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Author Topic: Souvenirs Entomologiques (Kaiyodo)  (Read 531 times)


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Souvenirs Entomologiques (Kaiyodo)
« on: August 25, 2017, 02:20:48 AM »
Review of the [nearly complete] set of Souvenirs Entomologiques ('Entomological Memories') by Kaiyodo (release year unknown). These figures were released to commemorate the research of French Entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre (1823-1915). The set includes seven insect figures (representing six species) and one figure of Fabre, himself. I say 'nearly complete' because my review includes only the seven insect figures, and not the Fabre figure. I didn't retain this figure because, well, I don't collect humans :).

Bottlecap series are often marketed for certain food or drink items. On the accompanying paperwork is the 7-Eleven (a US convenient store) logo, so these might have been released for something regarding 7-Eleven? This made me research 7-Eleven's roots, and while it is based in the US, they also have stores in Japan! This explains the connection with Kaiyodo!

Because these figures represent arthropods studied by Fabre, they naturally represent European (French) species. The species represented are either rarely made, or unique figures, so this set gives one an opportunity to get species not otherwise represented.

The figures are a solid-piece PVC and come as mini diromama-style bases atop a classic brown Kaiyodo bottlecap. The bottlecaps are 32 mm in diameter, so the figures are small. Small, but very detailed!

This set comes highly-recommended for collectors of all interests. They do pop up on eBay from time to time!

On to the figures, in numerical order based on paperwork (the paperwork uses Roman numerals, so I shall to).

I and II, sacred scarab, Scarabaeus typhon.
For years I specialized in dung beetles, so these two might be my favorite in the set! The two figures represent a beetle rolling dung (I) and sitting atop the brood ball made from the dung (II). Epoch made this species, as the 'secret' for their Flying Beetle set (which is ironic, since Scarabaeus species are flightless).

III, golden ground beetle, Carabus auratus.
This figure is displayed atop its snail prey (many of the Carabini are mollusk-hunters). Bullyland made a couple figures (one green, one blue) that can probably be safely attributed to this species. K&M International made a Carabus for their European Garden Nature Tube, but it is solid black and may be based on a different species.

IV, caterpillar hunter wasp, Podalonia hirsuta.
This is a great figure. Not only because it is nicely made and comes with its prey (some noctuoid caterpillar), but also because it is the only member of the family Sphecidae in toy/figure form that I am aware of. The sphecid wasps were recently (?) placed in the superfamily Apoidea with the bees!

V, cicada, Lyristes plebejus (marketed as Tibicen plebeja).
This is another unique species. It is shown molting from its nymphal exuvia. Molting cicadas are not unheard of; Kabaya (Insect Directory) and Bandai (Figure Pictorial Book of Gakken Insect) both made molting cicadas, and Bandai did a six-figure set representing the post-molting drying (complete with an empty exuvia!). All those other cicada figures represent Graptopsaltria nigrofuscta, however.

VI. small emperor moth, Saturnia pavonia.
This ‘figure’ is actually a two-part figure containing two insects. The concept comes from a popular technique by lepidopterists to attract male moths. The female is placed under a mesh cage and males attracted to her pheromones come to the cage. This figure has the female under the mesh and a male on the top of the mesh cage. The lid of the cage is removable and both figures can be removed from their respective designated places.

VII, common yellow scorpion, Buthus occitanus.
This is a unique figure, in fact, the only other Buthus I know of is Jetoar’s custom B. ibericus! This is a very delicate and well-detained figure.