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Messages - bmathison1972

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Other/Miscellaneous / Emperor Scorpion (Chap Mei)
« on: Today at 03:32:32 AM »
I have noticed Chap Mei figures get a lot of attention on the Dino Toy Blog, but their extant critters do not seem to get as much representation. So, here is my sole figure by this company, an emperor scorpion, Pandinus imperator (Koch, 1842). Chap Mei figures seem to walk the fine line between relatively accurate animal figures and movie monsters; it does not help that they are often sold with military-style people armed to the teeth! This scorpion reflects the latter. It is sold as part of a boxed set called Giant Scorpion Playset that includes another giant scorpion in different colors and an armed soldier (even though it is sold under their Animal Planet brand).

The figure is large; it is hard to measure with a stiff upright metastoma (tail), but it is comparable with the Safari LTD Smithsonian figure (see last image) which was made in the 2:1 scale. As such, the Chap Mei figure could also be easily placed in the 2:1 range.

The colors are unnatural and gaudy, but if you do not take the colors into consideration, the morphology of this figure is actually pretty darn good! I have been told that the light blue paint glows under ultraviolet light but have not tried it out yet. There is a button on the back that when pushed makes the pedipalps (claws) move inwards and outwards.

If you are one who likes to repaint figures, this would make an excellent choice, as some natural coloring would actually make this a decent figure!

On to the pics:

With the Safari LTD Smithsonian figure:

I just went to the 2016 Uncle Milton catalogue online, and these four are still offered but in their publicity shots, they have the black widow painted like an Australian redback widow or possibly a katipo!

Classifieds / Re: The Feedback Thread
« on: April 17, 2018, 04:47:07 PM »
More thanks to sbell, for helping me acquire my first Jerusalem cricket figure!

Walkaround of a Jerusalem cricket, Stenopelmatus sp. by Uncle Milton Industries, Horrible Pets: Scurry and Scare Bugs, copyright 2012. This is one of those fun, novelty reviews, but was deemed necessary as I am not aware of any other figures of Jerusalem crickets. There was one on Shapeways a while back, but my order was canceled as they could not get it to print without breakage. I also need to give thanks to sbell, who found these in a local store and sold them and mailed them to me! There were three other species in the bin, a black widow (with the hourglass on the dorsal side!), a Madagascan hissing cockroach (another popular and familiar species that remains uncommon in toy form), and an American cockroach (see last image below).

I should also point out, the figure and its proportions are somewhat generic, so it could probably also be used as a stand-in for a New Zealand weta as well, but I am leaning more towards a Jerusalem cricket.

The figure is 6.0 cm (without appendages), which could put it in the 1:1 range (BugGuide describes the genus at 2.1-6.9 cm). It is made of a soft, rubbery material. The figure (all four) come on wheels (see next to the last image). I have removed the wheels from the figures I am retaining (the extra cricket is going to sphyrna18). I do not collect mechanical/RC toys, but I have collected bugs on wheels, if I can successfully remove the wheels (I have a rarely-made soldier termite that I had to get on wheels too!).

On to the pics:

With and without original wheels:

The whole gang:

General / Re: General discussion
« on: April 15, 2018, 12:48:25 AM »
Is it just me, or has it been especially quite here at the ATF in recent months? Is everyone okay?

I haven't been active because I haven't had much new to share. Also I have been occupied with my 'real' beetle work, plus lots of publications and projects in my Parasitology profession :).

Forum business / Re: Posting images
« on: April 15, 2018, 12:46:29 AM »
Thanks Adam. I started fixing mine (I did the Bullyland walk-arounds) but wasn't going to do everything again. So glad you found a way to do it all at once!

Animal groups / Re: Life Cycles of Animals
« on: April 01, 2018, 02:25:15 PM »
Worms hatch from tiny lemons?  :))

Seriously though, I really like Safari Ltd's Life Cycles of Animals sets.

Where do you think sour gummy worms come from? :)

Yes, I like the life cycles, too. I wish they'd make more of them, it's a good way to sneak more arthropods into their repertoire :)

Woud there be any particular creature life cycles you'd like to see made?

Insects not already made could include a dragonfly, non-mosquito fly (e.g., house fly), grasshopper, true bug of sorts, firefly

Other/Miscellaneous / Tarantula (Toy Major)
« on: April 01, 2018, 01:06:24 AM »
Walk-around of the Tarantula Spider by Toy Major, originally released in 1996. I recently received this figure from froggie; it was on her recent sales post. I originally asked for it because it was a Toy Major figure I was not familiar with, and as I collect more I find myself being more and more a completist. I know TM gets a lot of slack for their suspected knock-offs and such, but I have always been a huge TM fan (also, they have had to fears in making tons of arthropods). When I got this figure in the mail, I didn't realize how much I would like it. Every now and then, a figure comes along with a certain aesthetic charm that we find really appealing, even if it not the most realistic (another good example for me is the Safari Incredible Creatures shrimp).

On to the figure. First of all, it is big. I was expecting it to be smaller. I have a couple similar figures by TM and they are not quite as big. In this figure, the body length is 11.0 cm; when pressed flat it has a maximum leg span of 24 cm! The legs and pedipalps contain wires, so the figure is bendable/pose-able. I am displaying mine with the front legs raised as if in a defensive pose! If I ever get the AMT/Ertl tarantula hawk wasp, these two are going to make a fun diorama :).

I do not think this figure can be attributed to a given species. The banded legs are very suggestive of The Mexican red-kneed tarantula (Brachypelma smithi), or related, but the green on the carapace clearly represents artistic license. If you wanted to call this B. smithi for your collection, I think you could get away with that easy enough :). The eyes and mouthparts are consistent with a true tarantula in the family Theraphosidae.

The underside is a monochromatic black and is marked with the TM logo, the year (1996), and 'TARANTULA SPIDER'. Other pose-able spiders I have by TM are not given a common name other than simply 'spider'.

On to the pics, enjoy!

Animal groups / Re: Life Cycles of Animals
« on: March 31, 2018, 11:10:01 PM »
Worms hatch from tiny lemons?  :))

Seriously though, I really like Safari Ltd's Life Cycles of Animals sets.

Where do you think sour gummy worms come from? :)

Yes, I like the life cycles, too. I wish they'd make more of them, it's a good way to sneak more arthropods into their repertoire :)

Animal groups / Re: Soft bodies - Cephalopods, Annelids and Gastropods
« on: March 30, 2018, 02:34:50 AM »
My earthworms:

1. Life cycle by Safari LTD
2. Bullyland
3. Kaiyodo (Backyard Creatures - Soil Organisms)

Animal groups / Re: Life Cycles of Animals
« on: March 30, 2018, 02:33:10 AM »
My newest life cycle, that of the earthworm by Safari LTD:

How good is the wing venation?

A little stylized but not too far off considering!

Other/Miscellaneous / Super Realistic Hornet Straps (BREAK Co., LTD)
« on: March 26, 2018, 11:02:31 PM »
Review of the complete set of hornets by BREAK Co., LTD. Year of release unknown (possibly 2017 or 2018?). I was unfamiliar with this company, let along set, until Beetle Guy alerted me to it. The company also seems to make sets of scarbaeoid beetles and (I think) freshwater crabs and crayfish, but in the latter two they are different colors of the same species).

The set comes with four figures, each representing a different species; three of the species are 'unique'/new to toy form (as far as I know)! All four figures are roughly 40 mm in length and comparable to the Kaiyodo Choco Q Animatales and Capsule Q Insect Pest Hygiene set figures. They are not quite as realistic as the Kaiyodo figures, but pretty darn close! It looks like there are two sculpts with two paint jobs each.

They are all single-piece plastic. They have a strap which attached by means of a screw on the underside. The screws come out easily, leaving a tiny non-obtrusive hole on the underside.

With these there are now five species in the genus Vespa (Funrise Toys made the common hornet, V. crabro).

The set (with an example of an accompanying card):

1. Giant Asian hornet, Vespa mandarina.
This is the only figure that has been made previously (to my knowledge). The others I have are by Kaiyodo (two aforementioned sets), Yujin, Subarudo, and Rement. I also have a larva by Shineg.

2. black-tailed hornet, Vespa ducalis
Similar to above but the tip of the abdomen is black.

3. yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina.

4. Japanese yellow hornet, Vespa simillima.

Walk around of the honey bee, Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758 by Safari LTD for their Incredible Creatures line, originally released in 2006. What is surprising about this figure is that it is the ONLY insect to ever be released in the Incredible Creatures line, and it would be the only terrestrial arthropod if not for the recent sinking of the old Hidden Kingdom line into the IC line (of course, the only remaining figures in that line are the monarch, black widow, orange-kneed tarantula, and revamped scorpion). It amazes me that the largest groups of animals have been so underrepresented in the IC line! My hopes is that sinking the HK figures into the IC line might revitalize this group by Safari.

This figure is 11.0 cm long, making it slightly smaller than 10:1 for an average-sized worker. The form of the eyes and presence of a stinger suggests a worker bee. The detail is fairly nice but still comes off as 'generic' like so many bin-style figures. The thorax is denuded on top, which is not uncommon for workers who have been around a while. The hind tibiae are expanded but they didn't sculpt a defined pollen basket. The wings are transparent but the wing venation is not correct (for a figure this size, they could have made the venation accurate if they so chose), but then again, what company outside of Japan would go to the trouble of having accurate wing venation?

As I said earlier, I am hoping Safari's 2018 releases (new spiny lobster, revamped scorpion) are a sign that the IC line will be more diverse and have more insects in the future.

squishy backbone-less things? LOL. By the way, great idea for displaying the jellyfish!

Animal groups / Re: Apes - superfamily Hominoidea
« on: March 13, 2018, 02:07:02 AM »
Great addition stemturtle! Looks like a nice realistic figure, rather than an anthropomorphised character.

King Louie actually is not in the Jungle Book books. He was added for the Disney cartoon movie, but when they made the live action/CGI one a couple years ago, they changed Louie from an orangutan to Gigantopithecus, namely because the former has never occurred in India whereas the latter has!

I am surprised this figure didn't get more chatter on DTF since it's an extinct guy! :)

Other/Miscellaneous / Re: Wyoming Toad K&M
« on: March 11, 2018, 06:04:02 PM »
I still have it. Sorry, not for sale.

Since this topic came up again, any chance of replacing the photos?  ;) C:-)


Collections / Re: Recent acquisitions
« on: March 10, 2018, 03:13:17 PM »
So, last night running errand, I stopped by a dollar store, since historically they are a great place to find toy animals and often insects. In a bin of assorted animals (sea life, dinosaurs, reptiles), I found the following spider. I went ahead and got it, but it wasn't until later I realized it was by Imperial Toys, and marked 2016! I didn't realize Imperial was still making animal figures.

The spider isn't realistic or modeled after a given species, but it is stamped with the Imperial logo. I wonder if the other animals in the bin were also Imperial?

If you look on the bottom, you will see there is also a large blank square area; this is probably for redistribution by another company (for example, a novelty company that wants to sell this spider at Halloween time - I have noticed Halloween decor usually has these kinds of barn-door stamps).

Anyway, happy to get a new Imperial figure, and for $1 USD LOL

Animal groups / Re: Apes - superfamily Hominoidea
« on: March 07, 2018, 02:18:01 AM »
Great start to a taxon that needs more coverage here. Thanks again stemturtle! Did you not get one of the Jungle Book figures of a Gigantopithicus? Normally I would not collect anthropomorphized characters but at least they were realistic looking in the recent Disney movie.

I do not own the Gigantopithicus figure from the Jungle Book. Here is a link to King Louie by Bullyland on eBay.
Gigantopithicus belonged to subfamily Ponginae in Asia, with 3 species ranging from 9 million to 100,000 years ago.

King Louie from the original Disney cartoon is an orangutan, but in the newer Jungle Book (the one that came out last year or before) had a Gigantopithecus. Here is a link to a set with one:

Animal groups / Re: Apes - superfamily Hominoidea
« on: March 07, 2018, 12:19:42 AM »
Great start to a taxon that needs more coverage here. Thanks again stemturtle! Did you not get one of the Jungle Book figures of a Gigantopithicus? Normally I would not collect anthropomorphized characters but at least they were realistic looking in the recent Disney movie.

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