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Topics - bmathison1972

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Furuta / Insect Science (Furuta)
« on: September 23, 2017, 01:54:06 AM »
Review of the complete set Insect Science by Furuta. This is an interesting set of eight figures, but marketed in four pairs; four main figures with one 'accessory' each (the accessory being prey, a mate, progeny, etc.).

Like most Japanese manufacturers, this set represents typical Asian fare, nothing unusual or uncommonly made. The figures are single piece (well, they came same piece, possibly they can be taken apart -- I certainly have not tried). The primary figures are slightly larger than most of the earlier Furuta/Kaiyodo Choco Q figures, being more inline with the Yujin Insects of Japan Series.

Each primary figure comes with a sturdy collectors card with lots of fun facts (in Japanese, of course) and a picture of the primary figure and its accessory.

On to the figures, in their numerical order:

1a. Asian swallowtail, Papilio xuthus.
This figure has a fine felt coating over its wings. This species has been made by Bandai, Kabaya, Koro Koro, and Rement as adults, and by Kaiyodo (twice, including Mega Sofubi Toy Box) and Shineg as larvae.

1b. Seven-spotted lady beetle, Coccinella septempunctata.
This figure, and the follow on which it is sitting, is the accessory to the swallowtail (above). I decided to display the beetle on the flower since it is so small (not too much larger than 1:1). This is probably the most commonly made non-scarabaeoid beetle. I have figures marketed as, or at least clearly attributable, to this species by 4D Master, Blip Toys, Heller, Kabaya, Kitan Club, plus several of unknown origin. It was also made by Bullyland (which I do not personally have).

2a and 2b. Sawtoothed stag beetle, Prosopocoilus inclinatus.
This figure and its accessory are the male and female of the same species. This is one of the more common stag beetles made in figure form, having also been made by F-toys, Hayakwa Toys, Kabaya, Kaiyodo (a couple times), Maruka, Rement, Sega (several times), Subarudo, Yujin, Takara Tomy A.R.T.S., and Wing Mau. I only have one other female of this species, however. Unfortunately, females of these scarabaeoid beetles are way less commonly made than the males.

3a and 3b. Golden-ringed dragonfly, Anotogaster sieboldii.
This primary figure and its accessory are an adult and nymph/naiad of the same species. This is the most commonly made Asian dragonfly, having been previously made by Hayakwa Toys, Kaiyodo, Rement, and Yujin (both adult and naiad).

4a. Giant Japanese mantid, Tenodera aridifolia.
This is the fourth primary figure, again the most common member of its group made. Other figures I have are by Bandai, Hayakwa Toys, Rement, and Yujin. In addition some of the Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. B.I.G. Insects mantids may be attributable to this species.

4b. Migratory locust, Locusta migratoria.
This is the accessory to the mantid (above). Not sure if they were lumped as orthopteroids or if this is a predator-prey pairing. Anyway, other figures of this species are by 4D Master, Funrise Toys, Kaiyodo (twice), Rement, Yujin, plus an additional figure by Furuta.

Yujin / Shrimps and Crabs Collection (Yujin/Takara Tomy A.R.T.S.)
« on: September 21, 2017, 03:05:21 AM »
This is a review of the complete sets of the Shrimps and Crabs Collection, originally released by Yujin and then re-released by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. after the latter bought the former. I wish I knew the years of release for these sets. If anyone knows, please chime in. I bought mine first as a complete Yujin set, and then later individually bought the Takara additions.

The original Yujin set included:

1. spider crab, Macrocheira kaempferi
2. Alaska king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus
3. red-claw crab, Chiromantes haematocheir
4. blue crab, Portunus trituberculatus
5. coconut crab, Birgus lato
6. red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii
7. blue-banded hermit crab, Pagurus samuelis (with one shell)
8. anemone hermit crab, Dardanus pedunculatus
9. shrimp, Palaemon paucidens
10. mantis shrimp, Oratosquilla oratoria
11. SECRET A: red swamp crayfish (green form)
12. SECRET B: Japanese crayfish, Cambaroides japonicus

After Takara T-A.R.T.S. bought Yujin, they released it with the following changes:

1. removed 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 (above)
2. Added the following:
A. fiddler crab, Uca tetragonon (male)
B. slipper lobster, Ibacus cilatus
C. SECRET A: fiddler crab (female)
D. SECRET B: red swamp crayfish (albino) [but same sculpt as SECRET A in the Yujin set]
3. Added a second shell to the P. samuelis figure.

In all there are 13 species. Like most gashapon manufacturers at the time, the species are Japanese/southeast Asian. Also, like their contemporary Choco Q figures by Kaiyodo and Furuta, assembly is required for all of the figures. Despite their rather small size, they have amazing detail. The PVC is very firm and possibly more fragile (much like the Yujin Insects of Japan series), so care is recommended when assembling (especially with such think and delicate legs and antennae on some!

At the time of their release, many of these species were unique or rarely made. However, at the time of this writing all but three of them have since been made by other companies.

On to the species:

1. spider crab, Macrocheira kaempferi
This species is popular and commonly made, including by Chap Mei, Colorata, Epoch, Kaiyodo (three times!), Kitan Club, and even Play Visions.

2. Alaska king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus
This is another commonly-made species, also by Kaiyodo (twice), Epoch, Little Critterz, Nihon Auto Toy, and also by Play Visions.

3. red-claw crab, Chiromantes haematocheir
At the time of the original Yujin release, this might have been unique (Furuta released one in the third series of Choco Q Animatales). It has also been made by Wing Mau and Kaiyodo. Kaiyodo is releasing a large figure next year as part of their Sofubi Toy Box series.

4. blue crab, Portunus trituberculatus
Until very recently, this figure was a unique species. However, in 2014 Kaiyodo released a zoea-stage larva as part of their Microcosmos set. Still, two other members of the genus and a few other members of the family Portunidae exist in toy/figure form.

5. coconut crab, Birgus lato
This species is surprisingly not commonly made. Kaiyodo made one for their Okinawa Figure Collection and Colorata released one recently this year (although I do not have that one yet…).

6. red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii
This species is commonly made and in multiple color forms. Interestingly this is the one species that is not native to Asia; it was introduced from the United States. Kaiyodo released red and blue versions of this species as part of the Choco Q Animatales series. Takara T-A.R.T.S. released a large figure, comparable to their large beetles, and Yujin release a very small figure as part of Gacha Edition depicting various critters in captivity.

7. hermit crab, Pagurus samuelis
This was, and continues to be, a unique species. Mine is from the original Yujin set, so it only has one shell option.

8. anemone hermit crab, Dardanus pedunculatus
This is the smallest figure in the set and remains a unique species, to my knowledge. Love the symbiotic relationship depicted in this figure!

9. shrimp, Palaemon paucidens
This species is also unique, although Kaiyodo has released freshwater shrimp in other genera.

10. mantis shrimp, Oratosquilla oratoria
This is another species that surprisingly gets overlooked by figure/toy manufacturers. The only other one I know of from a formal company is the very large figure by AAA.

11. Japanese crayfish, Cambaroides japonicus
This native crayfish species is another one that is made several times and in both brown and blue forms. I have three other sculpts of this species (two by Kaiyodo, and one by F-Toys) and all three come in blue and brown forms. To my knowledge, this Yujin figure was not released in other colors.

12. fiddler crab, Uca tetragonon
The two Takara T-A.R.T.S. figures here were unique until Kaiyodo released one relatively recently in their Capsule Q Japanese Crabs Collection.

13. slipper lobster, Ibacus cilatus
At the time, this was the figure I was most excited to get. The only other one I am aware of is by Epoch.

Review of the complete set of Insects Gather to Sap - Night Feast of Midsummer by Kaiyodo - Capsule Q Museum, released in 2015. This is an ecologically-specific set, focusing on gummivorous insects, i.e. insects that are attracted to sap exudates from trees. All species, as typical with Kaiyodo, are Japanese/southeast Asian. There are 8 figures total, representing only five species, two of which are new to the toy insect realm (one at the family level!).

The figures are comparable in size to other Kaiyodo/gashapon-style figures (but of a much better quality than previous versions) and are a solid-piece PVC (no assembly required). They all also have a small, unobtrusive magnet on the underside.

On to the figures:

1. Japanese rhinoceros beetle, Allomyrina dichotoma.
Any set of Japanese insects would be incomplete without this guy. No stranger to toy form, I have 40 figures from 18 different manufacturers, plus a few of unknown origin!!!

2. Saw-toothed stag beetle, Prosopocoilus inclinatus.
This is another commonly-made species by Japanese manufacturers; I have 19 figures by 12 different manufacturers.

3. Drone beetle, Pseudotorynorrhina japonica [marketed as Rhomborrhina japonica.]
This is one of the 'unique' species (even though are two of them). This species is naturally variable in color and Kaiyodo made both copper and green versions. It is a surprise more Asian goliathine scarabs have not been made in toy form! The sap beetle (next) was an accessory to this figure.

4. Sap beetle, Glischrocheilus japonicus [marketed under its subgenus name, Librodor japonicus.]
This is the other unique species and the only figure I am aware of representing the family Nitidulidae (sap beetles)!!! This figure was technically sold as an accessory to the P. japonica (above) and as such there were two in the set (one for each drone beetle).

5. Great purple emperor, Sasakia charonda.
There are two figures of this butterfly, one male (more purple, left) and female (more gray, right). While they just painted the same sculpt in two different color schemes, in nature the female would be larger than the male. Kaiyodo made this species previously as part of the Choco Q Animatales series. It has also been made by Bandai and Kabaya and I have a large figure from an unknown manufacturer originally suspected by a string.

Review of the complete set of Japanese Crab Figure Collection by Kaiyodo - Capsule Q Museum. I do not remember the release date, but it was probably 3-5 years ago. As the name suggests, they are crabs endemic to Japan/southeast Asia.

There are seven figures representing six species, two of which are unique at the species level. They are all solid PVC however a few of them have articulated claws. They are also typical gashapon-sized and comparable with other Kaiyodo figures. The detail on these are amazing, some of the best of the small crustaceans made!

One to the figures, in the order presented on the accompanying paperwork:

1. Blue swimmer crab, Portunus pelagicus.
This species was made once more by Kaiyodo and twice by Cadbury, for the Australian and UK Yowies series. This figure is one with articulated claws. Other species in the genus and family have been made.

2. Box crab, Calappa lophos.
This species was made once more by Kaiyodo for one of the Aquatales sets, and will be re-released later this year or early next year. This one also has articulated claws.

3. Samurai crab, Heikeopsis japonica.
This is one of the two unique figures in the set!

4. Fiddler crab, Uca tetragonon.
There are two other figures of this species, a male and female by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. when they re-released the Yujin set (after T-TARTS bought Yujin). The male figure has an articulated major claw.

5. Soldier crab, Mictyris brevidactylus.
This is technically a unique figure, as I believe other members of this genus are attributable to M. longicarpus (although I am not 100% sure of the Epoch figure...).

6 and 7. Red-clawed crab, Chiromantes haematocheir.
There are two figures of this species, one mature and one immature. Furuta made this figure previously as part of their Choco Q Animatales series and Kaiyodo will be making a large figure in 2018 as part of their Sofubi Toy Box line!!! It has also been made by Yujin and Wing Mau.

Other/Miscellaneous / Crustaceans (Epoch)
« on: September 17, 2017, 01:22:40 AM »
This is a review of the crustaceans (and one xiphosuran) released among four crustacean-centric sets by Epoch. Epoch has produced crustaceans for several marine sets but they also have four (at least) sets of all arthropods (again, mostly crustaceans but one xiphosuran). There is a lot of duplication between the sets but each set has at least one species unique to the given set. I have assembled mine individually over the years and while I do not have every figure, I do have at least one of every species made (there were multiple color forms of a couple of the species). Like most sets my Japanese manufacturers, they mostly represent Japanese/southeast Asian species.

The figures are mostly solid PVC; a couple have to be snapped together. They are typical gashapon-sized comparable to Kaiyodo and Yujin figures. Several have a base of sorts, but they are free from the base and sit loosely on the base (i.e., they do not have pegs or other methods of permanent attachment).

Here are the 10 species that can be found among the sets:

1. terrestrial hermit crab, Coenobita cavipes.
Epoch made at least four color versions of this species; I have three of them. Other members of this genus have been made by Kaiyodo and Kitan Club, and the Incredible Creatures and Good Luck Mini hermit crabs by Safari LTD are probably attributable to this genus.

2. Japanese spiny lobster, Panulirus japonicus.
This species has also been made by Kaiyodo and Kitan Club, in addition to four other species in the genus I have made by various manufacturers.

3. Harlequin shrimp, Hymenocera picta.
This is a unique figure to Epoch. It nicely sits atop a base of not only a rock/sand substrate, but also its starfish prey! This is the gem of the set(s).

4. Japanese horseshoe crab, Tachypleus tridentatus.
This species was made twice before by Kaiyodo, although this is the largest of the three.

5. Japanese freshwater crab, Geothelphusa dehanni.
Epoch made three color versions of this species, and it has been made several times in several color forms my other companies (I think in an earlier post I calculated there are at least 17 versions of the species available by four different companies, if you take into account the color varieties among same sculpts...).

6. Giant Japanese spider crab, Macrocheira kaempferi.
This species is a staple, especially among Japanese manufacturers. I have eight additional figures by Chap Mei, Colorata, Kaiyodo, Kitan Club, Play Visions, and Yujin.

7. slipper lobster, Ibacus ciliatus.
This species had been made once before, by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. in a set that was a re-release of a set originally produced by Yujin after T-TARTS bought Yujin (although this species was not in the original Yujin lineup)

8. European lobster, Homarus gammarus.
This is an refreshing choice; most lobster figures attributable to the species level are the Maine lobster, H. americanus.

9. fiddler crab, Uca lacteal.
This species was also made by Wing Mau, but I have four other species in the genus by various manufacturers.

10. Long-armed soldier crab, Mictyris longicarpus.
This species was also made by Cadbury (Yowies) and Wing Mau, with an additional member of the genus (M. brevidactylus) made by Kaiyodo. I don't have the paper for this figure, so it might be M. brevidactylus. I assumed it was longicarpus since that was the only species made until Kaiyodo's brevidactylus figure.

Other/Miscellaneous / Imomushi (Beam)
« on: September 07, 2017, 02:15:53 AM »
Review of a complete set of caterpillars, Imomushi by Beam [note: Beam might be the distributor and not the manufacturer]! I was holding off on posting this set until I got everything identified, but maybe posting it will aid in the identification of some of the more challenging figures.

First of all, many of you may recognize some of these. There have been at least four sets of caterpillars similar to this, and the companies copy each other back and forth, to the point I do not know who made which one first. No two sets have the same species composition. I am picking this one because 1) I know it is complete and 2) I know the manufacturer/distributor.

There are 12 figures, each a solid-piece PVC roughly 7.5 cm (3 inches) long.

The identifications below are my assigning based on:
1) identified by other sellers online
2) comparison of figures by other sets/companies
3) exhaustive Google searches
4) consulting with lepidopterist colleagues.

The figures are in the order based on their letter designation of the accompanying paperwork:

A. zebra swallowtail, Protographium marcellus.
Swallowtail larvae have a similar morphology but can vary in color. I felt this was the best option given this figure’s general form and color. I have another from a unknown manufacturer that is more blue.

B. anise swallowtail, Papilio zelicaon.
Another variable species, and again I have another larva by an unknown manufacturer, plus I have identified one of the Toy Major butterflies as the adult of this species.

C. orange-barred sulfur, Phoebis philea.
This is an ID of mine, and was happy to come to this conclusion after several adults (mainly by Safari LTD).

D. creamy marblewing, Euchloe ausonides.
This is one I have seen marketed as this species, so I am confident on the ID. It is my only figure of this species.

E. small apollo, Parnassius apollo.
This species is made by a set that actually labels its figures to the species level, so I am confident of the ID. I have one other larva, but no adults.

F. great spangled fritillary, Speyeria cybele.
This one is most-certainly in the fritillary-branch of the nymphalids. With these figures, one must understand that little knobs on the figures might represent longer spines.

G. black swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes.
I have seen this one marketed as this species. While the brown base is a little odd, I still think it is a sound identification.

H. small tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae.
This one looks good based on color and general form, but the red legs are perplexing. As such I am keeping the ID somewhat tentative, although it is definitely within this group. Bullyland and CollectA made adults.

I. unknown.
This is one of the two I am struggling with. I think it is another in the general fritillary group of Nymphalidae.

J. pipevine swallowtail, Battus philenor.
This distinctive species is fairly straight-forward. I have another similar larva by an unknown manufacturer and Toy Major did an adult (painted ‘upside down’ however).

K. queen, Danaus glippus.
This is clearly a danaine, and based on the color and arrangement of tentacles, the queen is the best option. I have another larva and a tentative ID on an adult by Toy Major.

L. unknown.
This is the most perplexing and hardest to come up with. The horns are similar to the satyrines, but just not sure. I do not think the horns represent the osmeterium of a papilionid nor the tentacles of a danaine.

Review of one of my favorite sets, the complete Figure Pictorial Book of Gakken – Insect by Bandai (year of release unknown). This is a set of 5 typical Japanese species that turn up in many sets, the exception being the spider which is, as far as I know, a ‘unique’ figure.

Now, first thing first, as much as I love these figures, there are better representatives of them (again, except the spider) out there. Don’t get me wrong, they are nice, but not as nice as we have come to expect from other Japanese manufacturers (Kaiyodo, Yujin, Kitan Club/Ikimon).

So, if they are not as good as others, what do I like about them so much? Well, for those of you who follow my posts know I love figures on bases. They are especially nice for insects, which otherwise are made as flat, sprawling figures. Each of these comes on a really neat habitat-style base.

The figures are all single-piece PVC and come attached to their base. I am sure they are safely removeable, I just have never tried. For one, I like them on the base, and secondly, I do not want to risk damage. They are all typical gashapon-sized figures, but the bases may make them a little longer or taller than other similarly-sized Japanese figures.

On to the figures (in no particular order):

1. garden spider, Argiope amoena.
As I already mentioned, I think this is a unique figure. It sits atop its web, with a small fly underneath (the fly is painted on the underside of the clear PVC web).

2. Japanese rhinoceros beetle, Allomyrina dichotoma.
This Japanese staple comes attached to a small branch/log with a sprig of leaves. There are two small green beetles sculpted onto the branch, too. Not sure what they are meant to represent, but I am thinking another sap-feeding scarab, Pseudotorynorrhina japonica.
I am not going to waste your time or mine listing all the other versions of this species made, as I can tell you I have 39 additional figures by 19 manufacturers, plus a few from unknown manufacturers!

3. cicada, gen. sp. (probably Graptopsaltria nigrofuscata).
This figure is displayed emerging as a new adult from its nymphal exuvia, just like the Lyristes plebejus in my recent review of Kaiyodo’s Souvenirs Entomologiques. Kabaya (Insect Directory) also did a molting cicada and Bandai, in another set, did six figures representing the post-moly drying process!

4. Japanese giant water bug, Lethocerus deyrollei.
This is the coolest of them all, and one of my favorite and most dynamic figures. It is displayed underwater and face-down, feasting on fresh prey: a small frog!!! I had done a walkaround of this figure on ATF but after the Great Photoshop purge of the Late Holocene, I decided to just review the whole set.
This figure has also been made by Yujin, F-Toys, and three times by Kaiyodo.

5. Japanese giant mantis, Tenodera aridifolia.
This figure is poised elegantly upon a branch, but nicely with its wings open, as if about to take off (or it just landed). This figure is also no stranger to toy/figure form and has been made by Furuta, Hayakwa Toys, Rement, and Yujin. Unnamed mantids by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. may also be attributable to this species.

New for 2018 / Kaiyodo - New for 2018
« on: August 26, 2017, 10:32:48 PM »
The first Sofubi Toy Box figures are announced for 2018:

1. Red-claw crab (Chiromantes haematocheir), January 2018

2. Two for the 'Spring', an emperor scorpion (this appears to be an unpainted prototype) and Tyrannosaurus rex.

Kaiyodo - Bottlecap series / 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.

Other/Miscellaneous / Creatures of the Waterside (F-toys)
« on: August 19, 2017, 02:12:36 AM »
Review of the complete set of Creatures of the Waterside by F-toys. Release date unknown. When I first discovered and started collecting the Japanese gashapon-style figures, this was one of the first sets I obtained, and it remains one of my favorites!

There are 6 figures (I also show one variant, below), all representing freshwater species native to Japan (or at least southeast Asia). Four species are rather commonly made among the Japanese companies, but two species are unique and together are the only members of their family (Nepidae, waterscorpions). Three of the figures are elevated on bases (the bases for all three are the same), the other three are independent figures. All figures are single-piece (or at least came fully assembled). They are typical gashapon-sized, comparable to early Kaiyodo, Furuta, others.

The figures, like many Japanese models, come with a card with a photograph of the species and biological information (in Japanese, of course).

This classic set continues to be one of the best of this kind, and comes highly-recommended, and not just to us entomophilic types :-).

On to the figures, based on their number designations in the set:

1. Japanese giant water bug, Lethocerus deyrollei.
This species has been commonly made; I have other figures by Bandai, Yujin, and three versions by Kaiyodo (Choco Q, Capsule Q, and Shinagawa Aquarium). This figure does not come with a base.

2. Korean waterscorpion, Laccotrephes japonensis.
This is a unique figure, and with the other nepid below (#4) are the only members of their families made. This figure comes elevated on a base (but like others are removeable from the base).

3. Giant Japanese diving beetle, Cybister japonicus.
Another popular species, made by Yujin and twice by Kaiyodo (Choco Q and Kyoto Aquarium). This figure comes with a base like the two waterscorpions.

4. Waterscorpion, Ranatra chinensis.
Like #2 above, another unique figure and another waterscorpion in the family Nepidae. It also comes with a base.

5. Japanese crayfish, Cambaroides japonicus.
This species is commonly made, and often in both brown and blue forms. I have four original sculpts, including this figure, one by Yujin, and two by Kaiyodo (Capsule Q and Natural Monuments of Japan). All but the Yujin figure come in brown and blue forms (and Yujin may have had another version I am unfamiliar with?).

5-variant. Japanese crayfish, Cambaroides japonicus.
The blue form of #5, above.

6. Freshwater crab, Geothelphusa dehanni.
This is another commonly-made species, and like C. japonicus often comes in multiple color forms per sculpt. I have additional figures by Kitan Club (2 sculpts), Kaiyodo (2 sculpts), and Epoch. I do not have all versions of all the sculpts (in fact the only sculpt I have more than one color form of is the Kaiyodo Choco Q figure), but among these sculpts there are at least 17 versions (maybe more?)! The Kitan Club 'strap' set comes in eight color forms (not even sure if this species naturally comes in eight different colors); the Kaiyodo Choco Q and Birdtales sets come in three and two colors, respectively; and Epoch comes in at least two colors. Only this F-toys figure and the Kitan Club Nature of Japan figures come in just one color (to my knowledge...).

Here’s the whole family in one of my mini-dioramas.

Bullyland / Butterflies on Strings (Bullyland)
« on: August 14, 2017, 10:36:16 PM »
Continuing the butterflies sets with one more (and last for now), Butterflies on Strings (provisional name) by Bullyland. Release date unknown, but probably in the 1990s.

This set consists of eight figures. They are comparable in size with Safari LTD and K&M tube-style figures and are made with a thicker, heavier PVC. The figures were originally sold suspended on strings (as if to be displayed hanging), with the strings attached to the upper thorax by means of a small screw. I have removed the screw and strings, but it leaves a rather obvious hole in the top of the thorax. The figures do not have extended legs, but they are sculpted as ridges on the underside of the body.

Being traditional Bullyland, a German company, all the figures (except one) represent species native to Europe, a refreshing change! It is fun sometimes when sets are geographically specialized.

On to the figures, in no particular order:

1. Old World swallowtail, Papilio machaon.
This species is not commonly made, and outside of a couple feves or refrigerator magnets, the only other figures I am aware of are larvae by Kaiyodo and Shineg.

2. the red admiral, Vanessa atalanta.
Made a few times previously, most-notably by Skillcraft and Toy Major.

3. the common morpho, Morpho peleides.
This is the only non-European/Holarctic species in the set. It has been previously made by Furuta and four times by Safari LTD.

4. the common brimstone, Gonepteryx rhamni.
While probably unique as a toy figure, I do have one as a French feve.

5. the Eros blue, Polyommatus eros.
This one is a unique figure, although two other members of the genus have been made.

6. the painted lady, Vanessa cardui.
Insect Lore did a nice life cycle of this species as well. The paint job could be better on this one.

7. small tortoiseshell, Aglais urticae.
CollectA did a nice adult of this species, and Beam made a larva [tentative ID by me].

8. the European peacock, Aglais io.
Made twice by K&M International (Butterflies Mini Polybag and Butterflies Nature Tube); I also have this species as three different French feves.

Safari Ltd - Other lines / Butterflies TOOB (Safari LTD)
« on: August 14, 2017, 10:00:30 PM »
Since I have been recapturing images lost during the Photoshop Purge of the late (?) Holocene, I have decided to take images for a new review. I have done several butterfly-centric sets (Toy Major, K&M Butterflies Nature Tube, Koro Koro, two by the Franklin Mint, and the Authentics and Collectors Case by Safari LTD, plus a caterpillar set by Shineg). Here we have another by Safari, the Butterflies TOOB. I do not remember the release data, I am thinking 2012 or thereabouts. It is good to do these reviews, since these butterflies are often copied after one another, in paint if not sculpt, so it helps to keep track of what is what (it helps me so these online reviews also serve as my personal references :) ).

This TOOB contains eight figures, four different sculpts with two examples of each painted differently. All eight figures are marketed at the species level, and even have the Latin or common names printed on the underside! The quality is similar to that of the Collectors Case or K&M sets, but the plastic is a bit firmer. They are typical TOOB size, with wingspans of roughly 55-60 mm. Also, all figures, even the nymphalids, have 6 legs...just saying...

At the time of this writing, four of the figures are unique, others have been previously made (including a couple regularly by Safari!).

On to the figures (in no particular order):

1. the jazzy leafwing, Hypna clytemnestrata (marketed as Anaea clytemnestrata).
This is one of the unique figures in the set!

2. the green swallowtail, Papilio blumei.
This is a favorite of Safari LTD, being made for their Collectors Case, Authentics set, and Hidden Kingdom Insects.

3. the regal hairstreak, Evenus regalis.
This is an interesting choice. There are several figures out there attributable to E. coronata, based on the Club Earth figure that started the trend. But this, as presently delineated, is a unique figure.

4. the Menelaus blue morpho, Morpho menelaus.
This figure is only stamped 'Morpho' but was marketed as M. menelaus. Their Hidden Kingdom and Smithsonian morphos can also be attributed to this species, although the Authentics, Collectors Case, Good Luck Mini, and Insect TOOB figures are the common morpho, M. peleides.

5. Garlepp's swallowtail, Papilio garleppi.
Another unique figure!

6. the white-angled sulfur, Anteos clorinde.
Another unique figure. I do love the pierids!

7. the red glider, Cymothoe sangris.
This species was made also by Toy Major. Safari's figure has a better shape, but Toy Major's paint job is better. Still nice representatives of an African genus of butterflies!

8. the orange-barred sulfur, Phoebis philea.
This is another that is no stranger to Safari LTD, being made for their Hidden Kingdom, Authentics set, and Collectors Case. I also have a couple from unknown manufacturers and Beam did a larva.

Other/Miscellaneous / Larvae Moei (Shineg)
« on: August 02, 2017, 10:02:23 PM »
Review of the complete set of Larvae Moei by Shineg. First a little background. I had three figures from this set, bought randomly on YAJ courtesy of Brett. When a couple others showed up, we decided to see if his contact could hunt down the entire set, plus translate the paperwork to get the name of the company and the identity of a couple of the species (no English or Latin names anywhere on accompanying paperwork). Much to my pleasant surprise, Emiko found two versions of the set: one with straps and one with magnets. I went with the strap set since they straps can be easily removed by unscrewing, leaving a small unobtrusive hole.

There are seven figures in a set, representing five species. They are solid piece of PVC, roughly 30-40 mm long. They are more stylized than most Japanese figures, but still real enough to be good and not appear cartoony or anime-like.

Most species have been made with relative infrequency, at least as larvae, so it's a welcome set.

1. Old World swallowtail, Papilio machaon.
Out side of specialty figures, such as feves or magnets, this species has not been commonly made. Bullyland produced and adult and Kaiyodo a larva for one of their Capsule Q Museum caterpillar sets. Shineg gives us two raised larvae, one with and one without an osmeterium (defensive gland-like structures).

2. Asian swallowtail, Papilio xuthus.
Unlike P. machaon above, this species is more commonly made in toy/figure form. It has been made by Bandai (twice), Kabaya, Rement, and Kaiyodo (twice). The two Kaiyodo figures are larvae, one for the Capsule Q Museum set and the large nice one for the Sofubi Toy Box series.

3. The chestnut tiger, Parantica sita.
This is only the second figure of this species I am aware of, the other also being a larva by Kaiyodo (Capsule Q Museum). Time for someone to make an adult!

4. commercial silkworm moth, Bombyx morii.
Two figures of this species, a larva and a pupa (sans cocoon). Kaiyodo has also recently done an adult and larva, and with these four figures forms a nice 'life cycle' set. Interestingly, before any of these were made, Insect Lore did a complete silkworm life cycle!

5. Asian hornet, Vespa mandarina.
This was the biggest surprise (and had not been for Emiko's translation I would have had it misidentified as a silkworm pre-pupa!). The figure represents and early instar and must be the first figure of a wasp larva.  The ant and bee life cycles out there have larvae but otherwise hymenopteran larvae are ignored!

Other/Miscellaneous / Scorpion (AMT/Ertl - Gigantics)
« on: July 28, 2017, 02:57:50 AM »
Walk-around of the Arizona hairy scorpion, Hadrurus arizonensis Ewing, 1928 as part of the Rampaging Scorpion Diorama by AMT/Ertl in their Gigantics series, originally released in 1996. Aluminum Metal Toys (AMT) was a Michigan-based toy company that specialized in model cars, trucks, and such (and I believe most were plastic, despite the word ‘aluminum’ in their name). In 1978, AMT was purchased by British Lesney (the makers of Matchbox) and then in 1983 by Ertl and renamed AMT/Ertl. It was during that period this figure was made. In 2007, AMT was sold and its models reissued by independent companies until it was taken over by Round 2 LLC in Indiana. Most of the models throughout the years have been automobiles, with some Star Trek and other sci-fi products. There were at least four of these ‘monster’ arthropods released as part of a line called ‘Gigantics’. I recently acquired the mantis, the scorpion, and tarantula, and there is also a wasp I still need to get. I have already reviewed the mantis and tarantula here on the ATF.

Unlike the mantis and tarantula, this model was not marketed after an exact species. The paint scheme they recommend is for ‘common North American scorpions,’ but they also refer the user to the box lid for ‘a more exotic breed’. I have decided to paint mine after H. arizonensis because the morphology (especially with regards to the sternum) best fits members of the family Iuridae (although the tail looks like that of a buthid…). To my knowledge there are no figures specifically marketed as H. arizonensis, although this genus was most-certainly the inspiration for the Hidden Kingdom and Desert TOOB figures by Safari LTD.

As the name of the set and series suggests, these Gigantics figures were intended to appear as giant ‘movie-monster’ type creatures, displayed destroying a city or neighborhood. I, of course, am only interested in the animal itself and will not be assembling or painting its accessories. If you are curious, the people, cars, and much of the building are also gray plastic, but the ground and backdrop are painted cardboard.

Unlike the mantis and tarantula, the scorpion comes in only 19 pieces, but is still the same a pale gray base color. Glue is required to hold most of the pieces together, and like the tarantula comes with an assembly stand to help attach the legs. If you look at the morphology of the tail you will notice it appears to be ‘upside down’. The way the figure assembles, it is impossible to correct since the basal two segments of the tail are permanently attached to the main body. At least I was able to attach the stinger in the correct position (contrary to their recommendations…).

Like the first two figures reviewed, I completely assembled this figure prior to painting. I initially painted everything a brown-yellow (I don’t like the yellow paint I have been using—it’s awfully thick and applies kinds of paste-like…). I painted the medial and lateral eyes and stinger black. I used a gray Pitt pen to add gray bands to the dorsum. Like all figures I paint, the final product was covered with a satin varnish.

Stretched out, the figure would be roughly 17.5 cm, making it slightly larger than 1:1 for a large specimen (natural length up to about 14 cm).

On to the pics…

and the final product...

Other/Miscellaneous / Tarantula (AMT/Ertl - Gigantics)
« on: July 23, 2017, 04:20:44 PM »
Walk-around of the tarantula, Aphonopelma steindachneri (Ausserer, 1875) as part of the Huge Tarantula Diorama by AMT/Ertl in their Gigantics series, originally released in 1996. Aluminum Metal Toys (AMT) was a Michigan-based toy company that specialized in model cars, trucks, and such (and I believe most were plastic, despite the word ‘aluminum’ in their name). In 1978, AMT was purchased by British Lesney (the makers of Matchbox) and then in 1983 by Ertl and renamed AMT/Ertl. It was during that period this figure was made. In 2007, AMT was sold and its models reissued by independent companies until it was taken over by Round 2 LLC in Indiana. Most of the models throughout the years have been automobiles, with some Star Trek and other sci-fi products. There were at least three of these ‘monster’ arthropods released as part of a line called ‘Gigantics’. I am not sure how many were made, but I have recently acquired the mantis (previously reviewed on the ATF), the scorpion, and tarantula (reviewed here). A quick Google search suggests there may have been a wasp as well.

Like the mantis, there are some taxonomic issues with the figure. The figure was marketed as ‘Eurypelma californicum’, a name that has been considered nomen dubium for decades. In 2012, it was proposed that most specimens assigned to E. californicum probably represent Aphonopelma hentzi. However, the species was originally described from California, and A. hentzi as currently delineated does not occur in California. In 2016, the genus Aphonopelma was revised, and there is no mention of E. californicum or the 2012 note about its possible connection to A. hentzi. Not being personally familiar with the taxonomic status of species prior to the revision, it’s possible that in 2012 specimens from California were being attributed to A. hentzi. Anyway, to make a long story short (I know, too late), I have decided to paint my figure after A. steindachneri, a large black species from southern California (I figure, if this is going to represent a spider destroying a city in California, might as well be Los Angeles…).

As the name of the set and series suggests, these Gigantics figures were intended to appear as giant ‘movie-monster’ type creatures, displayed destroying a city or neighborhood. I, of course, am only interested in the animal itself and will not be assembling or painting its accessories. If you are curious, the people, cars, and much of the building are also gray plastic, but the ground and backdrop are painted cardboard.

Like the mantis, the tarantula figure comes in 23 pieces and is originally a pale gray. Glue is required to hold most of the pieces together. The legs were two pieces each, halved down the length of the legs. When assembled, the tips do not touch, giving the impression of cleft claws. I am not sure if this is intentional or if they just don’t align perfectly along their lengths. The model came with an assembly stand to help attach the legs.

Also like the mantis, I completely assembled this figure prior to painting. I painted everything except the abdomen black, and then the abdomen a very dark gray. I used that same dark gray to ‘dust’ the legs and chelicerae (might not be clearly visible in pics). I am not going to put any contrasting highlights anywhere, keeping the figure relatively dark and uniform (like some specimens of the assigned species). Like all figures I paint, the final product was covered with a satin varnish.

The body of the figure is 105 mm long, not including appendages or mouthparts, and the carapace is 45 mm long, making it slightly larger than 2:1 for an adult female (we can assume from the lack of leg spurs the figure is a female).

On to the pics…

and the final product:

Other/Miscellaneous / Chinese mantis (AMT/Ertl - Gigantics)
« on: July 18, 2017, 08:33:36 PM »
Walk-around of the Chinese mantis, Tenodera sinensis (Saussure, 1871) as part of the Colossal Mantis Diorama by AMT/Ertl in their Gigantics series, originally released in 1996. Aluminum Metal Toys (AMT) was a Michigan-based toy company that specialized in model cars, trucks, and such (and I believe most were plastic, despite the word ‘aluminum’ in their name). In 1978, AMT was purchased by British Lesney (the makers of Matchbox) and then in 1983 by Ertl and renamed AMT/Ertl. It was during that period this figure was made. In 2007, AMT was sold and its models reissued by independent companies until it was taken over by Round 2 LLC in Indiana. Most of the models throughout the years have been automobiles, with some Star Trek and other sci-fi products. There were at least three of these ‘monster’ arthropods released as part of a line called ‘Gigantics’. I am not sure how many were made, but I have recently acquired the mantis (reviewed here), the scorpion, and tarantula. A quick Google search suggests there may have been a wasp as well.

The brief history of the company out of the way, let’s examine the taxonomic issues with this figure. As you can see in an image below, the mantis was marketed as the praying mantis, Stagmomantis carolina. However, technically the term ‘praying mantis’ refers to Mantis religiosa. To complicate things, if you read further in the text, it says the model was based on the Chinese mantis (which refers to Tenodera sinensis). If we examine the morphology of the figure itself, it is clear it was indeed modeled after T. sinensis based on the form of the facial shield and that the wings extend to and beyond the tip of the abdomen. This is actually to my advantage, as figures by Japanese manufacturers are actually T. aridifolia, and as such this is a new species for me (although I was looking forward to a second Stagmomantis…).

As the name of the set and series suggests, these Gigantics figures were intended to appear as giant ‘movie-monster’ type creatures, displayed destroying a city or neighborhood. I, of course, am only interested in the animal itself and will not be assembling or painting its accessories. If you are curious, the people, cars, and much of the building are also gray plastic, but the ground and backdrop are painted cardboard.

The mantis figure comes in 23 pieces and is originally a pale gray. Glue is required to hold most of the pieces together. The sculpting on the figure is exquisite and morphologically it is probably one of the most detailed figures of this genus!

Unlike the recent Heller figures, I completely assembled this figure prior to painting. The paint scheme was inspired by the images on this BugGuide post ( I started with a base gray-brown then painted the brown and white and green on the wings, and used a yellow Pitt pen for the eyes. I then added stippling highlights for other parts of the body. I was nervous to try to add ornamentation to the face so it is left relatively plain (except the eyes for which I am very happy with). Like other figures I paint, the final version is covered with a satin varnish.

The final figure is about 140 mm tall by 165 mm long total (including appendages). Stretched out, the body would be about 170 mm, making it about 1.5:1 in scale.

On to the images:

And the final product:

I hope to start on the tarantula this coming weekend...

Other/Miscellaneous / Fleas, Lice, and Ticks (Play Visions)
« on: July 16, 2017, 02:50:54 AM » we go!

Review of the entire set of Fleas, Lice, and Ticks by Play Visions (1996). Many of you know I am a professional parasitologist and one of my specialties are arthropod ectoparasites. So, you can imagine this has been a ‘Holy Grail’ set of mine for a while. While at the time of this writing I only have seven of eight figures, I have been anxious to do a review of this set; the last image (pubic louse) is courtesy of dinocat from the TAI and will function as a placeholder until I can get and image a figure of my own!

This set was one of several taxonomically diverse sets by Play Visions in the mid-late 1990s and one of five sets that contained all arthropods (the others being Exotic Insects, Exotic Beetles, Crabs, and Bees, Wasps, and Hornets; I have reviews of the first three here on the ATF).

The figures are marked with a common name, the traditional ‘PV’ logo, and year (1996). There are some peculiarities on some of the species assignments, so I will address those below. The common name given below is what is stamped on the underside; what’s in parenthesis is Latin name or other designation I am assigning).

On to the figures (in no particular order):

1. scabies mite (Sarcoptes scabiei).
This one is pretty straight-forward and one of only two figures of this species I am aware of, the other being a model by GPI Anatomicals as part of their Canine Skin Parasites set.

2. dust mite (Dermatophagoides farinae).
This is a particular figure that borders on cartoony and seem slightly out-of-place with others in the set. Still, it must be the ONLY figure of a dust mite in existence, huh? I chose D. farinae because it is the North American species; you guys in Europe may chose D. pteronyssinus :-).

3. chigger (soft tick, family Argasidae).
This is one of two clearly misidentified figures in this set. The morphology here is clearly modeled after a soft (argasid) tick. Many soft ticks are superficially similar as adults, so assigning a species or even genus here is difficult. It is probably modeled after Ornithodoros or Carios. I am unaware of any other soft tick figures.

4. deer tick (hard tick, family Ixodidae).
This is the other misidentified figure. In English, at least in North America, the term ‘deer’ tick refers to members of the genus Ixodes, which is one of the most medically-important genera of ticks as it transmits agents of Lyme disease and babesiosis. However, there are three dorsal features here that would normally rule-out a member of Ixodes: the presence of eyes, the presence of festoons, and an ornate dorsal shield. I am not sure what species this was modeled after, but for those of you that insist on assigning species-level IDs, the best option from what’s presented here is the Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum. Several genera and species of hard ticks have been made (check out my thread on ‘Arthropod Ectoparasites’ under ‘Animal Groups’).

5. bed bug (Cimex lectularius).
This is another fairly straight-forward one, and frankly my favorite in the set. I have thought about pitching a bed bug to some of the major toy animal manufacturers. I think between the animal toy collectors and medical and public health personnel, it would sell well haha. I have two others, a small one by Club Earth (Backyard Bugs) and a custom figure by Paleo-Creatures.

6. head louse (Pediculus humanus).
As a ‘head’ louse specifically, this would be P. humanus capitis. The only other members of this species I have seen are vintage rubbery ones. I have seen several on eBay (I have lost a couple on bid attempts…) but only have one small one myself.

7. cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis).
Several flea figures attributable to Ctenocephalides have been made (including the large figure by Safari LTD. for the Smithsonian Insects line), but this is the only one I know of specifically marketed as C. felis. I do have a couple figures marketed as the related dog flea, C. canis.

8. pubic louse (Pthirus pubis).
Again, thanks to dinocat of letting me use his image until I can acquire this figure for myself. Probably the most bizarre choice ever for an animal figure, if for no other reason than the social stigma attributed to those colonized by this critter. There is one more figure, by Kaiyodo (Sanitary Insect Pest Exhibition), and I think there may be some vintage rubbery ones out there (you could make one with Creepy Crawly Thingmakers :) ).

Kaiyodo - other series / Common pill-bug (Kaiyodo - Sofubi Toy Box)
« on: July 07, 2017, 12:13:54 AM »
Walkaround of one of the most anticipated figures this year, the common pill-bug, Armadillidium vulgare (Latreille, 1804) by Kaiyodo, Sofubi Toy Box, No. 012A, new for 2017. Armadillidium vulgare is native to the western Palearctic but has been introduced to places around the world, including North America. Kaiyodo previously made this figure (albeit much smaller) in 2015 as part of their Capsule Q Museum Backyard Creatures - Soil Organisms set (see last image).

The figure, well, like many of the Sofubi Toy Box/Megasofubi Advance figures is absolutely amazing. It is made out of a soft, hollow plastic. It can be 'squeezed' but it is not soft and rubbery. Like the swallowtail caterpillar, it is a single-piece with no movable parts.

The figure measures 137 mm (not including appendages), making it approximately 7.5:1 for a large specimen. Apparently there is a color variant which I may or may not get (maybe if I see it conveniently on eBay someday...).

The figure comes in a plastic bag and also includes a catalog for the entire STB series (the swallowtail caterpillar did not come with that).

On to the figures:

"There's a new sheriff in town, little guy."

Walk-around of the deep-sea pram bug, Phronima sedentaria (Forsskal, 1775), by Ikimon Co. (formerly, Kitan Club) - Nature Techni Colour, Deep Sea Creatures, new for 2017. Phronima sedentaria is an unusual pelagic amphipod that usually lives at a depth of 1000 m (0.6 miles). It is predaceous on salps (a kind of planktonic tunicate). Females tear into a salp, eat the gelatinous innards, and then use the empty shell as a barrel-like structure to swim around in while raising its young. This figure, which comes within it's salp shell, is not only the first amphipod figure (to my knowledge), but also the first salp (although not the first tunicate).

The figure was in a set of 8 'deep sea' critters, including mollusks, arthropods, and fish. The other 'new' species in the set was another arthropod, the giant ostracod Gigantocypris agassizii.

The figure is on a key chain, and I removed the chain and cut away the plastic ring to which it was attached. The salp is 40 mm tall. I cannot stretch out the amphipod itself, as it's a relatively firm, single-piece of plastic, but it's roughly 40-45 mm, making it 1:1 for a large female specimen! The amphipod easily comes out of its salp, it does not connect to the salp in any way but sits loosely within the barrel. The hole at the bottom is narrow enough that it will not fall out easily.

The detail on the amphipod itself it amazing. It was hard to photograph for the walkaround since it's transparent except for some structures in the head. I probably should have photographed it over a black or dark background.

The amphipod within the salp:

The amphipod itself:

I hope recent issues with Photobucket don't prevent others from posting their new critters... :)

Walk-around of the Japanese carpenter ant, Camponotus japonicus Mayr, 1866 by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S., B.I.G. Insects - 2017. This large ant species is distributed in East Asia. This species has been made once before (to my knowledge), as part of a 'caste' set by Epoch which included a queen and three (5?) workers; three workers are carrying various objects (one has a larva, the others various foodstuffs). Ant figures are rarely identified to the species, or genus, level, but other carpenter ants include the Texas carpenter ant (C. texanus) by Club Earth (Ants and Termites) and an unidentified species by K&M International (Insects Polybag).

The figure, like many Takara figures, requires some assembly. Mine came 8 pieces: head (including antennae), thorax + abdomen, and 6 legs. The antennae were attached but appear to be removable. The figure lacks ocelli, indicating it is a worker (interestingly, the Epoch figures ignored this bit of science and gave their workers ocelli!). It measures 75 mm making it 5:1-10:1 for an average worker (range 6-15 mm). The figure is solid black with no additional color highlights of any kind. The texture is nice and the color matte.

I was excited for this figure. Every year, T-T.A.R.T.S. releases a 'B.I.G. Insects' set, which usually consists of 4 scarabaeoid beetles and one other. The last two years there were mantids (different sizes and, as such, different sculpts), and in 2014 it was an Androctonus scorpion. Earlier than 2014 I am not sure, as I do not have complete sets, but needless to say an ant was a welcome addition.

One to the pics:

with the Epoch 'family':

at home in one of my mini diorama sets:

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