Animal toy reviews and walk-arounds

Recent reviews and walk-arounds

January 20, 2018, 05:43:58 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 62 | Comments: 3

In preparation for a comparison topic on small spider figures, I need to do a review of an interesting set of spiders of unknown origin. I have already reviewed the sets by K&M International ( and Play Visions ( and within the next couple weeks, I plan to do one for the Club Earth Spiders to Go. But for a comparison topic to be complete, we must also visit this intriguing set.

The set, assuming it is complete (my figures are labeled A-L), is clearly influenced by Club Earth and PV. The figures are actually nice, and made of a good quality PVC. They are labeled on the underside with a common name and a letter (A-L), but no company. There are several other sets like this floating around out there, in my collection I have sets of crabs and caterpillars, and I believe there are also tropical fish and birds. I bought my figures individually in large barrels at the gift shop of the Rain Forest Cafe in Tempe AZ, sometime between 2001 and 2005 I believe.

The following figures are listed in alphabetical order of the letter stamped on the bottom. The common name is what is printed on the bottom; the Latin names are of my assigning. I am also listing when these species are included in the aforementioned PV, CE, and K&M sets (only).

A. ‘black’ widow, Lactrodectes mactans
I put ‘black’ in quotation marks because technically this figure is labeled ‘red widow’, as they used the same sculpt as for H, below. They did however stamp it with the letter A rather than H (interesting they made the effort to change the letter but not the spider’s name).
This species shows up in all four sets.

B. crab spider, gen. sp.
I cannot attribute this figure to an exact species based on this color pattern. The Club Earth set did have two crab spiders (see also J, below) but neither were colored like this.

C. purseweb spider, Sphodros rufipes.
This species is also in the Club Earth set.

D. raft spider, Dolomedes plantarius
This species also shows up in the Club Earth set.

E. green lynx spider, Peucetia viridans
This species shows up in the Play Visions set.

F. spitting spider, Scytodes thoracica.
This species shows up in the Club Earth set.

G. Costa Rican zebra tarantula, Aphonopelma seemanni.
This species shows up in the Play Visions set.

H. red widow, Latrodectus bishop
This species shows up in the Club Earth Set.

I. tarantula, gen. sp.
This might represent the Mexican red-kneed tarantula, Brachypelma smithi, which is also in the Play Visions set.

J. crab spider, Thomisus onustus.
This species shows up in the Club Earth set, albeit as the more-familiar pink form (in nature, this species is highly variable, as are many crab spiders). The ‘J’ on the underside is juxtaposed, looking more like a soft ‘L’.

K. tarantula, gen. sp.
This figure is very similar to the generic tarantula in the Club Earth set. I do not have a definitive identification, but I am thinking it is an immature greenbottle blue tarantula, Chromopelma cyaneopubescens.

L. tarantula, gen. sp.
This generic ‘tarantula’ is not immediately attributable to any species, nor figures in the other sets.

January 18, 2018, 03:05:00 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 42 | Comments: 0

So, one day on eBay I stumbled upon four small, interesting butterfly figurines (first image, below) by Land and Sea Collectibles. I bought them, and then started snooping around and eventually found their site. On their site, I saw a set of a dozen similar, but looking slightly different, butterflies. I ordered that set to see how they compare (are there multiple series, etc.). Land and Sea offers many 'miniature' animals like these; they are intended to be accessories for 'fairy gardens' (a popular horticultural activity).

When the first set from eBay came, I was very impressed. The four figures were well-detailed and sat upon a small base simulating wood. I am not sure, but the figures might be made of fiberglass? Feels too light to be resin or stonecast. Anyway I was impressed by them, especially since they gave me two new species (identifications are mine) and one species that I only have as a flat magnet figurine. I should point out that the painting on the ventral side is not accurate; it simply mirrors the dorsal side (which is accurate for each species). I can forgive that, given the detail they do possess at a small size.

Clockwise from top left:
1. The danaid eggfly, or mimic, Hypolimnas misippus, a new species for me [Parasarpa (ex: Limenitis) albomaculata also a good match, but I thought the shape of the white macula on the hind wings was a better shape for the former]
2. The gulf fritillary, Agraulis vanillae.
3. The red admiral, Vanessa atalanta.
4. The crimson patch, Chlosyne janais, the other new species

When I received the 12 butterflies from the actual site, I was disappointed. The 12 figures were essentially the same design, but painted differently and with slightly different bases. They remind me more of the previously-reviewed Steel Street butterflies. I took pics of six of them here, the ones I'll retain. They're nothing special but I'll keep at least these six for now. I am not even going to try to put species' names on them; even if they might slightly resemble something legit, I am sure they are all generically painted. Also, figurines in this set seem to be made of a stonecast-like material, not as light and graceful as the first four.

I am curious why there are two sets of such different styles and quality. When the second set, direct from Land and Sea, came, there was a catalog too, but I could not find anything like those first four in it. They must represent a retired set. I hope if the first four represent a larger set, I can find additional species.
Beetle guy
January 15, 2018, 09:08:40 PM by Beetle guy
Views: 70 | Comments: 1

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.
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 2003 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 in these big beetles. Some look less realistic and/or very bulky, others are just great.

This one was released in a series including five other species: Dorcus alcides, Allomyrina dichotoma, Dynastes hercules (blueish gray), Dynastes satanas and Chalcosoma moellenkampi.

On the beetle
Prosopocoilus giraffa is the world's largest saw-tooth stag beetle with long, sharp mandibles. It is found in a wide range of Asia (India to Indonesia). It is up to 119 millimetres in length. They have a mainly black body colour. There huge mandibles are used for fights with other males and because of the size the beetles can sometimes hardly control them. Is is said to be an agressive species.

On the figurine
A pretty rare find. The release must bin between 2003 and 2009. The figurine depitcs Prosopocoilus giraffa. And considering mandibles and size probably P. giraffa keisukei. This model came strapped to an information card (in Japanese). Some parts of the mould of this figure are used in the P. giraffa from the Sega big flying beetles.
It has less realistic details than the Sega DX version of the same species, except for the legs (Which are a bit bulky in the DX version). It is made out of hard ATBC-PVC, that's different compared to most of  the rest in this series. Mainly these figurines are made from more bendable material. This model is not poseable.

The figurine measures: 113 mm so almost scale 1:1 for a very big male (119 mm is the record known to me).

And the Pic's... I might give it a little paint update.

January 14, 2018, 07:55:33 PM by Takama
Views: 138 | Comments: 2

My first figure of 2018

Also my first figure of this animal

January 11, 2018, 02:36:55 PM by animaltoyforum
Views: 114 | Comments: 2

Walk-around of the Furuta swallow-tailed hummingbird, Eupetomena macoura.

January 11, 2018, 01:45:02 PM by animaltoyforum
Views: 243 | Comments: 5

Walk-around of the Verreaux's sifaka, sometimes listed as a langur monkey, by Furuta. Give us a twirl!

January 11, 2018, 12:43:46 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 120 | Comments: 1

Review of the set, Insect World by Battat Terra, new for 2017. So, I stumbled upon this set on while searching for something else. I did not have any interest in it, as I assumed it would contain the usual generic Toy Major-style figures (I was proven correct). However, at work we were given $10 gift cards for Amazon. So, I figured since I could get the set for half-off, might as well take a look to see what it's like.

Like all of the Terra 'bucket' sets, it consists of 60 figures, 5 each of 12 different sculpts. I knew this ahead of time and was not expecting 60 different figures (that would have been nice LOL). When I saw them, my hunch was confirmed, these are all the generic 'chinabug' style popularized by Toy Major and its knock-offs. They are made of a stronger, firmer plastic, and the paint seems darker, but the sculpts are essentially the same (the smaller of the two spiders does seem different however).

The undersides are not labeled with creature name, company name, nor any series numbers or letters, so if these got mixed up with other chinabugs, you might not remember what belongs to this set ;-)

Since there is nothing really exciting here, I took two pics of 6 each. I didn't feel it was worth the time to take individual pics for each item (I might down the road someday).

I'll probably throw in sets of 12 as extras during exchanges, etc...

1. the bucket:

2. cicada, bee, ant, fly, dragonfly, ladybug:

3: scorpion, spider (two styles), grasshopper, mantis, cricket:

January 10, 2018, 07:52:37 PM by Halichoeres | Views: 244 | Comments: 13

Bandai's tropical fish set consists of 15 varieties, but only 3 sculpts. This thread is for the characin sculpt, which represents 4 species (and one domestic strain) by changing the paint job.

First up: Tucanoichthys tucanoi, a truly minute tetra species endemic to Uaupés River in Brazil. It's named after a group of indigenous tribes, the Tucano. I don't think the species has a standardized common name, but most people I know call it the Tucano tetra.

The maximum recorded length is 1.7 cm, so these figures, despite being only 2.8 cm long, are almost twice life size. Annoyingly, they're missing the adipose fin. Every tetra species in this set should have one. Sure, it's going to be small on these tiny characids, but it should still be visible.

I'll do the other characid species soon. I mostly collect prehistoric figures, and I would find it pretty annoying in that context if a company simply repainted a figure and called it a new species. But the truth it a lot of freshwater fish differ in extremely minor ways externally, apart from their coloration. You'd need geometric morphometrics (or tooth or fin ray counts, depending) to tell them apart with all color information removed. So I don't bedgrudge Bandai the re-use of this mold, but I still begrudge them the missing adipose fin.
Beetle guy
January 10, 2018, 11:00:08 AM by Beetle guy
Views: 74 | 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.
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 2003 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 in these big beetles. Some look less realistic and/or very bulky, others are just great and one (Chalcosoma moellenkampi) 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
Hexarthrius mandibularis is a large stag beetle species from Indonesia. It belongs to the family of the Lucanidae.
This beetle has a dark, brownish/reddish body. With very large, antler-like mandibles with small teeth on the inside edge, and one large, forward-pointing pair located approximately in the middle of the mandibles (to a third) down from the somewhat inward forked tips. The larvae of  Hexarthrius mandibularis lives and feeds in rotten hardwood.
The size (depending on which subspecies, Hexarthrius mandibularis mandibularis or Hexarthrius mandibularis sumatranus) for a male ranges between 115 and 118,5 mm respectively.

On the figurine
A very rare find. The figurine depitcs Hexarthrius mandibularis mandibularis (I think). It was released in 2003. This model probably came in a blisterpackage with a Mushi King playing card. I do not know for a 100% though, because I bought it with a lot of used items.
It has far less realistic details than the Sega DX version of the same species. The legs (less bulky than the DX version) and mandibles are slightly bendable but not really poseable. The pronotum even has a design flaw, it is wrongly shaped (like no stagbeetle species pronotum in general is shaped). Also a minor pitty, there are no small teeth along the inner edge of the mandibles in this model.

The figurine measures: 120 mm so almost scale 1:1 for a very big male.

First the four Sega Hexarthrius mandibularis figurines I have.
Above left: From the MushiKing big beetles series, above right: From the Mushiking small series the black version,
Below left: From the Sega DX series (H. sumatranus) and below right the Mushiking small series the brownish version.

Comparing the DX version (left) and the 'Big beetles' version (right).

The flaw in the pronotum design (marked red is what the shape should be) and the toothless mandibles.

And the overview...

January 10, 2018, 01:25:59 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 99 | Comments: 5

Walk-around and review of the Scorpion Anatomy Model by 4D Master (2009). The model represents the emperor scorpion, Pandinus imperator (Koch, 1842). I have been eyeing this model for a while and finally decided to get it when I could get one on eBay from the US. There is a tarantula as well (not to mention several non-arthropods including a snail, mammals, reptiles, and possibly more) [I thought brontodocus had reviewed one of them but if so I cannot find it].

The model comes disassembled in 29 pieces. A few pieces are clear to view the interior anatomy. This is a very high-quality model, made of vary hard, high-quality plastic. It takes some strength to get some of the pieces in, but it a tight fit once secure. The pincers on the end of the pedipalps have a ball-and-socket connection and the claws themselves are articulated. The detail is superior and is probably the best emperor scorpion model/figure available (we'll see how it compares to the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box model later this year). This was clearly designed to be used as a display model and teaching aid, at a level of quality to be used at the university level! The figure is also VERY big (I was astonished by the size of the box it was shipped in!); I did not measure it, but it appears to be about twice the size of the Safari Smithsonian figure, which would make it 4:1 for a large specimen.

The figure comes with a small base and a peg with which to attach it. It also comes with a booklet with information of scorpions (anatomy, biology, etc.) and assembly instructions.

After seeing the quality, I am tempted to invest in the tarantula next, but not sure if I have room right now for another of this size ;-)

On to the pics:

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