the entire set of Backyard Creatures - Soil Organisms by Kaiyodo - Capsule Q Museum, originally released in 2015. This is a small set of only five gashapon-sized figures, depicting soil-inhabiting invertebrates. And, as usual for Kaiyodo, they all occur in Japan/Asia.

At the time of its release, all five figures were unique at the species level, and even among their general groups have very rarely been made. One species has since been made again, however.

Four of the figures are single piece; only the mole cricket comes in two pieces that easily snap together.

In the order they are marked on the paperwork:

1. mole cricket, Gryllotalpa orientalis.
I have only two other mole crickets, and they are small, vintage (one rubbery), and not well detailed. This figure is a masterpiece, however!



2. earwig, Anisolabis maritima.
I have only three other earwigs; two are small, hard vintage figures (one with its wings expanded) and the other is a 'mini' vintage figure by Schleich!



3. tardigrade, Echiniscus japonicus.
I have four tardigrade figures, all of them representing different species. Interesting this group has not been made more (plush toys not withstanding).



4. earthworm, Pheretima communissima.
I historically have not collected earthworms, and at the time of this writing this is my only one. AAA made one, and Safari LTD did a life cycle (both of which I think I will pursue!). I am sure there are several more out there, but still not really commonly made.



5. common pillbug, Armadillidium vulgare.
With the removal of the deep sea isopods (which have exploded in figure/toy form in the last few years), the terrestrial isopods are very rarely made. I have four, one of which is a stonecast figurine. Kaiyodo did make a second version of this species, a very large model, in their Sofubi Toy Box line earlier this year.


9
Review of all three sets (as of the time of this writing) of the Capsule Q Museum – Caterpillars by Kaiyodo. Because caterpillars have rather simple body plans, I decided to do group shots of each set. Under each figure, I am listing other figures that I personally have for each species (so the list might not be all inclusive), in what stage they were made, who made them, and in what series (if known). Those that are ‘unique’ species are indicated as such.

There are currently three sets; the first two sets have six figures, the last set has only five figures. All species represent the larvae of Palearctic/Asian lepidopterans except for one which is a beetle larva! The figures all have a wire within them so they can be bent into different positions. However, if one is not careful, the body will bend but the wire will stay put and might tear through the specimen. So, I recommend not trying to pose them if you don’t need them in an alternate pose!

The figures are all roughly 50-70 mm long and are in varying degrees of ratio. Most are probably close to 1:1.

These are exciting figures and one can only hope one-day Kaiyodo will make the adult versions of some of these (some of these have striking adults that have yet to be made in toy/figure form).

One to the sets and the figures contained therein:

Volume 1 [released in 2013]

1. Asian swallowtail, Papilio xuthus.
larvae: Kaiyodo (Sofubi Toy Box); Shineg (Larvae Moei)
adults: Bandai (Bugs Museum); Furuta (Insect Science); Koro Koro; Rement; Kabaya (World Insect Series 1).

2. Indian alkwing, Choaspes benjaminii.
UNIQUE species

3. chestnut tiger, Parantica sita.
larvae: Shineg (Larvae Moei)

4. Ailanthus silkmoth, Samia Cynthia.
adult: Doug Walpus Art Studio

5. deaths-head hawk moth, Acherontia lackesis.
UNIQUE species [other species in the genus made]

6. fruit-piercing moth, Eudocima tyrranus.
UNIQUE species.



Volume 2 [released on 2014]

1. spangle, Papilio protenor.
adult: Doug Walpus Art Studio

2. Old World swallowtail, Papilio machaon.
larvae: Shineg (Larvae Moei – 2 forms)
adults: Bullyland; Doug Walpus Art Studio; also a couple French feves by an unknown manufacturer

3. cankerworm moth, Cystidia truncangulata.
UNIQUE species

4. impatiens hawk moth, Theretra oldenlandiae.
UNIQUE species

5. lobster moth, Stauropus fagi.
UNIQUE species (and probably the coolest in all the sets!)

6. the lone beetle, the stag beetle Dorcus hopei.
pupae: Kaiyodo (Choco Q Animatales – three versions)
adults: Bandai (Bugs Museum); F-toys (Beetle Battle; Insect Hunter); Hayakwa Toys; Kaiyodo (Capsule Q Museum – Stag Beetles); Rement; Sega (a few versions); Colorata (Tropical Rain Forest Stag Beetles); DeAgostini (World Insects Data Book); Kitan Club – Nature Techni Colour (Nature of Japan); Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. (B.I.G. Beetles); Wing Mau.



Volume 3 [released 2015]

1. paper kite, Idea leuconoe.
pupa: Yujin (Insects of Japan)
adults: K&M International (Butterfly Mini Polybag; Butterfly Nature Tube); Safari LTD (Authentics Butterflies; Butterflies of the World Collectors Case); Yujin (Insects of Japan); also, a French feve.

2. commercial silkworm moth, Bombyx mori.
larva: Shineg (Larvae Moei)
pupa: Shineg (Larvae Moei)
adult: Kaiyodo (Sticky Tack Insect Set)
life cycle: Insect Lore

3. great orangetip, Hebomoia glaucippe.
adults: K&M International (Butterfly Mini Polybag); Safari LTD (Butterflies of the World Collectors Case); Steal Street; U.S. Toy; plus a few of unknown manufacturer.

4. oleander sparrow, Daphnis nerii.
UNIQUE species

5. common map, Cyrestis thyodamas.
UNIQUE species



10
Other/Miscellaneous / Insect Magnets (Rement)
« on: October 04, 2017, 02:16:38 AM »
Review of the [nearly entire] set of insects by Rement, released in 2010. I say nearly complete, because the accompanying papers suggest there was a secret figure which I do not have (the silhouette of the secret figure suggests something in the genus Dynastes.).

There are 10 primary figures in the set. They are comparable to Kaiyodo and Yujin gashapon figures at the time, but they do not require assembly. They are fairly nice, comparable to the Kaiyodo/Furuta Choco Q figures. The figures all have a somewhat unobtrusive magnet on the underside of the body.

The 10 figures are nearly all familiar Japanese/Asian species, most of which have been made several times. Only the Anoplophora chinensis is a rarity in toy/figure form. Since most of the species have been previously reviewed by me, I am not going into detailed descriptions this time.

On to the figures, based on their numerical order on the paperwork:

1. Japanese rhinoceros beetle, Allomyrina dichotoma.



2. Sawtoothed stag beetle, Prosopocoilus inclinatus.



3. Stag beetle, Dorcus hopei.



4. Cicada, Cryptotympana facialis.



5. Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarina.



6. Migratory locust, Locusta migratoria.



7. Citrus longhorned beetle, Anoplophora chinensis.



8. Golden-ringed dragonfly, Anotogaster sieboldii.



9. Japanese giant mantid, Tenodera aridifolia.



10. Asian swallowtail, Papilio xuthus.


11
Yujin / Insects of Japan Vol. 4 (Yujin)
« on: October 01, 2017, 10:12:17 PM »
Bad weather days means lots of time for figure photos, so...

Review of the the fourth and final volume in Yujin's Insects of Japan. As previously mentioned, there was a publicity photo for a potential fifth set, but to my knowledge it never materialized (it may have been sidetracked during the Yujin-Takara transition). As the name suggests, all species are Japanese/Asian.

The sets vary in the number of figures in each set, and each set seems to have a taxonomic focus to some degree. Each set also has one 'secret' figure. Volume 4, reviewed here, has only seven figures (six and one secret). Only one of the species in this set are unique and the taxonomic focus seems to be Lepidoptera.

All of the figures in each series appear to be molded after actual specimens. As such, all figures are 1:1 in size (also explains the exquisite detail in each of these, including the incredibly accurate wing venation on the lepidopterans and cicada here!!!). All figures require some degree of assembly, and given they are molded after actual specimens, it means legs and antennae can be very thin and delicate. Care must be taken with assembly; it also helps to secure some with glue. Several figures also come on habitat-style bases, which if you follow my posts, know I am a high fan of.

On to the figures, in order of the entire series.

32. SECRET: paper kite, Idea leucone, pupa.
This is the pupa of number 33, below. Just in 2015, Kaiyodo made a really nice larva, and the three figures together make a nice life cycle set!



Together with the adult and Kaiyodo larva:



33. The paper kite, Idea leucone.
This is the largest figure in the entire series, based on overall surface area of the wings. While not clear in this image, it is up on a clear rod as if in flight. The secret figure in this set (above) is this species' pupa! Adults were also made twice by Safari LTD and K&M International and I also have a small, porcelain figurine as a French feve.



34. Cicada, Cryptotympana facialis.
This species was also made by Rement. This figure highlights the fragility of figures in this series; the right foreleg on mine broke off (not visible from this angle).



35. Giant Japanese diving beetle, Cybister japonicus.
The only beetle in this volume is a familiar one, having been also made once by F-toys and twice by Kaiyodo! This is a dynamic figure, posed as if swimming alongside a submerged piece of wood.



36. Red helen, Papilio helenus.
This is the unique species in the volume. It appears to be the same sculpt as the P. bianor from Volume 3.



37. Hairstreak butterfly, Neozephyrus japonicus.
This figure is also delicate (this is actually my second one after my first fell apart). This was a unique species until Koro Koro released one in their recent magnet set.



38. The common bluebottle, Graphium sarpedon.
This figure appears to be the same sculpt as G. doson from Volume 3. This species was also made by Cadbury for the Australian line of Yowies.


12
Yujin / Insects of Japan Vol. 3 (Yujin)
« on: October 01, 2017, 04:52:19 PM »
It's a rainy day and I am waiting to go for a run, so let's do Volume 3 of the Insects of Japan by Yujin. I was originally thinking of putting all four series into one thread but it would have been a lot of images/species in just one thread, so I will break them up as they were released. There was a publicity photo for a potential fifth set, but to my knowledge it never materialized (it may have been sidetracked during the Yujin-Takara transition). As the name suggests, all species are Japanese/Asian.

The sets vary in the number of figures in each set, and each set seems to have a taxonomic focus to some degree. Each set also has one 'secret' figure. Volume 3, reviewed here, has only seven figures (six and one secret). Not sure if this was is taxonomically focused, but we do see an increase in Lepidoptera (which will be the focus for Vol. 4...)

All of the figures in each series appear to be molded after actual specimens. As such, all figures are 1:1 in size (also explains the exquisite detail in each of these, including the incredibly accurate wing venation on the odonates!!!). All figures require some degree of assembly, and given they are molded after actual specimens, it means legs and antennae can be very thin and delicate. Care must be taken with assembly; it also helps to secure some with glue. Several figures also come on habitat-style bases, which if you follow my posts, know I am a high fan of.

On to the figures, in order of the entire series.

25. Giant stag beetle, Dorcus titanus platymelus [marketed as Serognathus platymelus.]
This species is not made as commonly as D. hopei, but I still have seven figures, representing three different subspecies.



26. Japanese giant water bug, Lethocerus deyrollei.
This is a familiar species by Japanese manufacturers. It has been made five other times (including three times by Kaiyodo!). But, this is the biggest and baddest of them all :).



27. Chinese peacock, Papilio bianor.
In toy/figure form this is technically a unique species, however I do have a magnet figurine by Doug Walpus Art Studio. Like some of the large dragonflies, this figure is elevated on a clear rod as if to appear in flight.



28. SECRET, golden-ringed dragonfly, Anotogaster sieboldii, nymph.
I already showed the adult of this species in Volume 1. You can refer to that review for a more information on this species. I did want to point out here, that the only other nymph of this species I am aware of is by Furuta (Insect Science).



29. Darner, Anaciaeschna martini.
This is the second darner in the entire series, and a unique species.



30. The common tiger, Danaus genutia [marketed as Salatura genutia.]
This is a unique species, unlike the related D. plexippus (monarch) which is ubiquitous in toy/figure form.



31. Common jay, Graphium doson.
While this is a unique species, the genus is well-represented. I have nine figures representing five species (you'll see another one in Volume 4...).



13
Yujin / Insects of Japan Vol. 2 (Yujin)
« on: October 01, 2017, 04:05:58 PM »
Time for Volume 2 of the Insects of Japan by Yujin, following Volume 1 from last night. I was originally thinking of putting all four series into one thread but it would have been a lot of images/species in just one thread, so I will break them up as they were released. There was a publicity photo for a potential fifth set, but to my knowledge it never materialized (it may have been sidetracked during the Yujin-Takara transition). As the name suggests, all species are Japanese/Asian.

The sets vary in the number of figures in each set, and each set seems to have a taxonomic focus to some degree. Each set also has one 'secret' figure. Volume 2, reviewed here, has 12 figures (11 and 1 secret), and if I had to put a focus on it, I would say either Odonota (dragonflies and damselflies) of the orthopteroids (mantids and grasshoppers). At the time of this writing, seven of the figures appear to be 'unique' and for three others I have only one other figure of them. Only the mantis and migratory locust seem to be made with any frequency. So, if you are a collector of uncommon species, this may be a set of you!

All of the figures in each series appear to be molded after actual specimens. As such, all figures are 1:1 in size (also explains the exquisite detail in each of these, including the incredibly accurate wing venation on the odonates!!!). All figures require some degree of assembly, and given they are molded after actual specimens, it means legs and antennae can be very thin and delicate. Care must be taken with assembly; it also helps to secure some with glue. Several figures also come on habitat-style bases, which if you follow my posts, know I am a high fan of.

On to the figures, based on their overall numbering in the series:

13. Stag beetle, Neolucanus protogenetivus okinawanus.
The only beetle in Volume 2, this species has been made once more by DeAgostini (although Sega made two other species in this genus, and quite possibly this species as well).



14. Slant-faced grasshopper, Acrida cinerea.
A thin and delicate figure, this species was also made by Hayakwa Toys. One of my favorites of the set!



15. Migratory locust, Locusta migratoria.
This species has been made several times (but interestingly only once in the gregarious color morph), including by Kaiyodo, Furuta (twice), Funrise Toys, Rement, Hayakwa Toys, and 4D Master.



16. katydid, Hexacentrus unicolor.
Another favorite of mine and a unique species. Katydids are quite rarely made in figure form, so this is a nice treat.



17. Japanese giant mantid, Tenodera aridifolia.
This is the other commonly-represented species in the set, having also been made by Bandai, Furuta, Hayakwa Toys, and Rement. Some generic grasshoppers by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. for their B.I.G. Insects series may also be this species.



18. The mosaic darner, Aeschna nigroflava.
The only other figure of this dragonfly I am aware of is a small one by Kaiyodo for their Birdtales line.



19. Jewelwing, Calopteryx atrata.
This is another one of my favorites overall! Not only is this a unique species, but I think it is the only member of Zygoptera (damselflies). All other Odonata figures appear to be Zygoptera (dragonflies). I love that it sits atop a stone in a flowing creek!!!!



20. The glider, Ryothemis fulginosa.
The first of three libellulid dragonflies in the set (four total in the whole series), all of which are unique species. Color-wise this if my favorite.



21. The common skimmer, Orthetrum albistylum speciosum.
If you look carefully, this figure has it's nymphal exuviae at the bottom of the twig it sits on!



22. The scarlet skimmer, Crocothemis servilia.
The third of the three unique libellulids in the set, this one is shown flying above, rather than perching on, a plant.



23. Paper wasp, Polistes rothneyi.
This is probably my favorite in the set (although honestly, it is hard to pick a favorite among this set!), as it sits atop its highly-detailed (and possibly also molded) nest. I have four Polistes figures, all representing different species from different parts of the world. I am still lacking the Play Visions figure, which could represent another species (need to see it to be sure).



24. SECRET, burnet moth Erasmia pulchella nipponica.
This secret figure is a peek at the first lepidopterans in the set. It is, of course, a unique figure and only the second zygaenid moth I am aware of in toy/figure form. It is another delightfully dynamic figure, as if about to land on a tree or bush.


14
Yujin / Insects of Japan Vol. 1 (Yujin)
« on: October 01, 2017, 04:04:30 AM »
Time for a review of the four volumes of the Insects of Japan by Yujin. I was thinking of putting all four series into one thread but it would have been a lot of images/species in just one thread, so I will break them up as they were released. There was a publicity photo for a potential fifth set, but to my knowledge it never materialized (it may have been sidetracked during the Yujin-Takara transition). As the name suggests, all species are Japanese/Asian.

The sets vary in the number of figures in each set, and each set seems to have a taxonomic focus to some degree. Each set also has one 'secret' figure. Volume 1, reviewed here, has 12 figures (11 and 1 secret), and if I had to put a focus on it, I would say Coleoptera (beetles).

All of the figures in each series appear to be molded after actual specimens. As such, all figures are 1:1 in size (also explains the exquisite detail in each of these!!!). All figures require some degree of assembly, and given they are molded after actual specimens, it means legs and antennae can be very thin and delicate. Care must be taken with assembly; it also helps to secure some with glue. Several figures also come on habitat-style bases, which if you follow my posts, know I am a high fan of.

On to the figures, in numerical order on the accompanying papers:

1. Japanese rhinoceros beetle, Allomyrina dichotoma.
It's only fitting that the first species in the first set would be the quintessential insect figure. If I remember correctly, I have 40 figures by 18 different manufacturers, and this is one of the best!



2. Lucanus maculifemoratus.
Another species that is no stranger in figure form, I have 20 figures by 12 manufacturers.



3. Sawtoothed stag beetle, Prosopocoilus inclinatus.
This species, along with the first two, are among the most commonly-made Japanese species. I have 19 figures (including a couple females and a pupa) by 12 manufacturers.



4. Golden-ringed dragonfly, Anotogaster sieboldii.
This common large Japanese dragonfly has also been made by Furuta (incl. a nymph), Hayakwa Toys, Kaiyodo, and Rement. The secret figure in Volume 3 of the current series will be the nymph of this species!



5. Summer skimmer, Sympetrum darwinium.
Ah! A unique species (although Kabaya made a second species in the genus).



6. Oncotympana maculaticollis.
This ornate cicada was also made by Furuta (Insect Science) as an adult and nymph.



7. Platypleura kaempferi.
This cicada in a unique species.



8. Jewel beetle, Chrysochroa fulgidissima.
This is not a unique species, but it is the only one I currently have. The Italian release of DeAgonstini's World Insect Data Book had a related species, C. limbata.



9. Hyposipalus gigas.
This is another unique species, and not surprising, as it is very rare to get weevil figures marketed at the species or even genus level. This is the smallest figure (not including base) in the set, keeping in mind they are all 1:1.



10. Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarina.
Probably the most commonly-made Asian hymenopteran. Other figures are by Kaiyodo (twice), Rement, and Subarudo. Shineg made a larva!!!



11. Longhorned beetle, Rosalia batesi.
This species was also made by Kaiyodo for the Choco Q Animatales Series. Kaiyodo also did an additional species in this genus.



12. SECRET: Damaster blaptoides.
There are two versions of this figure. The original is on a base of leaves; the variant (also below) is depicted with a snail shell (D. blaptoides is a snail predator). Kaiyodo also made two versions of this species.



I will try to do at least one more volume this weekend...

15
Classifieds / Fri Homa Eigelb Figuren for Trade
« on: September 28, 2017, 12:29:41 AM »
hey guys,

I recently bough two sets of Fri Homa Eigelb Figuren for a few insects that were in the set. The non-insects are open for TRADE.

Attached are photos; sorry they are not clear; I wanted to keep them in their plastic for protection purposes. They are small, flat, and white, similar to Nabisco and Coca Cola premiums. I believe these were with margarine in the 1950s Germany.

Among the animals are frogs, snake, woodpecker, nesting bird (robin?), moose, elk, snake, heron (catching a frog), hedgehog, owl, lizard, plus some farm people (some with their dogs). There are duplicates; everything avail as one big set.

I would prefer TRADE. The hard thing is, I am difficult to trade with because there is little that is easily available that I need.

My priority items:

1. PV pubic louse from the Fleas, Ticks, and Lice set
2. PV tarantula hawk, paper wasp, and sandhills hornet from the Bees, Wasps, and Hornets set.
3. misc K&M arthropods or Wing Mau arthropods I am missing (scorpion and tarantula from KM desert polybag; insects in KM American Garden Tube, etc.)
4. large, retired Bullyland (rhinceros beetle, fly, ant firefly, lady bugs, others).
5. anything else I am unaware of :)

Send a PM or email (preferred) for more info/interest.




16
Other/Miscellaneous / Red Wood Ant (Heller)
« on: September 24, 2017, 03:28:49 PM »
Walkaround of the red wood ant, Formica rufa Linnaeus, 1761, No. 79400 by the French company Heller (2000). This is the fourth and final insect figure in their set of four. It was the one I was most excited to get, and finally did! While ant figures are commonly made in 'chinabug' bin sets, having figures marketed at the species level is actually quite rare considering. This species is the classic 'red ant' of Europe. This species, as presently delineated, does not occur in North America, but there are about 25 species in the rufa-complex that do.

On ATF and STS you can see other walkarounds of the Coccinella septempunctata and Oryctes nasicornis. Sometimes the four figures (there is a Lucanus cervus as well that I did not do a walkaround for) are marketed together as 'Forest Monsters' collection.

Like all Heller model kits, assembly is required. This model comes in 13 pieces (top, bottom, mandibles, 2 eyes, 2 antennae, 6 legs) in a matte black. I first assembled the body and mandibles and painted the body with a red-brown-yellow mix (in the final product it dried a little more brown than I would have liked, but I am still happy with it). I then added the antennae (painted first) and legs, sealing everything with superglue. They recommended painting the black parts black, but the base color is adequate to I left it as is. As usual, I coated the final product with a satin varnish.

The final figure is 110 mm long, making it roughly 16:1 for an average-sized worker (normal legnth 4.5-9.0 mm).

On to the pics:















And the final product:





And with the entire 'Forest Monsters' collection:


17
Furuta / Insect Science (Furuta)
« on: September 23, 2017, 01:54:06 AM »
Review of the complete set Insect Science by Furuta. This is an interesting set of eight figures, but marketed in four pairs; four main figures with one 'accessory' each (the accessory being prey, a mate, progeny, etc.).

Like most Japanese manufacturers, this set represents typical Asian fare, nothing unusual or uncommonly made. The figures are single piece (well, they came same piece, possibly they can be taken apart -- I certainly have not tried). The primary figures are slightly larger than most of the earlier Furuta/Kaiyodo Choco Q figures, being more inline with the Yujin Insects of Japan Series.

Each primary figure comes with a sturdy collectors card with lots of fun facts (in Japanese, of course) and a picture of the primary figure and its accessory.

On to the figures, in their numerical order:

1a. Asian swallowtail, Papilio xuthus.
This figure has a fine felt coating over its wings. This species has been made by Bandai, Kabaya, Koro Koro, and Rement as adults, and by Kaiyodo (twice, including Mega Sofubi Toy Box) and Shineg as larvae.



1b. Seven-spotted lady beetle, Coccinella septempunctata.
This figure, and the follow on which it is sitting, is the accessory to the swallowtail (above). I decided to display the beetle on the flower since it is so small (not too much larger than 1:1). This is probably the most commonly made non-scarabaeoid beetle. I have figures marketed as, or at least clearly attributable, to this species by 4D Master, Blip Toys, Heller, Kabaya, Kitan Club, plus several of unknown origin. It was also made by Bullyland (which I do not personally have).



2a and 2b. Sawtoothed stag beetle, Prosopocoilus inclinatus.
This figure and its accessory are the male and female of the same species. This is one of the more common stag beetles made in figure form, having also been made by F-toys, Hayakwa Toys, Kabaya, Kaiyodo (a couple times), Maruka, Rement, Sega (several times), Subarudo, Yujin, Takara Tomy A.R.T.S., and Wing Mau. I only have one other female of this species, however. Unfortunately, females of these scarabaeoid beetles are way less commonly made than the males.



3a and 3b. Golden-ringed dragonfly, Anotogaster sieboldii.
This primary figure and its accessory are an adult and nymph/naiad of the same species. This is the most commonly made Asian dragonfly, having been previously made by Hayakwa Toys, Kaiyodo, Rement, and Yujin (both adult and naiad).



4a. Giant Japanese mantid, Tenodera aridifolia.
This is the fourth primary figure, again the most common member of its group made. Other figures I have are by Bandai, Hayakwa Toys, Rement, and Yujin. In addition some of the Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. B.I.G. Insects mantids may be attributable to this species.



4b. Migratory locust, Locusta migratoria.
This is the accessory to the mantid (above). Not sure if they were lumped as orthopteroids or if this is a predator-prey pairing. Anyway, other figures of this species are by 4D Master, Funrise Toys, Kaiyodo (twice), Rement, Yujin, plus an additional figure by Furuta.




18
Yujin / Shrimps and Crabs Collection (Yujin/Takara Tomy A.R.T.S.)
« on: September 21, 2017, 03:05:21 AM »
This is a review of the complete sets of the Shrimps and Crabs Collection, originally released by Yujin and then re-released by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. after the latter bought the former. I wish I knew the years of release for these sets. If anyone knows, please chime in. I bought mine first as a complete Yujin set, and then later individually bought the Takara additions.

The original Yujin set included:

1. spider crab, Macrocheira kaempferi
2. Alaska king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus
3. red-claw crab, Chiromantes haematocheir
4. blue crab, Portunus trituberculatus
5. coconut crab, Birgus lato
6. red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii
7. blue-banded hermit crab, Pagurus samuelis (with one shell)
8. anemone hermit crab, Dardanus pedunculatus
9. shrimp, Palaemon paucidens
10. mantis shrimp, Oratosquilla oratoria
11. SECRET A: red swamp crayfish (green form)
12. SECRET B: Japanese crayfish, Cambaroides japonicus

After Takara T-A.R.T.S. bought Yujin, they released it with the following changes:

1. removed 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 (above)
2. Added the following:
A. fiddler crab, Uca tetragonon (male)
B. slipper lobster, Ibacus cilatus
C. SECRET A: fiddler crab (female)
D. SECRET B: red swamp crayfish (albino) [but same sculpt as SECRET A in the Yujin set]
3. Added a second shell to the P. samuelis figure.

In all there are 13 species. Like most gashapon manufacturers at the time, the species are Japanese/southeast Asian. Also, like their contemporary Choco Q figures by Kaiyodo and Furuta, assembly is required for all of the figures. Despite their rather small size, they have amazing detail. The PVC is very firm and possibly more fragile (much like the Yujin Insects of Japan series), so care is recommended when assembling (especially with such think and delicate legs and antennae on some!

At the time of their release, many of these species were unique or rarely made. However, at the time of this writing all but three of them have since been made by other companies.

On to the species:

1. spider crab, Macrocheira kaempferi
This species is popular and commonly made, including by Chap Mei, Colorata, Epoch, Kaiyodo (three times!), Kitan Club, and even Play Visions.



2. Alaska king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus
This is another commonly-made species, also by Kaiyodo (twice), Epoch, Little Critterz, Nihon Auto Toy, and also by Play Visions.



3. red-claw crab, Chiromantes haematocheir
At the time of the original Yujin release, this might have been unique (Furuta released one in the third series of Choco Q Animatales). It has also been made by Wing Mau and Kaiyodo. Kaiyodo is releasing a large figure next year as part of their Sofubi Toy Box series.



4. blue crab, Portunus trituberculatus
Until very recently, this figure was a unique species. However, in 2014 Kaiyodo released a zoea-stage larva as part of their Microcosmos set. Still, two other members of the genus and a few other members of the family Portunidae exist in toy/figure form.



5. coconut crab, Birgus lato
This species is surprisingly not commonly made. Kaiyodo made one for their Okinawa Figure Collection and Colorata released one recently this year (although I do not have that one yet…).



6. red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii
This species is commonly made and in multiple color forms. Interestingly this is the one species that is not native to Asia; it was introduced from the United States. Kaiyodo released red and blue versions of this species as part of the Choco Q Animatales series. Takara T-A.R.T.S. released a large figure, comparable to their large beetles, and Yujin release a very small figure as part of Gacha Edition depicting various critters in captivity.



7. hermit crab, Pagurus samuelis
This was, and continues to be, a unique species. Mine is from the original Yujin set, so it only has one shell option.



8. anemone hermit crab, Dardanus pedunculatus
This is the smallest figure in the set and remains a unique species, to my knowledge. Love the symbiotic relationship depicted in this figure!



9. shrimp, Palaemon paucidens
This species is also unique, although Kaiyodo has released freshwater shrimp in other genera.



10. mantis shrimp, Oratosquilla oratoria
This is another species that surprisingly gets overlooked by figure/toy manufacturers. The only other one I know of from a formal company is the very large figure by AAA.



11. Japanese crayfish, Cambaroides japonicus
This native crayfish species is another one that is made several times and in both brown and blue forms. I have three other sculpts of this species (two by Kaiyodo, and one by F-Toys) and all three come in blue and brown forms. To my knowledge, this Yujin figure was not released in other colors.



12. fiddler crab, Uca tetragonon
The two Takara T-A.R.T.S. figures here were unique until Kaiyodo released one relatively recently in their Capsule Q Japanese Crabs Collection.



13. slipper lobster, Ibacus cilatus
At the time, this was the figure I was most excited to get. The only other one I am aware of is by Epoch.



19
Review of the complete set of Insects Gather to Sap - Night Feast of Midsummer by Kaiyodo - Capsule Q Museum, released in 2015. This is an ecologically-specific set, focusing on gummivorous insects, i.e. insects that are attracted to sap exudates from trees. All species, as typical with Kaiyodo, are Japanese/southeast Asian. There are 8 figures total, representing only five species, two of which are new to the toy insect realm (one at the family level!).

The figures are comparable in size to other Kaiyodo/gashapon-style figures (but of a much better quality than previous versions) and are a solid-piece PVC (no assembly required). They all also have a small, unobtrusive magnet on the underside.

On to the figures:

1. Japanese rhinoceros beetle, Allomyrina dichotoma.
Any set of Japanese insects would be incomplete without this guy. No stranger to toy form, I have 40 figures from 18 different manufacturers, plus a few of unknown origin!!!



2. Saw-toothed stag beetle, Prosopocoilus inclinatus.
This is another commonly-made species by Japanese manufacturers; I have 19 figures by 12 different manufacturers.



3. Drone beetle, Pseudotorynorrhina japonica [marketed as Rhomborrhina japonica.]
This is one of the 'unique' species (even though are two of them). This species is naturally variable in color and Kaiyodo made both copper and green versions. It is a surprise more Asian goliathine scarabs have not been made in toy form! The sap beetle (next) was an accessory to this figure.



4. Sap beetle, Glischrocheilus japonicus [marketed under its subgenus name, Librodor japonicus.]
This is the other unique species and the only figure I am aware of representing the family Nitidulidae (sap beetles)!!! This figure was technically sold as an accessory to the P. japonica (above) and as such there were two in the set (one for each drone beetle).





5. Great purple emperor, Sasakia charonda.
There are two figures of this butterfly, one male (more purple, left) and female (more gray, right). While they just painted the same sculpt in two different color schemes, in nature the female would be larger than the male. Kaiyodo made this species previously as part of the Choco Q Animatales series. It has also been made by Bandai and Kabaya and I have a large figure from an unknown manufacturer originally suspected by a string.


20
Review of the complete set of Japanese Crab Figure Collection by Kaiyodo - Capsule Q Museum. I do not remember the release date, but it was probably 3-5 years ago. As the name suggests, they are crabs endemic to Japan/southeast Asia.

There are seven figures representing six species, two of which are unique at the species level. They are all solid PVC however a few of them have articulated claws. They are also typical gashapon-sized and comparable with other Kaiyodo figures. The detail on these are amazing, some of the best of the small crustaceans made!

One to the figures, in the order presented on the accompanying paperwork:

1. Blue swimmer crab, Portunus pelagicus.
This species was made once more by Kaiyodo and twice by Cadbury, for the Australian and UK Yowies series. This figure is one with articulated claws. Other species in the genus and family have been made.



2. Box crab, Calappa lophos.
This species was made once more by Kaiyodo for one of the Aquatales sets, and will be re-released later this year or early next year. This one also has articulated claws.



3. Samurai crab, Heikeopsis japonica.
This is one of the two unique figures in the set!



4. Fiddler crab, Uca tetragonon.
There are two other figures of this species, a male and female by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. when they re-released the Yujin set (after T-TARTS bought Yujin). The male figure has an articulated major claw.



5. Soldier crab, Mictyris brevidactylus.
This is technically a unique figure, as I believe other members of this genus are attributable to M. longicarpus (although I am not 100% sure of the Epoch figure...).



6 and 7. Red-clawed crab, Chiromantes haematocheir.
There are two figures of this species, one mature and one immature. Furuta made this figure previously as part of their Choco Q Animatales series and Kaiyodo will be making a large figure in 2018 as part of their Sofubi Toy Box line!!! It has also been made by Yujin and Wing Mau.


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