Animal toy reviews and walk-arounds

Recent reviews and walk-arounds

November 19, 2017, 05:55:31 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 45 | Comments: 1

So, I have been acquiring a lot of Sega beetles lately, and there has been some interest on STS to review them. So, this post is specifically the Sega beetles I have in my personal collection.

Sega made A LOT of sets containing primarily, if not entirely, stag beetles (Lucanidae) and rhinoceros beetles (Scaraebaeidae: Dynastinae). That is a lot of figures for only two suprageneric taxa! Figures can vary from very small to very large; some are solid, some are articulated; some require assembly, others not; some are flying; some are on bases. Many are marketed under the brand 'Mushi King' which I believe is a Pokemon-like card game. Beetle Guy on the AFT is an expert on Sega beetle figures and I am sure he will embellish more on what I am presenting here.

The thread is not to do a comprehensive review of all Sega figures, but rather to highlight the sets and figures in my personal collection (and frankly, help me organize what is what--when you get so many versions of the same species, it can be hard to keep things straight!).

Feel free to comment all you want, but as with my 'Bug of the Day' thread I ask that you do not post images to this thread. I want everything to be mine for logistical reasons.

So, without further rambling, here are my Sega beetles. Posts will be updated as I add figures.

1. Large series, standard. These are very large figures, many probably 1:1 if not larger. I am not sure how many were made, but at the time of this writing, I have the following four. All are stamped with the year 2003. Some assembly (legs) are required.

Left to right, top to bottom: Mesotopus tarandus, Dorcus titanus palawanicus, Allotopus rosenbergi, Megasoma actaeon.

2. Large Series, DX.
These are the ‘Deluxe’ versions of the larger figures, with slightly better materials and paint jobs (although the large standard figures are very nice as they are). Again, I am not sure how many were made, nor are any of them stamped with the year they were released. Like the standard figures, some assembly is required, the legs and sometimes the prothorax-mesothorax juncture.

From left to right, top to bottom:
Prosopocoilus giraffa, Dorcus alcides, Megasoma actaeon, Megasoma mars, Dorcus titanus palawanicus

From left to right, top to bottom:
Mesotopus tarandus, Dynasts hyllus, Allomyrina dichotoma, Dynastes hercules

3. Small Series, standard
This is the largest series I believe. There were (at least) 100 figures spread over 10+ sets. While there are a few duplications for color morphs, etc., the vast majority of the figures represent different species. At the time of this writing I have 62 of them. They are small, roughly gashapon-sized, single-piece plastic and very realistic for their size. Many are unique at the species if not genus level! The following are shown in alphabetical order for my convenience:

From left to right, top to bottom: Aegus platyodon, Allomyrina dichotoma, Allomyrina pfeifferi celebensis, Allotopus rosenbergi, Augosoma centaurus, Beckius beccarii, Beckius koletta, Chalcosoma caucasus, Chalcosoma moellenkampi, Chiasognathus granti, Cyclommatus elephus, Dipelicus cantori.

The Dorcus species, left to right, top to bottom: D. alcides, D. grandis, D. hopei binodulosus, D. rectus, D. rubrofemoratus, D. tityus.

The Dynastes species, left to right, top to bottom: D. granti, D. hercules, D. hercules (blue morph), D. hyllus, D. neptunus, D. satanas.

Left to right, top to bottom: Eupatorus gracilicornis, E. gracilicornis edai, Eupatorus hardwickei, Eupatorus siamensis, Golofa pizzaro, Heterogomphus hirtus, Hexarthrius forsteri, Hexarthrius mandibularis, Homoderus mellyi.

Left to right, top to bottom: Lamprima adolphinae, Licomedes buckleyi, Lucanus gamunus, Megasoma actaeon, Megasoma gyas rumbucheri, Megasoma mars, Mesotopus tarandus, Neolucanus delicatus, Neolucanus maximus.

Odontolabis species, left to right, top to bottom: O. burmeisteri, O. cypri, O. duivenbodei, O. imperialis, O. spectabilis.

Left to right, top to bottom: Oryctes gigas, Prosopocoilus fabricea, P. giraffa, P. hasterti, P. inclinatus, P. wallacei, Rhaetulus didieri, Rhaetulus speciosus.

Left to right, top to bottom: Rhyssonotus nebulosus, Scapenes australis, Sphaenognathus feistameli, Strategus mandibularis, Trichogomphus martabani, Xylotrupes gideon, X. pubescens.

4. Small series, DX
These are the ‘DX’ versions of the small standard figures. I know very little about them, and at the time of this writing I only have the following two (Allotopus rosenbergi and Golofa porteri). I doubt there are 100 different figures, however.

5. Mushi King.
There are several sets under the name ‘Mushi King’ (I think they were all affiliated with card games). If I remember, my twelve figures are from two sets of 6. They are all stamped ‘2003’. I am not sure how many others came like this on bases. They can swivel on the bases but cannot be removed from them.

Left to right, top to bottom: Megasoma elephas, Dorcus hopei, Mesotopus tarandus, Lucanus maculifemoratus, Dynastes neptunus, Dynastes hercules, Dynastes granti, Allomyrina dichotoma, Odontolabis burmeisteri, Prosopocoilus giraffa, Allotopus rosenbergi, Chalcosoma caucasus.

6. Mushi King – magnet set
These six figures are small, even smaller than the small standard and DX sets. I have six figures, which probably represents a complete set but I am not sure. They all have a small, unobtrusive magnet on the underside.

Left to right, top to bottom: Chalcosoma caucasus, Dorcus grandis, Allotopus rosenbergi, Dynastes hercules, Megasoma actaeon, Mesotopus tarandus

7. Mushi King – Flying Beetles
There were at least two sets of beetles depicted in flight. I have a complete set from 2005 and a partial set from 2006. Some assembly is required, notably, the attachment of the elytra and flying wings, sometimes also the pro-mesothorax juncture. They are all elevated on clear rods and bases and attach in a hole on the bottom of the prothorax (making the figures a little back-heavy). The PVC is relatively soft on these. Where species are duplicated, the sculpts are not 100% identical.

2005 set (complete), clockwise from top: Allomyrina dichotoma, Prosopocoilus giraffa, Dorcus hopei, Dorcus rectus, Mesotopus tarandus, Dynastes hercules.

2006 (partial), clockwise from upper left: Dynastes hercules (blue morph), Chalcosoma moellenkampi, Prosopocoilus giraffa, Dynastes satanas.

8. Mushi King – Fighting Beetles
These figures seem to have been made for some game whereby one figure can ‘flip’ over another by means of an articulation between the pro- and mesothorax. Again, I am not sure how many there are, but my figures are stamped with years 2003, 2005, and 2006 so there were at least three sets. These are normally something I would not collect, but after getting a few free from Beetle Guy, I decided to invest in more.

Left to right, top to bottom: Dynastes neptunus, Dorcus hopei, Hexarthrius mandibularis, Chalcosoma atlas, Xylotrupes gideon, Prosopocoilus inclinatus, Megasoma actaeon, Allomyrina dichotoma (black), Eupatorus gracillicornis, Odontolabis burmeisteri, Allomyrina dichotoma (brown), Rhaetulus speciosus, Dynastes hyllus.

9. Trunk Figures
These figures are small (the tree trunks are roughly 20 mm long) and single-piece plastic. I am not sure if this set if complete or not (or maybe multiple sets together), but it's one of my favorites. Because of their small size, it was sometimes hard to confirm the identifications.

1. Lucanus maculifemoratus
2. Mesotopus tarandus
3. Dorcus rectus
4. Dorcus hopei
5. Hexarthrius mandibularis
6. Prosopocoilus inclinatus
7. Megasoma elephas
8. Chalcosoma moellenkampi

9. Dynastes granti
10. Allotopus rosenbergi
11. Xyotrupes gideon
12. Allomyrina dichotoma
13. Chalcosoma atlas
14. Chalcosoma caucasus
15. Dynastes herculus
16. Allomyrina dichotoma (anime style)

10. Miscellaneous figures
These are random figures made by Sega. The largest is a two-piece Lucanus maculifemoratus. The seven 'mini' figures (which might not be part of the same set) include Chalcosoma atlas, Dorcus hopei, Allotopus rosenbergi, Prosopocoilus inclinatus, Eupatorus gracillicornis, and Odontolabis burmeisteri (identifications on the Chalcosoma, Dorcus, and Odontolabis are tentative due to their small size and lack of detail). The silver figures are a Dorcus species (Neolucanus?) and Prosopocoilus giraffa. The gold one is Allomyrina dichotoma. Lastly, there are two 'anime' style A. dichotoma. I was debating on whether or not I would retain them.

Beetle guy
November 19, 2017, 05:13:43 PM by Beetle guy
Views: 34 | Comments: 0

Walk-around Mesotupus tarandus by Sega (Mushi King DX series) which was released in Japan around 2006.

The Sega Mushi King DX series include: Dynastes hercules (yellow (red eyed and revised black eyed version)/grey/dark brown type), Dynastes neptunus, Chalcosoma caucasus (red eyed no revised version), Megasoma gyas, Megasoma acteon, Megasoma mars, Hexarthrius mandibularis (red eyed and revised black eyed version), Dorcus 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) and Mesotopus tarandus.

So here is Mesotopus tarandus, the figurine is almost 9,5 cm in lenght (measuring tip mandibles to tip abdomen not measuring the legs).

November 18, 2017, 06:07:46 AM by MajesticHumpback
Views: 79 | Comments: 2

The Sofubi Toy Box Humpback Whale by Kaiyodo

Beetle guy
November 15, 2017, 10:14:23 PM by Beetle guy
Views: 54 | Comments: 0

Walk-around Chalcosoma atlas by Sega (Mushi King DX series) which was released in Japan around 2006.

The Sega Mushi King DX series include: Dynastes hercules (yellow (red eyed and revised black eyed version)/grey/dark brown type), Dynastes neptunus, Chalcosoma caucasus (red eyed no revised version), Megasoma gyas, Megasoma acteon, Megasoma mars, Hexarthrius mandibularis (red eyed and revised black eyed version), Dorcus 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) and Mesotopus tarandus.

So here is Chalcosoma caucasus, the figurine is about 11 cm in lenght (not measuring the legs).

 I have painted the eyes more realistic, below the original.

November 02, 2017, 11:28:46 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 103 | Comments: 0

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):

October 21, 2017, 02:26:38 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 156 | Comments: 0

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:

October 13, 2017, 02:26:33 AM by ErinH | Views: 297 | Comments: 3

Hello! I have a HUGE Schleich horse collection, but recently, I've noticed that their horses have gone down in quality and number. So now I'm searching for high quality horse figurines. I looked at the CollectA website. To me, the horses appear of lower quality than Schleich. Does any one know where I could go to a store to take a look at them or some other company I might like? Thanks!
-Erin  :)
October 11, 2017, 12:40:07 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 152 | Comments: 1

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:

October 08, 2017, 06:59:41 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 98 | Comments: 0

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!

October 06, 2017, 09:23:27 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 110 | Comments: 0

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).

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