Animal toy reviews and walk-arounds

Recent reviews and walk-arounds

October 03, 2018, 11:18:33 PM by postsaurischian
Views: 189 | Comments: 5

  :)  This is my second figure from the Tennoji Zoo set. Another true gem.
        I can hardly imagine that there will ever be a more beautiful Kiwi model.

               Apteryx mantelli ~ North Island Brown Kiwi








                                                                                                ~ ē ~
                                                                                    next to CollectA Kiwi

October 02, 2018, 04:34:06 PM by postsaurischian
Views: 163 | Comments: 4

  :)  After more than a year I finally found the time for a new walk-around.
        The five Tennoji Zoo figures have just been released. This is one of the two gems from the set.

               Alligator sinensis ~ Chinese Alligator




                                                                                                ~ ē ~
                                               next to Kaiyodo Animatales: Amazing Animals No.12 ~ Nile Crocodile
September 29, 2018, 07:47:46 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 139 | Comments: 2

Review of the complete set of cicadas by BREAK Co. LTD (year of release unknown). Like the previous set of hornets, there are four figures: three adults (same sculpt, different paint jobs) and one nymph. I spent a good part of the morning researching what the species may be. When I bought the hornets, the online shop marketed them at the species level. However, this time I did not have that luxury and had to try and hunt them down myself. Because Break is Korean and not Japanese, these might not be the usual Japanese fare. However after a lot of searching I come back to familiar species previously made. At the very least I have the genera correct. Maybe someday I'll find them marketed specifically.

The complete set:

1. Graptopsaltria nigrofuscata. This one and its nymph (next) I am confident with.

2. Graptopsaltria nigrofuscata (nymph).

3. Euterpnosia chibensis. This could easily be the similar-looking E. varicolor but given that companies influence each other, I am sticking with the previously-made E. chibensis.

4. Cryptotympana facialis. This one took a while but in the end I determined it probably represents this familiar species, just with a slightly stylized thorax.

September 29, 2018, 06:27:57 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 126 | Comments: 1

Walkaround of the common pillbug, Armadillidium vulgare (Latreille, 1804) by Bandai, Dango Mushi, No. 1, new for 2018. This species went unnoticed for years and now since 2015 we have three examples of them (six if you include color variants).

This figure is amazing in several aspects. It is an articulated figure that can go from being rolled up in a ball to spread out in a walking formation. It also serves as it's own gashapon capsule, with the paper tucked away inside the figure!!! The figure comes in gray, white (albino), and blue (and yes, they can be blue in nature). Not knowing what I would get I stayed conservative and only got the traditional gray form.

When stretched out, the figure measures 14.0 cm, making it 7.5:1 for a large specimen.

On to the pics:

First, after you remove the cellophane packaging:

Next, open it up just a little to get the paper out:

Next carefully unroll it more to a relaxed position:

Next, manipulate the legs outward to give it a walking appearance:

Here it is with the two by Kaiyodo. It's essentially the same size as the Sofubi Toybox figure. And while it is not as detailed as the STB figure, which it lacks in detail it makes up for in ingenuity!

I think for my shelves, I will display it back in a coiled position for variety!!!

September 20, 2018, 02:22:53 PM by animaltoyforum
Views: 140 | Comments: 2

Reposted here with permission from @stargatedalek

This small pompano is marketed [on aliexpress - Ed.] as fake food, but given the variety of fish available at pretty good prices for their size I had to give it a shot. In a lot of ways it more than exceeds my expectations, the detail is better than the pictures show (I think itís almost certainly cast from a real fish), unfortunately it seems to be very fragile. Iím not about to cut it open and find out but I think it might literally be a sponge coated in plastic, as opposed to plastic stuffed with sponge, sounds like a subtle difference on paper but itís drastic in practice.

Overall I guess itís a failed experiment, but Iím glad I took the risk and found out (also glad I ordered just one as a test). If I ever want any large fish for a diorama or display these are definitely going to be put into consideration, but as figures they are just to fragile. The material reminds me of "stress-ball" animals that are often given out with promotional logos on them.

September 17, 2018, 11:09:06 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 156 | Comments: 5

Walkaround of a rhinoceros beetle, Dynastinae, gen. sp. by an unknown manufacturer, which may be a Toy Major knock-off.

This is one of the medium-sized lines of insects released in the 1990s and beyond, larger versions of some of the tube-sized figures by TM. The figure is too generic to be assigned to a given species. It measures 62 mm in length and is a solid-piece plastic

Here with small TM figures (and their knock-off counterparts):

So, the main reason I wanted to show this figure is because it, or a similarly-sculpted figure, is on display as an educational piece at the Missouri Botanical Gardens:

September 03, 2018, 04:14:58 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 2047 | Comments: 0

Walkaround of the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria (Linnaeus, 1758) by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. - B.I.G. Insects, No. 5, new for 2018. For most of the last several years, T-TARTS' annual 'B.I.G. Insects' set has included four scarabaeoid beetles and one non-scarabaeoid. Recent examples include the Japanese carpenter ant, the giant Asian hornet, a couple mantids, and a crayfish.

The figure is stunning. Definitely above par for T-TARTS insect figures! The four beetles that were released along side this figure are nice but simple: very smooth and monochromatic. The locust is anything but. Extreme detail went into the texture, and it has a nice matte-like finish. The colors are very nice, and depict the usual scheme of the species' solitary phase.

The figure measures 8.0 cm (not including antennae nor legs), making it slightly larger than 1:1 for the normal range of 4.0-6.0 cm. Like most figures in these series, assembly is required. This one comes in 9 pieces: wings; abdomen and meso- + metathorax; upper portion of prothorax; head; the middle and hind legs are individual, but the front pair of legs are part of the underside of the prothorax.

The figure is a real gem! Let the pics speak for themselves:

September 01, 2018, 05:57:41 PM by bmathison1972
Views: 354 | Comments: 1

Review of another one of those odd, novelty sets. This one is called Insect Set to the Party Box by a company called Aico (release date unknown). It looks like it was intended to be used for novelty toys for children's birthday parties and such. It is a random mix of figures. The figures themselves are quite varied in size, material, and level of quality, suggesting they were commissioned from different manufacturers. There are 12 figures representing 6 species. Most are your typical gashapon to bin style sizes.

Here is the box with a representative of each:

On to the figures themselves:

First up, a generic Dorcus hopei. It is very smooth, somewhat stylized, and solid/stiff. It is not clearly a knockoff of the more familiar companies that have produced this species. Size-wise, it is similar to T-TARTS B.I.G. Insects or maybe F-toys figures.

Next, a figure that was marketed simply as a 'bee' but most-certainly represents the giant Asian hornet, Vespa mandarinia. This figure is among the smallest in the set!

Next, a generic sphingid larva (hornworm). Too bad a species could not be attributed to it; it's a neat one!

One of two earthworms in the set. The earthworms are a very soft, rubbery material. I hope they hold up over time...

One of two cockroaches in the set. Similar to many bin-style figures, these are made of a very stiff, firm plastic.

Lastly, the ants. These are the same sculpt as the ant in the K&M International Itsy Bities Bucket ( There were five in the set. I decided to get creative here. I used super glue to adhere three of them to half of a 4D Master log. I then used super glue to attach one of the Kitan Club mushrooms to the log too. The final product a cool little ant diorama!

August 31, 2018, 02:49:23 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 399 | Comments: 5

Review of a set of crickets and katydids called Sound of Autumn by Dreams Come True, LTD, originally released in 2004. At the time of the initial writing, I have only five of the eight figures in the set. I hope to complete this set for sure! The theme is singing orthopteroids, and features eight crickets and katydids. Each figure comes permanently attached in a plastic cage (see first image). You can push a button on the side of the cage and it plays the sound the animal makes! The batteries in mine must have been dead as none made sound (or maybe batteries were not included - I did not feel like unscrewing the bottom to find out).

I do not like to display figures in captivity, so I physically removed them, which meant irreparably damaging the cages. The insects are attached by a rubber extension which was easy to cut off. The individual insects are small, including appendages they are roughly 3.4-4.0 cm long (to put things in perspective, the cages are 5.5 cm x 4.0 cm x 3.5 cm. They are a solid piece relatively soft plastic. Nice detail given their size.

Each figure also comes with a card with the scientific name and a piece of candy. I am so grateful Latin names were included. And of the first five I have, not only are they all new species, they are all new genera! Orthopteroids are not often marketed at the species level, so this is a nice treat!

First an individual box, figure still in the cage, and the accompanying paper:

Next the liberated crickets:

On to the figures, in the order they are labeled as on the packaging:

3. Mecopoda nipponensis.

4. Velarifictorus aspersus.

5. Dianemobius nigrofasciatus [marketed as Pteronemobius nigrofasciatus).

7. Xenogryllus marmoratus. I love the raised wings on this one!!!

8. Loxoblemmus doenitzi. get the remaining three!!!!!!!!!!!!!
August 08, 2018, 10:55:21 AM by animaltoyforum
Views: 408 | Comments: 0

Walk-around of the Hercules beetle Dynastes hercules by Furuta (ChocoEgg Series 6). I think this walk-around completes the ChocoEgg Series 6 on the Animal Toy Forum. Photos by @bugsnapz

August 07, 2018, 09:47:52 PM by animaltoyforum
Views: 181 | Comments: 0

Walk-around of the red-rump tarantula (Brachypelma vagans) by Furuta (ChocoEgg Series 6). Photos by @bugsnapz

August 05, 2018, 10:49:53 AM by animaltoyforum
Views: 505 | Comments: 1

Walk-around of the thorny devil (Moloch horridus), part of Bullyland's 'Bullyland Amphibians' collection (go figure, because it is a lizard. Perhaps 'herpetofauna' didn't have the same ring to it). It is 10cm long. This toy was retired this year (2018) so I picked it up just in time, from the Hanover Museum, Germany.

Beetle guy
July 24, 2018, 06:30:59 AM by Beetle guy
Views: 598 | Comments: 7

Next to the walk-arounds for individual figurines, I will try to give an overview of my Sega beetle collection here. There is a lot, so I will be updating this topic from time tot time.

Bandai/Sega  has produced an unparallelled beetle figurine output. Dozens of beetle toys series were produced, compricing hunderds of beetles. A few species are (as you will learn from this post) very well presented. The beetle toys (and Card- and computergames, stationary and even clotches) were marketed under the brandname MushiKing (King of beetles).
I have collected not all series, but to my feeling only the more detailed figurines that had reasonable proportions and a realistic look. I will also mention the figurines I am missing or have skipped to give at least a complete picture of the series I will post in this topic.

As with Blaine's topic 'Blaine's Bug of the day', I highly value comments, but please do not place images in this post to keep the overview 'clean' ;)

The small Bandai beetle series complete

This series is formed out of 10 sets of 10 beetles each. So 100 beetles(!) in this series (some species are doubled or in alternative paint or even sculpted version). The were relaesed from 2005 till 2007. They came boxed per 10 with collecting- playing cards. The order of release of the sets I am still figuring out. I know the content of the sets via the official Bandai website.

The beetles have for white or black dots and a serialnumber on the abdomen.

SET 1 Released in 2008.


1. Prosopocoilus giraffa (black eyes), 2. Dynastes hercules lichyi, 3. Chalcosoma caucasus (black eyes), 4. Trypoxylus (Allomyrina) dichotoma septentrionalis, 5. Dynastes granti (black eyes),
6. Megasoma actaeon (black eyes), 7. Dynastes Neptunus (black eyes), 8. Mesotopus tarandus (black eyes), 9. Allotopus rosenbergi (black eyes) and 10. Hexarthrius mandibularis (black eyes).

SET 2 Mushiking Beetle Encyclopedia 2.


1. Chalcosoma atlas, 2. Dynastes granti (red eyes), 3. Eupatorus gracilicornis, 4. Dynastes Neptunus (red eyes), 5. Megasoma actaeon (red eyes)
6. Dorcus rectus, 7. Lucanus maculifemoratus, 8. Rheatelus speciosus, 9. Hexarthrius mandibularis (red eyes), 10. Odontolabis burmeisteri.



1. Eupatorus siamensis, 2. Chalcosoma moellenkampi, 3. Heterogomphus hirtus, 4. Allomyrina pfeifferi, 5. Prosopocoilus inclinatus,
6. Cyclommatus elaphus, 7. Dorcus grandis (red eyes), 8. Odontolabis spectabilis, 9. Prosopocoilus giraffa (red eyes), 10. Mush King mascotte (eyes "closed").



1. Dynastes granti (black eyes), 2. Allotopus rosenbergi (black eyes), 3. Dynastes hercules (blue elytra), 4. Eupatorus hardwickei, 5. Odontolabis cypri,
6. Aegus platydon, 7. Megasoma gyas, 8. Prosopocoilus wallacei, 9. Lycomedes buckleyi, 10. Lamprima adolphinae.



1. Trypoxylus (Allomyrina) dichotoma septentrionalis (alternate sculpt), 2. Golofa porteri, 3. Chalcosoma caucasus (red eyes), 4. Megasoma elephas, 5. Dynastes hercules lichyi (alternate sculpt),
6. Dorcus binodolusus (dark no detail paint), 7. hexarthrius parryi, 8. Mesotopus tarandus (red eyes), 9. Allotopus rosenbergi (red eyes), 10. MushiKing (eyes "open").



1. Trypoxylus (Allomyrina) dichotoma septentrionalis, 2. Dynastes hercules lichyi (Blue, no yellow hair on head), 3. Trichogomphus martabani, 4. Xylotrupes gideon, 5. Megasoma anubis,
6. Dorcus pilifer, 7. Chiasognathus granti, 8. Homoderus mellyi, 9. Dorcus palawanicus, 10. Prosopocoilus fabricea.



1. Prosopocoilus giraffa (black eyes), 2. Chalcosoma caucasus (black eyes), 3. Megasoma actaeon (black eyes), 4. Neolucanus maximus, 5. Dynastes satanas,
6. Dorcus alcides, 7. Odontolabis imperialis, 8. Xylotrupes pubescens, 9. Beckius beccarii, 10. Rhyssonotus nebulosus.



1. Dynastes hercules lichyi (black eyes), 2. Dynastes Neptunus (black eyes), 3. Hexarthrius mandibularis (black eyes), 4. Augosoma centurion, 5. Rhaetulus didieri,
6. Prosopocoilus hasteri, 7. Sphaenognathus feisthameli, 8. Dynastes hyllus, 9. Dipelicus cantori, 10. Lucanus gamunus.



1. Trypoxylus (Allomyrina) dichotoma septentrionalis, 2. Dorcus binodolosus (more detailed colour), 3. Mesotopus tarandus (black eyes), 4. Oryctes gigas, 5. Golofa claviger,
6. Megasoma mars, 7. Odontolabis alces, 8. Dorcus tityus, 9. Odontolabis duivenbodei, 10. Eupatorus gracilicornis edai.

SET 10


1. Dynastes hercules lichyi (brown), 2. Dorcus grandis (black eyes), 3. Dorcus palawanicus, 4. Neolucanus delicatus, 5. Scapanes australis,
6. Hexarthrius forsteri, 7. Strategus mandibularis, 8. Eupatorus beccarii, 9. Dorcus rubrofemoratus, 10. Dynastes tityus.

I have also this one. It does not belong to one of the 10 series. Maybe it was an extra/bonus or so, I do not know. It is the bluei version of D. hercules lichyi (alternative sculpt).

July 23, 2018, 12:18:26 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 395 | Comments: 6

I don't have much to do in this arena as I patiently wait for things to ship from Japan, so I thought I would take a break from my real entomological work on the Nearctic Elateridae and showcase some models by Toy Major.

These are very large insect figures, all produced by Toy Major in the late 1990s. They are very similar to their smaller tube-sized counterparts but are much bigger. All of these are at least 1 US foot (12 inches/30 cm) across their longest points.

I bought all of them except the mantis at a toy store in Tucson, AZ in 1999 or 2000. The mantis was purchased more recently on eBay and I was surprised when I got it that it was a TM figure (it was marketed as garden decor). I am not sure how many more were made. One note, the antennae on the grasshopper broke off. One broke off moving from Phoenix to Atlanta in 2007 and the other when I moved from Atlanta to Salt Lake City in 2016.

Since they are so big, I decided to take the pics on the patio of my apartment complex:

July 11, 2018, 03:04:12 PM by animaltoyforum
Views: 716 | Comments: 2

Walk-around of the only extant creature in the Prehistoric Sealife tube by Safari Ltd, the frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus). Presumably included in the set as a 'living fossil'.

July 09, 2018, 01:22:23 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 589 | Comments: 21

This thread will serve as an overview of the Yowies arthropods. I will post a handful at a time. The Yowies series gives an insect collector the chance to get a large variety of unique models, as Australian arthropods are very uncommonly made. The nature of the figures does not justify long walkaround for each, so I will do single-image representations of each species.

There are figures here from both the Australian and UK releases. The former were small gashapon-like puzzles that required assembly; the latter are solid-plastic figures (and in many cases, more realistic than their Australian counterparts).

In no particular order:

1. paper wasp, Polistes rothneyi (this figure was marketed under the synonym, P. tasmaniensis).

2. the prehistoric horseshoe crab, Dubbolimulus sp.

3. trilobite, Kettneraspis clavatus.

4. jumping spider, gen. sp. This figure was not marketed at a given genus or species. Only one of three toy/model jumping spiders I am aware of!

5. the fiddler crab, Gelasimus vomeris (marketed under its original name, Uca vomeris.).
This species was in both the Australian and UK releases.

6. the cruiser butterfly, Vindula arsinoe ada.

7. spiny lobster, Panulirus cygnus.

8. mantis shrimp, Odontadactylus brevirostris.

9. the crab spider, Diaea variabilis.

10. Christmas scarab, Anoplognathus punctulatus.
Another one released in both the Australian and UK series. In this case, the UK figure is MUCH better than the Australian one.

11. Black-and-white tiger moth, Spilosoma glatignyi.

12. the transverse lady beetle, Coccinella transversalis.
Another species released in the UK and Australian series.

13. giant centipede, Scolopendra morsitans.

14. emperor gum moth, Opodiphthera eucalypti.

15. hairy hermit crab, Derdanus megistos.

July 07, 2018, 04:26:29 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 247 | Comments: 3

Later than expected, a personal request from Dr. Admin, the Life Cycle of a Mosquito, by Safari LTD, Safariology, originally released in 2014. As someone who studies the medical aspects of insects as well, this was a welcome treat! Over a short period, Safari LTD released several insect life cycles and this is probably my favorite.

The mosquito is not attributable to a given species (although the egg raft and length of palps in the adult rule-out the malaria-spreading anophelines).

Not a bad set; the adult is a bit stout, but that is to be expected when real mosquitoes are spindly: the figure needs to be sturdy enough to prevent breakage and not be too sharp as to risk injury to children.

On to the pics:





whole cycle:

in a mini-diorama:

July 06, 2018, 02:47:34 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 233 | Comments: 0

Walkaround of a novelty food premium, a firefly by Chick-Fil-A Properties, Inc., originally released in 2014. I like food premium figures. They are often unique, original releases, that tend to disappear quickly after being released. As such they are often difficult to obtain and over time may fetch a bit of money to acquire them! I found this one randomly on eBay, probably not too long after it was released. I do not remember it being expensive or anything. I don't eat fast food enough to know why this was released (part of a larger animal set?).
The figure is generic and not attributable to a given species. The beetle itself is 7.5 cm and the entire figure (leaf included) is 10.0 cm. The beetle is securely attached to the leaf via screws (although the legs are physically part of the base). There is a button on the bottom that, when pressed, allows the abdomen to light up [see last pic]!

On to the pics:

July 03, 2018, 06:09:10 PM by animaltoyforum
Views: 766 | Comments: 10

Walk-around of the 2012 meerkats pair by Safari Ltd (Wild Safari Wildlife). Not to be confused with the 2016 Meerkat in this line. The 2016 one replaced the 2012 one when the earlier one was retired. According to this figure was sculpted by @doug watson

Those of you living in the UK will know that a certain recurring TV advert has destroyed the public perception of meerkats forever. Sigh. ::)

July 01, 2018, 05:16:23 AM by bmathison1972
Views: 285 | Comments: 2

Walkaround of the red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii (Girard, 1852) by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S., 22nd Anniversary Collection. The figure is marked 2005 but not sure if that was when this anniversary figure was released, or that was the original date (assuming this is a re-release of an earlier figure). Like recently shown migratory locust and Japanese giant mantids, this is another 'non-scarabaeoid' figure released in the T-TARTs sets. This species is native to the southeastern USA, but has been introduced to Japan where it has achieved pest status, and this its frequent inclusion in Japanese sets.

The figure is 10.0 cm (body length, not including antennae or clawed legs), which does put it within the 1:1 range for a large individual. Some assembly is required and the front legs (pincers) do not attach snuggly.

The first image in on a custom base courtesy of @sphyrna18 (where it sits permanently on my shelves!) and does not come with the figure  ;)

On to the pics:

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