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Author Topic: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)  (Read 13533 times)

brontodocus

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Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« on: April 06, 2015, 06:59:02 PM »
Warning - image heavy! :o ;D

Finally, Kaiyodo gives us a Blue Whale model in scale with many 1/35 to 1/40 scale dinosaur figures! :D

So here is a walk-around of the Kaiyodo Mega Sofubi Advance MSA-004 1:35 Blue Whale, Balaenoptera musculus (Linnaeus, 1758). It is a hollow vinyl model and ridiculously huge, measuring 758 mm from the tip of the lower jaw to the notch in the fluke. Since the model is gently curved dorsoventrally it would be slightly longer if it was fully stretched out, approx. 780 mm, so the scale would be anywhere between 1:26 and 1:43 for a mature individual. The "official" scale of 1:35 would make this a 27.3 m long animal, while 1:40 would make it represent a 31.2 m long one. For world record size, 33.6 m, the scale would be 1:43. The tail fluke spans exactly 200 mm. The sculpt is wonderfully detailed with a paint job to match, light gray streaks and mottles on a bluish gray background. Some seams are a little more obvious, i.e. those were the fluke and flipper pieces are inserted or the oval-shaped insert on the underside. There are also a few irregularities, most notably at mid-length of the back where the left side next to the spine is stronger depressed than the right side, resulting in a shallow but significant groove. This appears to be the case even on photos of the prototype. The model is leaner than most other toy figures representing the species but still quite bulky. For comparison, scale models of an adult and calf Blue Whale in the Natural History Museum, London, are still much more gracile (yet they are not as detailed) but this can also be interpreted as representing a different nutritional state. Something rarely seen on a rorqual figure is that the number of ventral pleats (the longitudinal grooves at the throat) lies within the range recorded for blue whales and is about 76 on a level just behind the eyes. The model comes with two black support pieces cast from resin, these are sufficiently heavy (150 g each) to provide a stable display stand.

The Blue whale, largest of the rorquals and largest animal known to science (including both extant and extinct animals) has been hunted to the brink of extinction, especially during the first half of the 20th Century, with only an estimated 1,000 - 3,000 individuals remaining in the 1960s. Since then the global population has recovered to an estimated 10,000 to 25,000 individuals which is, however, only 3 to 11% of its estimated population size prior to hunting (Taylor & Notarbartolo di Sciara in IUCN 2008) and the Blue Whale is therefore still considered "Endangered" by IUCN.

And now we come to the photos!




























Photos of the box and how the model is packaged:





Bonus: What really makes this Blue Whale figure so interesting for us figure collectors is that it is about the same scale as many other figures of very large animals, especially dinosaurs. So here are some comparison shots…

This is a comparison of the largest (i.e. heaviest) extant bony fish, the largest extant cartilaginous fish, and the largest extant animal. At 1:40 this scene would show a 3.2 m long Sunfish, Mola mola (Wild Safari WS Sealife, total length 80 mm), an 11.2 m long Whale Shark, Rhincodon typus (paper model by Taiwan designer Civi Cheng from his book "Make My Own Ocean Animals" (length 281 mm), and a 31.2 m long Blue Whale.


Comparison of the Mega Sofubi Advance Blue Whale with the Paleocraft “Indricotherium” = Paraceratherium transouralicum by Sean Cooper, shoulder height 119 mm, so at 1:43 we see a comparison of a world record size Blue Whale (33.5 m), with a Paraceratherium of 5.1 m shoulder height (estimates of P. transouralicum give approx. 4.8 m shoulder height of the reconstructed skeleton so with soft tissue added the animal may be just a little larger than that), and a 1.85 m tall human (Schleich scale figure from the ReplicaSaurus series, height without base 43 mm).


…and of course this Blue Whale is the perfect figure for Museum series sauropod figures, e.g. here the Safari Ltd Carnegie Collection Diplodocus, total length 740 mm, so this would (at 1:35 scale) show how a 25.9 m long Diplodocus would look like compared with a 27.3 m long Blue Whale.

The Mega Sofubi Advance Blue Whale was officially released on 2015-03-25 and it seems supplies have already become quite scarce. So if you don’t want to miss on this one the time to get it is probably now! It is expensive and international shipping from Japan can cause immense postage costs due to the size of the package (mine was delivered in a 110*45*40 cm parcel!) but it’s also something many serious collectors have been waiting for. For me, this one has become an instant favourite! :)

Edited 2017-02-04: Fixed broken image urls - now hosted on postimage.org
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 10:52:16 AM by brontodocus »



sbell

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2015, 07:44:01 PM »
Very cool figure--I'm admittedly not a marine mammal collector but it's really cool to see a company do something so large and impressive.

Jetoar

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2015, 09:03:18 PM »
Awesome  :o.
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brontodocus

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2015, 10:40:17 PM »
Many thanks, Sean and Jetoar! :) I am so glad I didn't miss to get this one, I already noticed people are having problems getting one. The shop I bought mine from (HLJ) has it already listed as "discontinued". :-\

MariaEvri

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2015, 06:51:33 PM »
very cool. This definitely goes in my wishlist!



Quincy

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2015, 01:57:54 AM »
This is an amazing review! Sharing this...

modelnut

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2015, 03:37:16 PM »
I just got this figure in the mail. Paid about $300 all told.

But mine has a couple of dents in it. I wonder if there is any way to re-inflate it?

- Leelan

brontodocus

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2015, 10:31:25 AM »
I just got this figure in the mail. Paid about $300 all told.

But mine has a couple of dents in it. I wonder if there is any way to re-inflate it?

- Leelan

Hi Leelan, congrats for getting it. :) On some of my photos you can see that my figure also has its imperfections. Most notably there is a long, shallow groove on the left side of the spine at mid length. I think it's even visible on Kaiyodo's prototype photos. I tried to remove it but without success, neither a hairdryer nor hot water treatment worked. :-\

Stuckasaurus

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2015, 09:09:49 PM »
Holy wow! That's amazing! Thank you especially for posting the comparison photos at the bottom: I actually joined this forum for the express purpose of finding 1:40 scale animals for my collection. Now if only I could convince my wife to concede the shelf space to me for this thing!

brontodocus

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2015, 05:14:30 PM »
Holy wow! That's amazing! Thank you especially for posting the comparison photos at the bottom: I actually joined this forum for the express purpose of finding 1:40 scale animals for my collection. Now if only I could convince my wife to concede the shelf space to me for this thing!
Many thanks, Stuckasaurus! :) I can fully understand (and confirm) the problems caused by the huge size of the model. We still haven't found a final place to display it properly, here. :-[
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 05:15:59 PM by brontodocus »



wakphotographer

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2016, 12:03:04 PM »
Hey sorry for bringing up an old post but this whale is truly amazing.

OP do you still have it?

Does anyone have one they want to sell? I don't mind if its damaged/missing packaging etc.

Just thought I'd ask on here before I try and import one from Japan....

Thanks for your time :)

Rossano

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2016, 02:37:52 PM »
" Some seams are a little more obvious, i.e. those were the fluke and flipper pieces are inserted or the oval-shaped insert on the underside, "

I had already noticed that often japanese models show little to null sensibility to these details, that to my eye are the worst things I can find on a model, the thing that cries out loud "THIS IS A BUILT MODEL! THIS IS MADE OF PIECES OF PLASTIC ATTACHED TOGETHER! THIS IS A FAKE!" and I find them really disturbing on ANY model, even the smallest and cheapest one.

Now, am I the only one here? I find it astonishing: such a huge effort to produce it and such a huge effort to buy it, and so poor solutions in the insertion of the different peices? Not even the minimal care to paint them so to give continuity at least to the colour of it?  :o :o :o

brontodocus

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2016, 03:31:42 PM »
Hey sorry for bringing up an old post but this whale is truly amazing.

OP do you still have it?

Does anyone have one they want to sell? I don't mind if its damaged/missing packaging etc.

Just thought I'd ask on here before I try and import one from Japan....

Thanks for your time :)
No problem! :) However, I’m not going to part with mine anytime soon. Yes, shipping and import tax/customs may even exceed the price of the item itself. On the other hand, Japanese sellers and Japan's EMS shipping service usually take great care in shipping items and are usually very reliable (and surprisingly fast, too).
" Some seams are a little more obvious, i.e. those were the fluke and flipper pieces are inserted or the oval-shaped insert on the underside, "

I had already noticed that often japanese models show little to null sensibility to these details, that to my eye are the worst things I can find on a model, the thing that cries out loud "THIS IS A BUILT MODEL! THIS IS MADE OF PIECES OF PLASTIC ATTACHED TOGETHER! THIS IS A FAKE!" and I find them really disturbing on ANY model, even the smallest and cheapest one.

Now, am I the only one here? I find it astonishing: such a huge effort to produce it and such a huge effort to buy it, and so poor solutions in the insertion of the different peices? Not even the minimal care to paint them so to give continuity at least to the colour of it?  :o :o :o
I think this is a case where a reasonable compromise had to be chosen. Hollow vinyl models like these usually consist of several parts. Sometimes they are sold as kits and have to be assembled (assembly requires more work, especially gap filling, than an injection model would) and sometimes they are sold as finished models – obviously not the same quality than a finished resin model like e.g. the Sideshow Dinosauria pieces but on the other hand these pre made vinyls are usually cheaper than a finished resin model (provided they are still in production). But they do show that they are still mass products. With a little effort those seams could be puttied away but of course the model would have to be completely repainted afterwards. I suppose there are two reasons for the seams being especially visible in this case. First, this is the first model in this line that represents an extant animal and second, the smooth surface of such a rorqual makes it difficult to hide necessary seams in skin folds. Their second Mega Sofubi Advance animal release, the African Elephant, has much less obvious seams only because the many folds in the wrinkly skin made it very easy to let the seams almost disappear. Besides, sometimes I’d really love to know the opinion oft he original sculptor who made the prototype but the mass production oft he final product is always out of her or his control. I can imagine that in this case the sculptor may have wanted less obvious seams, too.

sphyrna18

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2016, 04:50:52 PM »
I finally got one of my Holy Grails - the MSA Blue Whale - a figure I've dreamed about since I was a little boy has actually been made reality and I have it in my possession!  But my excitement has been dampened slightly by the fact that it looks like it's been squished - I don't get the impression from anyone else's photos that it is super flat, so I was hoping others who have it could chime in and let me know if theirs looks like this, too.

As you can see, it's tail end is very robust, but its front end looks quite skinny


Very wide across the back (there is the vexing, although characteristic for this figure, back dimple)


A better view of the throat and stomach. You can see how it looks caved in between the pectoral fins






I tried using a hairdryer on it briefly and squeezing the sides to pop the throat out, but I got some nasty looking creases along the side of the figure and decided that before I continue I should find out what others' figures look like.  Maybe everyone's is flat like this but they photograph them better haha.  Does the throat need to pop back out or is that how it's supposed to look?  It seems awfully slender  between those pectoral fins to me.  Should I just keep using the hairdryer until the throat pops back out? Any other suggestions?  I was thinking of heating it with a hairdryer then carefully inserting a wire and pulling the vinyl back out; again, though, I'm not sure it's even supposed to be different.

Thanks for any help or advice you guys can provide.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 04:51:39 PM by sphyrna18 »

sphyrna18

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2016, 09:31:30 PM »
After several more unsuccessful attempts to "fatten" up the figure's throat, I'm giving up.  It's an amazing figure regardless and I'm very grateful to Brett, who got it for me at a pretty great price and quickly as well.  I decided that I had waited long enough to display my Monterey Bay Aquarium whales, along with a few choice cetaceans from other lines, with this behemoth.  I was about 10 years old when I first started collecting the Monterey Bay Aquarium figures - eons ago - and hoped and prayed that someone would make a 1:40 scale Blue Whale to accompany them... Kaiyodo answered those prayers last year, and the minute I saw this bad boy I knew I had to have it.  So without further ado, I grabbed my MBA and other figures out of storage and threw them on an old tv stand for an impromptu photo session.  I think they all look amazing, but I'm biased!







I can't wait to get these set up into a proper glass display.... along with dozens of other 1:40 scale figures haha!!

sphyrna18

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2016, 12:52:56 AM »
Update:

Never one to admit defeat, I went back to work on the blue whale with renewed vigor - and it is paying off!  It isn't perfect by any stretch yet, but the throat IS starting to reinflate.  I think the problem may be related to shipping.  When shipped via airplane, the temperature differential may be what is causing the figure to "contract", thus leaving it with these strange dents.  It's the only thing I've come up with for how the figure could have gotten this way.  Once I had heated the throat area with a hairdryer, I took the smallest safety pin I could find and inserted it at an angle into the vinyl and pulled out, popping the heat-softened vinyl out with it.  Not the best fix, but it is starting to work, and I have most of the throat reinflated.  It has helped to put pressure on the sides of the figure, but too much pressure causes a deep crinkle in in the side of the whale behind the pectoral fins, which appears to mar the vinyl and paint.  Bummer.  But a little pressure on the rear or the figure on it's sides had helped to push air forward to reinflate the throat evenly. 


Before:

After:








brontodocus

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2016, 09:33:52 AM »
Hi Chad, sorry to see you received a deformed one - I can confirm that this huge depression at the throat should not be there.  :( My figure's throat doesn't have it and the few other people I know who have one never complained about this (but I'm sure they would have). I think changing temperatures during transport (or storage) may really be the reason why the throat deformed so much. It's good to see you found a way to fix it.  :) I know that many model builders fill vinyl kits with plaster or something else to make the models less prone to warping but I don't believe this is an option for a completed vinyl model.

Jetoar

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2016, 01:22:11 AM »
Wonderful family photograph  ^-^.
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Jetdin

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2016, 05:23:12 PM »
thanks for the photos and review!
i googled up blue whale toys a few days ago randomly and suddenly found this post. fell in love with this model instantly! i just purchased it i cant wait for it. :-)

brontodocus

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Re: Blue Whale (Kaiyodo - Mega Sofubi Advance)
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2016, 09:02:21 PM »
thanks for the photos and review!
i googled up blue whale toys a few days ago randomly and suddenly found this post. fell in love with this model instantly! i just purchased it i cant wait for it. :-)
You're welcome, Jetdin! :) And while we're at it: Welcome to the Animal Toy Forum, too. I'll keep my fingers crossed your model arrives safely and in time.