Animal toy reviews and walk-arounds

Recent reviews and walk-arounds

February 15, 2019, 02:06:07 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 31 | Comments: 0

Review of the complete primary set of Amazing Creatures by Agatsuma Entertainment (date of release unknown). I have also seen figures from this set advertised as being from a set called 'Strange Predators'. Not sure if there were two different sets, or just different interpretations of the name. I am reviewing the entire primary set here; there are three secret figures which are color variants of the mythical creature 'Tsuchinoko' (I have one of them if anyone is interested for TRADE, I am just not posting the pic in order to keep it in the original am not interested in mythical creatures).

I bought this set when I decided to create a synoptic animal collection because it consists of 9 very rare or unique species!

The figures are comparable to, or slightly larger than, gashapon/tube/TOOB style figures. To put things in perspective, the base shown in the images below is 8.0 cm long by 5.7 cm wide. All of the figures are single-piece PVC. Some figures can attach to the base by means of a clear plastic rod. None of the figures are permanently attached to the base. The base contains the Japanese name, as done the accompanying paperwork. Nowhere on the figure, box, or paper are there Latin names, so the names below are assigned by me or others in the toy animal community.

On to the pics (in no particular order):

1. Common Suriname toad, Pipa pipa

2. Sea pig, Scoptoplanes globosa

3. Vampire squid, Vampyroteuthus infernalis

4. Hooded nudibranch, Melibe leonina

5. Paper nautilus, Argonauta argo

6. Alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii

7. Predatory tunicate, Megalodicopia hians

8. Predatory nudibranch, Tyrannodoris luteolineata

9. Tardigrade, Echiniscus testudo
NOTE: I now have two of these, so one is available for TRADE.

February 06, 2019, 01:42:42 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 85 | Comments: 1

Walkaround of the Japanese horseshoe crab, Tachypleus tridentatus (Leach, 1819), by For Corporation - Another Aquarium, released in 2018. A little background on this figure. This figure was originally sculpted for the Season 2 line by Aquameridian and intended to be released in 2013. When sales for the first series were not as good as expected, Aquameridian canceled Season 2. Eventually, Aquameridian folded entirely (at least, their website has been down for a while). For Corporation bought the rights to several figures from both Season 1 and Season 2 and released them under the line, Another Aquarium. The accompanying paper for this figure, includes the original credits to Aquameridian and acknowledges the original sculptor.

The figure is a single-piece plastic, measuring 7.0 cm in length, making it roughly 1:10 for a maximum-sized specimen. Like all Aquameridian figures, it is intended to be attached to a plastic water stream, which in turn is attached to a trophy-like base with a placard with the Japanese and Latin names of the animal. The figure has two pegs to attach to the water stream, so it probably does not display well as a stand-alone figure. Also, like all figures, the water stream has an LED light in the base so it lights up when you flip a switch on the bottom (see last image below).

The figure is fairly comparable to the Kaiyodo Natural Monuments of Japan figure (see 4th image, below), which it will replace for my Synoptic Display collection. The Kaiyodo figure has slightly more detail, but I love the dynamic display of the Aquameridian model.

February 05, 2019, 10:50:51 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 81 | Comments: 3

Walkaround of a new species for me, the snow crab Chionoecetes opilio (Fabricius, 1788) by MegaHouse. Snow crabs are popular commercial crabs native to shelf depths of the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Surprisingly, this species has not been made before.

The figure is a 'Kaitai' puzzle consisting of 41 pieces! The pieces snap together without any adhesive. This figure has both internal and external organs, but interestingly, the internal structures are hidden when the figure is complete. The set also comes with a paper plate and plastic 'crab claw crackers', simulating a cooked specimen, and a recipe guide LOL. Interestingly, when we see red crustaceans like this, they are often meant to represent cooked individuals, however in nature C. opilio is more commonly red than green or brown! When completed, the carapace measures about 5.5 cm, making it about 1:3 for a large male and just over 1:2 for a large female.

There are positives and negatives to this figure. The carapace shape is about correct and the proportions are nice. However, the eyes are cartoony and somewhat anthropomorphized. Also, some of the part labels are permanently printed on the pieces (for those of you who like to customize and repaint, these are minor issues).

The first two pics below are courtesy of Hobby Search from where it was bought, the other three are mine. I did not take step-by-step pics as I assembled it. An interesting figure, but a new species for me!

February 05, 2019, 04:38:28 PM by Takama
Views: 39 | Comments: 0

A Giant Albatross.   This figure is decent. It could be outstanding if it were not for the grass sculpted onto the model

Its also Big for a Wings of the World Figure.   
February 03, 2019, 05:48:53 PM by stemturtle
Views: 87 | Comments: 4

Review of set of 5 jellyfish (Qualia, JOIN Collection).

The bases of any 4 figures join together to form a mini-diorama.
For no apparent reason, that leaves a fifth figure as odd man out.

The label is in Japanese, and the figures unmarked. Luckily the same species were included in a set of jellyfish by Nature Technicolor, that lists the scientific names. The NTC figures have straps, and are about twice the size of the Qualia figures. For example, the diameter of the upside-down species by Qualia is about 17 mm, while the one by NTC is 36 mm. Ikimon also wins for detail. Of course, standing figures are easier to display.

Upside-down jellyfish, Cassiopea ornata

Moon jellyfish, Aurelia aurita

Spotted jelly, Mastigias papua

Flame jellyfish, Rhopillema esculentum

Atlantic sea nettle, Chrysaora quinquecirrha

Thanks to @brettnj for his excellent procurement service.
Link to Qualia Company site:
January 12, 2019, 11:49:40 PM by Takama
Views: 263 | Comments: 5

These are old photos i took with an Expirimental Black background

Not too sure it holds up.

FYI this model is hollow @doug watson can you say why this particular model is hollow? :)

January 12, 2019, 12:52:15 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 216 | Comments: 0

Walkaround of the Mexican red-kneed tarantula, Brachypelma smithi (P-Cambridge, 1897) by Schleich, new for 2019. I am going to start with a little taxonomic disclaimer. There is confusion to the identity of spiders referred to as Mexican red-knees, since the description of a cryptic sibling species, B. hamorii Cleton and Verdez, 1997. The two species are indistinguishable morpholoically and can only be separated by DNA barcoding and strict geographic distribution. In the absence of a figure being specifically ascribed to a given species, I am referring to all figures as the classic B. smithi.

First thing first. This is, to my knowledge, Schleich's first standard-sized arthropod figure (they had some in their vintage 'Mini' line and some recent accessory sets, such as the Death Valley set or Scorpion Nest). But I think this is the first in a standard line, and I commend them on it! After so many years, this marks uncharted territory for Schleich. I encourage Schleich fans to buy it so they'll make more :-) . But my congratulations and thanks to Schleich for venturing out to this group of animals. Mojo Fun is also releasing their first arthropod this year, and the same species, too!

The figure is nicer than I thought it would be, looks better in-hand than in publicity shots. It is made of a solid, good-quality PVC (very similar in texture and feel to CollectA's insects and spiders). The size is nice, a little smaller than I anticipated, but I am actually grateful for that. The body length is about 4.0 cm, making it just under 1:1 for a small female (or 1:1 for an immature one). The maximum space occupied by the legs is 7.0 cm by 7.0 cm.

If there is one morphological mistake, it is with regards to the number and position of the eyes. For spiders, the eye arrangement usually defines the family, and this figures eyes are not consistent with members of the family Theraphosidae. While this might seem like a nit-pick, other major companies can get this right (see Papo's spectacular wolf spider, for example).

The underside is marked copyright '18, I guess because that is when it was commissioned. It also says, I think, 'Am Lines'. Perhaps this in reference to American dealers of Schleich? I don't know, it's my first ;-).

On to the figures:

Smaller than it's cousin from Bullyland:

With other figures of comparable size. Clockwise from top-left: Kaiyodo (Capsule Q Museum - Toxic Animals), Schleich, and Safari LTD (Authentics Insects)

January 11, 2019, 10:53:11 PM by Takama
Views: 187 | Comments: 1

My second Invertabrate for my Wild Safari animal Collection

January 08, 2019, 06:02:29 PM by Takama
Views: 107 | Comments: 0

My one and Only Gorilla Figure.   It is a nice sculpt, and a decent size as well

January 08, 2019, 05:58:56 PM by Takama
Views: 59 | Comments: 0

For a while, Standing Bear figures have become a trend. As a man who only collects one model per animal, i decided to get the standing verison of this beast. and its a simple Walkaround too

January 08, 2019, 05:56:09 PM by Takama
Views: 74 | Comments: 1

I cant beleive no one has posted a walkaround of this model yet.    And im mad at myslef for not posting this sooner.

January 08, 2019, 05:52:03 PM by Takama
Views: 199 | Comments: 1

Sorry for the long abcence

Here is a American Bison which replace my older version of the animal

January 05, 2019, 02:37:11 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 111 | Comments: 8

I am posting today some beetles by an unknown, presumably Japanese, manufacturer that were released as premiums in conjunction with Coca Cola. Three mysteries remain: 1) who made them, 2) what year were they released, and 3) how many were there. At the time of this initial writing, I have five. I was hoping posting them would spark recognition by someone.

The figures are small, typical TOOB/tube/gashapon sized. To put things in perspective, the diameter of the base is 3.5 cm. The beetles are single-piece, good quality plastic that can easily removed from the base. The base has the Japanese name on one side and the Coca Cola logo on the other. They are pretty nice in terms of quality and accuracy.

I am pretty sure Kaiyodo did not make them, as they usually mark the base if not the figure itself (but I could be wrong). Takara Tomy and Bandai are possibilities. Any help in identifying the manufacturer would be most appreciated!

The lineup (as of now):

1. Prosopocoilus inclinatus

2. Dorcus hopei binodulosus

3. Dorcus rectus

4. Lucanus maculifemoratus

5. Allomyrina dichotoma

January 01, 2019, 04:15:08 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 70 | Comments: 0

Review of a set of five generic spiders by AAA. These were sold together, from the same distributor as my recently-reviewed set of 10 AAA insects.

There are 5 figures, comparable in size to the other AAA insects. None of these spiders appear to represent actual species. It looks like they were influenced from actual species, but artistic license was used with regards to color and in some cases, eyes and other adornments. It would be futile to try to ascribe species names to these.

Highlighting them here for the AAA fans on the forum.

January 01, 2019, 03:50:31 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 265 | Comments: 8

Review of a set of insects by AAA. I am surprised I have not reviewed this set previously! I am not sure all the ways AAA markets their figures, and some of these may be available individually, but I bought mine as a bagged set.

There are 10 figures, medium in size (I will put individual measurements below with each image). They are all stamped with the AAA logo and a common English name (one of which is incorrect, they are discussed individually below). Scientific names below are of my assigning.

AAA is popular with collectors so I thought I would highlight this set! Enjoy. In no particular order:

1. Longhorned beetle, Cerambyx cerdo. If you accept my Latin name here, it would be a unique species. Length = 6.8 cm (not including appendages)

2. Ladybug. Length = 5.0 cm

3. Weevil. This figure is incorrectly marked on the underside as a 'dung beetle'. Length = 6.5 cm (including snout)

4. Hercules beetle, Dynastes hercules. This species is commonly made but this might be the only female! It is the only one I am familiar with. On the underside it is stamped 'rhinoceros beetle]. Length = 5.0 cm

5. Rhinoceros beetle, Xylotrupes gideon. On the bottom stamped 'two horned beetle'. Length = 6.5 cm (including horns)

6. Stage beetle. This is probably modeled after something specific, but I do not know what. Length = 8.0 cm (including mandibles)

7. Grasshopper. Length = 8.0 cm (not including legs)

8. Green darner, Anax junius. Simply marked 'dragonfly'. Length = 6.3 cm; wingspan = 9.3 cm

9. Emperor scorpion, Pandinus imperator. Length = 10.0 cm (including claws, to the point at which the tail curls upwards)

10. Cicada. Length = 6.2 cm (including wings)

December 30, 2018, 02:44:53 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 109 | Comments: 1

Walkaround of the Mexican red-kneed tarantula, Brachypelma smithi (P-Cambridge, 1897) by Veronese Design. I am going to start with a little taxonomic disclaimer. There is confusion to the identity of spiders referred to as Mexican red-knees, since the description of a cryptic sibling species, B. hamorii Cleton and Verdez, 1997. The two species are indistinguishable morpholoically and can only be separated by DNA barcoding and strict geographic distribution. In the absence of a figure being specifically ascribed to a given species, I am referring to all figures as the classic B. smithi.

This species is probably the most commonly-made spider figure, and we will be getting two this year, by Schleich and Mojo Fun (and for both those companies their first standards-sized arthropods!).

This is my second walkaround of a Veronese figurine, the other being an emperor scorpion roughly one year ago. Like the scorpion, the tarantula is cold case resin, making it more of a statuette than a figure/toy. The detail is extraordinary and better than any toy version of this species. The body length (not including appendages) is about 6.5 cm making it slightly larger than 1:1 for a large female specimen.

The figure is permanently fixed to a very detailed base that includes a bonus arthropod, a 1:1 ladybug!

On to the pics:

December 29, 2018, 05:03:34 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 84 | Comments: 0

Walkaround of the Old World swallowtail, Papilio machaon Linnaeus, 1758 by Enesco. The figurine is rather generically painted, but I think P. machaon is the most-likely candidate given the paint job and the wide Palearctic distribution of this species.

The figurine is made entirely of porcelain. When I bought it on eBay I had the assumption the butterfly was porcelain and the base was actual wood, but it's all porcelain. That's fine with me, I have a growing collection of porcelain butterflies :).

The wingspan is 6.0 cm and it stands about 6.0 cm at its highest point. It is not detailed on the underside.

On to the pics:

December 29, 2018, 12:16:33 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 80 | Comments: 0

Walkaround of one of the more peculiar figures in my collection, a dung (rhinoceros?) beetle by Jasman Toys, original release date unknown. A little backstory on this figure. When I first started collecting insect replicas, I started with scarabaeoid beetles, and I started in 1998 or so. This was one of my earliest figures, and I believe when I first bought it, it was released (re-released?) in conjunction with the Disney movie, A Bug's Life. At some point I misplaced the toy, I think I just forgot to pack it up when I moved from Phoenix to Atlanta in 2007. Well, last weekend I was seeing what's new on eBay and I found it for sale, so I bought it and here it is again!

When I first bought it back in the late 1990s, I was not to savvy with manufacturers, and only now that I am reunited with it, did I realize it was produced by Jasman Toys!

As I said it's a peculiar figure. In fact it could just as easily represent a rhinoceros beetle rather than a dung beetle, but to me it looks more like a coprine (besides, when I bought my first one years ago, I was a specialist in dung scarabs :) ). First thing you will notice is that it lacks a head. The cephalic horn comes right out of the prothorax! Also, the first pair of legs do not come off of the prothorax (a common mistake in generic toy figures). It is a large, solid piece of plastic. It is 14.0 cm long (not including the horn) and 7.5 cm tall at its highest point.

This toy is really only for the most taxonomically specialized, or those interested in weird novelty-type figures. On to the pics:

December 27, 2018, 12:31:20 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 120 | Comments: 3

Reviews of the complete sets Beetle Battle by Epoch. Both sets were originally released in 2005. These were always sets I said I would get if the opportunity came up, but I never aggressively pursued them. Now that I have them they are nicer than I thought. Both sets have 6 figures.

Minimal assembly is required, and the come with a base and an elevated peg on which to display them. The two sets have different colored bases and pegs. The concept is they can be 'locked in battle'; the bases even loosely connect to one another. They are small, similar in size to early Kaiyodo or Furuta figures, or standard TOOB/tube-sized figures. Some of the species are common, and one (as far as I know) is unique.

Thanks to @Beetle guy for selling them to me  ^-^

Set 1:

Dynastes hercules vs. Dynastes neptunus.

Cyclommatus metallifer vs. Prosopocoilus inclinatus.
Cyclommatus species don't get a lot of attention so good to see one here!

Allomyrina dichotoma vs. Lucanus maculifemoratus.

Set 2:

Odontolabis lacordairei vs. Hexarthrius parryi.
The O. lacordairei is, to my knowledge, a unique figure.

Allotopus rosenbergi vs. Megasoma elephas.

Augosoma centaurus vs. Chalcosoma moellennkanmpi.
A. centaurus doesn't get a lot of attention, so nice to see it here!

December 02, 2018, 03:15:55 PM by stemturtle
Views: 268 | Comments: 2

Sea Bottom Biological Seal Books by Ikimon, Nature Technicolor

After resisting for years, I finally bought this set for its educational value. I wish the items were 3D figurines instead of seals.
Thanks to Brett for his service dealing with YAJ.

80 species of marine invertebrates are depicted. A duplicate of each seal is included. The seals are flat, about 1.25 inches (3 cm.).
The obverse shows a color photo. The reverse identifies the scientific name in English on a paper that can be peeled off to expose an adhesive surface.
See images on the company site. There are 8 categories (called books), each with 10 species.

Echinoderm I
Echinoderm II
Arthropod I
Arthropod II
Cnider Animals (Cniderians)
Ring/Star Mouth Animal (Annelid & Sipunculid Worms)
Flat/Outer/String/Chordate (Chordates, Bryozoans, Flatworms, Ribbon Worms)

Example of a postage stamp stock page (not included) used to display the seals from book 8.
Small printing requires magnification. I prepared labels having a legible sized font.
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