Animal toy reviews and walk-arounds


Recent reviews and walk-arounds


bmathison1972
December 15, 2017, 06:00:36 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 66 | Comments: 3

Review of the complete set of Butterflies of Paradise by The Franklin Mint (1987). I had previously reviewed the complete set of the Franklin Mint’s Butterflies of the World (http://animaltoyforum.com/index.php?topic=1969.msg15494#msg15494) collection. When I bought the Butterflies of Paradise set, I hadn’t realized it was incomplete. I only recently tracked down the 12th and final figure so I could do a review!

Of the 12 figures, 10 are unique species, and of the two that have been previously made, one is a magnet figurine and the other is a tentative ID based on wing shape rather than color pattern.

These are porcelain figurines. They are very well made but are very fragile. They are not toys to be played with. Each species is displayed on a specific plant as well and are marketed with both the butterfly’s and flower’s names. I assume the plants are native to where the butterfly is from, but I am not a botanist and didn’t feel like researching.

While as porcelain figures I realize this set is not for everyone, this is a great opportunity to get nearly a dozen unique species!

On to the figurines, in no particular order:

1. BHUTAN GLORY, Bhutanitis lidderdalii on Himalayan maple (Podophyllum hexandrum)



2. TIGER. Tithorea harmonia on sunshine tree (Tabebuia serratifolia)



3. ROYAL ASSYRIAN, Terinos terpander on Philippine violet (Barleria cristata)



4. RED LACEWING, Cethosia biblis on common white jasmine (Jasminum officinale)



5. BLUE BANDED PEACOCK, Papilio arcturus on Asiatic poppy (Meconopsis grandis)
The only other figure of these I have is a magnet by Doug Walpus Art Studio.



6. SWORDTAILED TORTOISESHELL, Hypanartia paullus on frangipani (Plumeria alba)



7. GAUDY COMMODORE, Precis ocravia on African violet (Saintpaulia ionanthe)



8. FOREST BEAUTY, Paralethe dendrophilus on crossandra (Crossandra infundibuliformis)



9. LILAC TREE NYMPH, Sevenia pechueli on yesterday-and-tomorrow (Brunfelsia calycina)
This figure is misidentified on the accompanying paper as Eunica amelia, which is turn was misspelled as E. amulia.



10. LEOPARD, Phalanta eurytis on periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus)



11. ATOSSA NYMPH, Euriphene atossa on black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata)



12. PARADISE BIRDWING, Ornithoptera paridisea
This is the one I bought solo, so I do not have the card indicating what the flower is. I have tried online searches but I cannot find a checklist. This is also the other non-unique species. There is a figure in the K&M Butterflies Nature Tube I have identified as O. paridisea based on wing shape (although the color is more like O. priamus).


Beetle guy
December 11, 2017, 08:35:23 AM by Beetle guy
Views: 177 | Comments: 8

Sometimes you run in to something very special like this model from Hawk (kit no 516-98). A Pseudolucanus capreolus. It was released in 1960, so 58 years old!

The reddish-brown stag beetle (Lucanus capreolus) is a beetle of the family Lucanidae. It lives mainly in deciduous forests in the Eastern United States and in parts of Canada.
Capreolus, derived from Latin, meaning "roe deer" (actually "little goat"). In the Netherlands lives the species Platycerus caraboides (a beautiful metalic blue, females mostly green, Lucanidae species) which is called "Little blue goat".

I had seen the box a few times on Ebay, but never took serious notice. The box illustration depicts the beetle with funny proportions of the body parts. And it was named "BERTRAM" The stag beetle. So I thought it a kids model or a bulky model like the Heller-kits, which I personally do not like so much. The box came with a building plan and a little description of the beetle and it's lifecycle.



But then an Ebay seller had it complete for a good price and with good pictures of the box! I could read the text:
'Authentic to the smallest detail'and 'Faithfully reproduced from actual specimens supplied by a leading museum'. I decided to go for it ;-).
It is indeed very accurate!



There were also an ant, locust and dragonfly made in the series.







The stag beetle model had 56 unassembled parts, all in a redish brown colour. The plastic was very "weak", maybe because the age and/or storage it had. But what a magnificent detail!
So here are some parts in the first painting fase. I took the time to patiently paint it, using an actual (dead) specimen for reference.





Half a year later I had the time to paint the rest and start assembling.











I will post some more pictures of the finished model soon!
bmathison1972
December 11, 2017, 12:38:24 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 54 | Comments: 0

Review of the complete set of Insects by K&M International's Itsy Bitsies series (2009). Recent discussions on the COG Itsy Bitsy bucket of Reptiles got me researching to see if they had a bucket of insects. Nothing by COG, but I did come across this set by K&M International (did K&M take over and re-release COG sets, or is this something entirely different with a similar name?)

It was available on Amazon cheap enough, so I decided to invest in it. Honestly, I was expecting the usual Toy Major-style fare of generic toy bugs. And while many of these are generic, they represent sculpts I have not seen before (and I collect most every variation of generic toy bugs), and they are made of a relatively sturdy, quality plastic.

There are 17 critters, plus a small plant and a plastic rock, all packed within a bucket measuring 9 cm high and 8 cm in diameter. The insects are about 30-45 mm each. A few of them appear to be miniature versions of insects from their Polyvinyl bag set.

The bucket:



Beetles. Now there are some interesting things here. There is a longhorned beetle (might be able to get a genus on it), and a carabid that most-certainly represents Carabus, even painted more like on than the Polyvinyl bag set (the European C. intricatus comes to mind early). There is also a short-winged beetle that may represent the same Polybag figure that, when repainted, looks a lot like a nicrophorine carrion beetle. There also appears to be a possible Cicindela (sens. lato). The lady bug is generic fare.



Orthopteroids. Pretty generic fare of a mantis, grasshopper, and cricket.



Odonota and Hemiptera. The dragonfly is generic, well all three are, but I really like the stink bug and little cicada!



Hymenoptera and Diptera. Usual fare here too, with winged and wingless ants (rather like the latter), bee, and fly.



Arachnids. Generic scorpion and spider; at least the scorpion has a raised tail and for a small generic figure, accurately has 8 legs (many generic bin scorpions are made with 6 legs).



Lepidoptera. Here is the one butterfly, a swallowtail with its wings raised, along with the plant and rock. I might permanently attach the butterfly to the plant (and maybe the lady bug or ant to the rock) to make permanent mini-bases :)

Beetle guy
December 10, 2017, 10:04:58 PM by Beetle guy
Views: 75 | Comments: 2

On this Sega figurine line(s)
The SEGA big beetles (note: not an official series name, just to label it) came in blisterpack and some with a plastic strap holding a information card (like this one).
Many beetles were produced and sometimes with alternative or altered molds for particular species. The style of the series figurines differs so much that they can hardly be seen as a whole. Most of them were released from 2006 to 2009 and pretty hard to find. I do think to know all of them made by now. I did not keep/collect all, because some were a bit badly made to my opinion, focusing mainly on realistic figurines. The quality of the molds differs hugely in these big beetles. Some look less realistic and/or very bulky, others are just great and some can even compete with the DeAgostini beetles (64 models from real beetles, the best in beetle figurines there is) the SEGA DX_series and certianly some F-toy ones.

On the beetle
Dynastes satanas is a species of beetle (family Scarabaeidae). Dynastes satanas can reach a length of 50–115 millimetres in males (the females 30–55 millimetres). Males have one large horn on the pronotum, with a dense reddish pubescence on the underside of the horn.
Because of collecting and habitat loss this rare species is protected and on the list of insects regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

On the figurine
This model is one  of the finest in the series. It has very realistic details and legs as well, not the bulky ones like some of the beetles in the DX-series (see my walkarounds on them). The legs are slightly bendable but not poseable. The head is moveable. From the horns to the tip of the abdomen it measures: 10,9 cm, so scale 1:1 for a big male.

The pic's..

Beetle guy
December 06, 2017, 09:32:10 PM by Beetle guy
Views: 87 | Comments: 1

The SEGA big beetles (note: not an official series name, just to label it) came in blisterpack and some with a plastic strap holding a information card (like this one).
Many beetles were produced and sometimes with alternative or altered molds for particular species. The style of the series figurines differs so much that they can hardly be seen as a whole. Most of them were released from 2006 to 2009 and pretty hard to find.

I do think to know all of them made by now. I did not keep/collect all, because some were a bit badly made to my opinion, focusing mainly on realistic figurines.

The quality of the molds differs hugely in these big beetles. Some look less realistic and/or very bulky, others are just great and some can even compete with the DeAgostini beetles (64 models from real beetles, the best in beetle figurines there is) the SEGA DX_series and certianly some F-toy ones.

Such is this one; the Moellenkampi beetle (Chalcosoma moellenkampi) it's one of the large species of dynastid rhinoceros beetles from Southeast Asia. I got it in a huge lot of more than 1.000 beetles some years ago.

The model is, with exception from the missing gold/green gleaming elytra, spot on! It is one of my very favorites. It has very realistic legs as well, not the bulky ones like some of the beetles in the DX-series (see my walkarounds on them). It is a one-piece figurine, no assembling needed. The legs are bendable but not poseable. From the horns to the tip of the abdomen it measures: 9 cm, so scale 1:1 for a reasonably big male.

on to the pic's..



Beetle guy
December 06, 2017, 08:57:02 PM by Beetle guy
Views: 99 | Comments: 3

And the Last one in the Mushi King DX-series!

Walk-around Dorcus titanus alcides by Sega (Mushi King DX series) which was released in Japan around 2006.

The Sega Mushi King DX-series include:
Dynastes hercules lichyi (yellow (red eyed and revised black eyed version);
Dynastes hercules lichyi (blueish-gray type);
Dynastes hercules lichyi (dark brown type);
Dynastes neptunus;
Chalcosoma caucasus (red eyed);
Megasoma gyas;
Megasoma acteon;
Megasoma mars;
Hexarthrius mandibularis (red eyed and revised black eyed version);
Dorcus titanus palawanicus;
Dorcus alcides;
Allomyrina dichotoma (only one with wings in this series. the later revised DX-version had no wings!);
Procopocoilus giraffa (red eyed and revised black eyed version);
Dynastes hyllus;
Mesotopus tarandus.

So Dorcus alcides, the figurine is almost 9,2 cm in lenght (measuring tip mandibles to tip abdomen not measuring the legs).
The legs, mandibles and prothorax are a bit poseable.

Beetle guy
December 06, 2017, 12:23:08 PM by Beetle guy
Views: 55 | Comments: 0

Walk-around Dorcus titanus palawanicus by Sega (Mushi King DX series) which was released in Japan around 2006.

The Sega Mushi King DX-series include:
Dynastes hercules lichyi (yellow (red eyed and revised black eyed version);
Dynastes hercules lichyi (blueish-gray type);
Dynastes hercules lichyi (dark brown type);
Dynastes neptunus;
Chalcosoma caucasus (red eyed);
Megasoma gyas;
Megasoma acteon;
Megasoma mars;
Hexarthrius mandibularis (red eyed and revised black eyed version);
Dorcus titanus palawanicus;
Dorcus alcides;
Allomyrina dichotoma (only one with wings in this series. the later revised DX-version had no wings!);
Procopocoilus giraffa (red eyed and revised black eyed version);
Dynastes hyllus;
Mesotopus tarandus.

So here is Dorcus titanus palawanicus, the figurine is almost 10,2 cm in lenght (measuring tip mandibles to tip abdomen not measuring the legs).
The legs, mandibles and prothorax are a bit poseable.




One more to go (Dorcus alcidus) and then all beetles of the Sega/Bandai Mushi King DX-series have their walkaround ;)
bmathison1972
December 03, 2017, 06:31:34 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 133 | Comments: 1

Review of the complete set of the Sanitary Insect Pest Exhibition by Kaiyodo (2015). This is an arthropod-centric set focusing on insects of public health importance, whether by parasitism, envenomation, or household pests. There are five figures, and all of them are unique to uncommonly made (at least at the species level; and since this is a Kaiyodo set, the figures are marketed at the species level with Latin names). I had originally done walkarounds on the ATF for the cockroach and pubic louse, but they were lost during the Photobucket purge and not replaced.

The figures are typical gashapon-sized. All come as a single piece except for the cockroach. All are free-standing except for the flea which comes with a detachable base.

As a professional parasitologist and entomologist, this set has a special place with me, much like the Fleas, Lice, and Ticks set by Play Visions.

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

1. Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarina.
This is the only species that has been semi-routinely made, and this figure is almost identical to the original Kaiyodo Choco Q figure (the front legs are held at a slightly different angle). Other figures are by Yujin, Rement, and Takara Tomy A.R.T.S.; Shineg made a larva.



2. Smoky-brown cockroach, Periplaneta fulginosa.
This figure was unique at the species level when first released, but Kaiyodo has since released a nymph a year later as part of the Sticky Tack Insect set.



3. Pubic louse, Pthirus pubis.
This is one of the boldest species ever made in figure form, and the only other one I am aware of is in the aforementioned Play Visions set (which remains to this date one of my last Holy Grail figures to acquire...).



4. Blow fly, Lucilia caesar.
This species is included in this set as its larvae can cause facultative myiasis. This figure is unique at the species level, however another species in the genus was made by Skillcraft.



5. Human flea, Pulex irritans.
This figure is unique at the genus and species level. Other flea figures are marketed as, or clearly attributable to, the genus Ctenocephalides (cat and dog fleas). The base allows this laterally-flattened figure to be displayed well!

bmathison1972
December 03, 2017, 12:10:42 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 82 | Comments: 3

Walkaround of the floral egg crab, Atergatis floridus (Linnaeus, 1767) by Epoch, Poisonous Creatures (unknown date). I think the official name of the set may have been 'The Poison'. My translating software isn't being consistent. Atergatis floridus is distributed from southeast Asia to Australia to Hawaii, where it lives on coral and rocky shores. The species epithet floridus refers to the floral pattern on its carapace; it does not occur in Florida nor the southeastern United States (at least natively). If you wonder why a crab was included in a set of poisonous creatures (there were two actually, including a coconut crab), it is because this species can be very poisonous when eaten!

This figure has been a Holy Grail figure of mine. All three arthropods in the set, but this one in particular because it is a 'unique' species! The other arthropods were the aforementioned coconot crab and an emperor scorpion. There was also three kinds of poison dart frogs, a Gila monster, and a cow fish. The 'secret' was a cooked coconut crab on a platter.

The figure, unlike the other two arthropods in the set, is solid-piece of PVC. The carapace is 30 mm across, making it 1:3 for an average-sized specimen. It comes with a half-eaten fish prey (that does not attach to it). Unlike other figures in the set, it does not come with a base. Bases for Epoch figures usually do not have a means of secure attachment.

On to the pics:











bmathison1972
December 02, 2017, 10:50:25 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 93 | Comments: 2

Review of the set of Encyclopedia of Insects Vol. 3 by F-toys (2007). This is a set I was aware of online, seeing other collectors' posted collections. I did not think I would ever see it again. Beetle Guy alerted me to it on the Japanese Yahoo! auctions, and I was able to secure it with the help of Brett and Emiko! There are six basic figures, plus a 'secret' that is a color variant of the Lamprima adolphinae. Also, there was an opportunity to mail in the packaging and get three color variants of the female of L. adolphinae. Unfortunately, if my translation software is working correctly, that opportunity expired in 2009  >:(. I am curious what species were in the first two volumes...

None of my other F-toys beetle sets date back to 2007. They are really nice. They seem quite delicate (a leg actually broke off in transit, and they were secure within their original packaging!) and there is not the usual mobility of appendages as seen with F-toys current figures. The size variation within the set lead me to believe, and Beetle Guy confirmed, are all 1:1. Also, unlike current F-toys figures, they come with a collector's card with information on the critter. Measurements on the collector's cards confirmed they are all 1:1 as well.

Two of the species are relatively commonly made, the others are not, although none are unique. One or two might have been unique at the time of its original release. There is also more geographic variation seen here than more recent F-toys sets.

On to the figures, in numerical order on the packaging and cards:

1. Lamprima adolphinae.
Not including the color variant and three female options here, I have two other figures of this species. One by DeAgostini (World of Insects Data Book) and Sega (small series, standard).



2. Phalacrognathus muelleri.
This is another that is not commonly made. DeAgostini made a male and a female (secret) for the World of Insects Data Book collection. Other figures are by Cadbury (Yowies - Australian release), XX, and Colorata (Tropical Rain Forest Stag Beetles). If Sega made one, I do not have it yet.



3. Mesotopus tarandus
This is one of the more commonly-made species. I have 10 other figures by 3 manufacturers (OK, 7 of those are Sega variants!).



4. Cyclommatus metallifer
I have nine figures of this genus total, but they represent five species. I only have two others of this particular one, by DeAgostini (World of Insects Data Book) and 4D Master.



5. Allotopus rosenbergi.
This is the other commonly-made species. I have 12 other figures by six manufacturers (and seven are Sega variants).



6. Chrysochroa fulgidissima.
A buprestid is a welcome addition by a company that predominately makes scarabaeoids. I have two other figures of this species, by Yujin (Insects of Japan) and a small, boxed figure by an unknown Japanese manufacturer. There are also two additional species in figure form.



7. SECRET: Lamprima adolphinae (blue variant)
This is merely a color variant of number 1, above (although the head does angle in a different direction).



The complete set, showing size variations (and before I fixed the M. tarandus leg):

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