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Author Topic: Ants and Termites (Club Earth)  (Read 4068 times)

bmathison1972

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Ants and Termites (Club Earth)
« on: January 26, 2017, 11:16:53 PM »
Review of the complete set of Ants and Termites by Club Earth. WOW, I only recently found out about this set (again, courtesy of Froggie). What a remarkable group of critters to specialize in for a set, and the name is somewhat misleading because there is also the only known figure of a member of the order Zoraptera (#6, below)!!!!!

Ants and termites are behaviorally similar but not at all related, and termites have recently been sunk into the cockroaches. The zorapterans appear to be at least nestled among the orthopteroids and are more-closely related to the termites than the ants.

The figures are comparable in size with PV, K&M, and other Club Earth figures, and larger and more solid than most bin-style sets. Most are obviously unique, as termite figures are rare and how often do we get species or even genus designations for ant figures?!?!

The common names below are what is stamped on the figure; the Latin names are of my choosing. The set seems to be focused on North America, so that made it somewhat easier to assign genera and sometimes species.

1. big-headed ant, Pheidole megacephala. This is my second figure of this genus, as a big-headed ant was included in the World of Nature Insect Collection by Funrise Toys (http://animaltoyforum.com/index.php?topic=1621.0).

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2. Texas shed-builder ant, Crematogaster lineolata. Not much to add since it’s apparently a unique species and a cool little figure.

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3. arid-lands honey ant, Myrmecocystus sp. There are enough ‘honey pot’ ants that I could not assign an exact species. They chose to make a winged version, which is too bad. I think a honey-engorged replete would have been more fun!

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4. Pacific Coast termite, Zootermopsis angusticollis. One of two termites in the set, this one represents a really nice soldier!!! My only other soldier termites are by Wicked Cool Toys (Wild Kraats) and an unknown manufacturer. Funrise Toys did a ‘king termite’ (see link above under #1).

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5. Texas carpenter ant, Camponotus texanus. Many carpenter ants are fairly uniform in appearance, at least to us non-specialists, so I based the Latin name on the common name. I have a large carpenter ant figure by K&M and a queen and three workers of C. japonicus by Epoch.

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6. zorapteran, Zorotypus sp. Here we go, the crown jewel, the ONLY (to my knowledge) figure of Zoraptera (have you stopped jumping up and down, Andre? LOL). If North American, like everything else in this set, the figure probably represents Z. hubbardi.

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7. subterranean termite, Reticulitermes sp. A winged figure, and too generic to go beyond genus. But a neat addition to this set!

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8. leaf-cutter ant, Acromyrmex sp. Like the honey pot ants, there are too many species of leaf-cutter ants to go further with the ID. Surprisingly, no other (known to me) figures of this group.

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sbell

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Re: Ants and Termites (Club Earth)
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2017, 01:18:05 AM »
Club Earth has all sorts of hidden gems in its past--but no idea how to find out what!

I have the full Extinct Animals (recently extinct) set, and they are really nice too--again, very similar to the Play Visions that were around at the same time.

brontodocus

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Re: Ants and Termites (Club Earth)
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2017, 10:51:26 PM »
Oh wow! :o 8) Of course the fact that someone made a zorapteran figure is most unique. But even a set representing different ants alone would have been a cool idea!

widukind

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Re: Ants and Termites (Club Earth)
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2017, 12:31:24 PM »
They have the same producer like some PVs and K&Ms, it is Wing Mau. In they product catalogue you can see a lot of treasures but they never answer a email. That is the sad problem.

bmathison1972

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Re: Ants and Termites (Club Earth)
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2017, 05:35:40 PM »
They have the same producer like some PVs and K&Ms, it is Wing Mau. In they product catalogue you can see a lot of treasures but they never answer a email. That is the sad problem.

Are they out of China? I have heard that a company in China is producing PV figures (others?); in fact, the PV Exotic Insects I just posted might be from this Chinese release (eventhough they still have the PV quality, logo, names, year, and PVC style)!
I have the six crabs from Wing Mau's 'Aquatic Museum' collection but those are, to my knowledge, unique for them.

sbell

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Re: Ants and Termites (Club Earth)
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2017, 11:22:33 PM »
They have the same producer like some PVs and K&Ms, it is Wing Mau. In they product catalogue you can see a lot of treasures but they never answer a email. That is the sad problem.

Are they out of China? I have heard that a company in China is producing PV figures (others?); in fact, the PV Exotic Insects I just posted might be from this Chinese release (eventhough they still have the PV quality, logo, names, year, and PVC style)!
I have the six crabs from Wing Mau's 'Aquatic Museum' collection but those are, to my knowledge, unique for them.

I've seen the catalogs as well--they definitely produce the figures--but it appears that they sometimes release their own (maybe they are unpurchased sets that they created?)

But the big problem, especially for PV, was that other companies were re-casting their figures (in lower quality) which is the actual reason that they ceased their good lines! Don't buy bootlegs!

bmathison1972

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Re: Ants and Termites (Club Earth)
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2017, 11:27:19 PM »
They have the same producer like some PVs and K&Ms, it is Wing Mau. In they product catalogue you can see a lot of treasures but they never answer a email. That is the sad problem.

Are they out of China? I have heard that a company in China is producing PV figures (others?); in fact, the PV Exotic Insects I just posted might be from this Chinese release (eventhough they still have the PV quality, logo, names, year, and PVC style)!
I have the six crabs from Wing Mau's 'Aquatic Museum' collection but those are, to my knowledge, unique for them.

I've seen the catalogs as well--they definitely produce the figures--but it appears that they sometimes release their own (maybe they are unpurchased sets that they created?)

But the big problem, especially for PV, was that other companies were re-casting their figures (in lower quality) which is the actual reason that they ceased their good lines! Don't buy bootlegs!

Pretty sure mine are not bootlegs, I have had bootlegs in the past and there are clear quality differences.

These sets make me think, it was great when these sets were made because they thought these were cool, interesting creatures and not simply what's marketable. Now look how sought-after they are!
Years from now, who is going to go out of their way to hunt down a Safari blue tang?

sbell

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Re: Ants and Termites (Club Earth)
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 04:08:57 AM »
They have the same producer like some PVs and K&Ms, it is Wing Mau. In they product catalogue you can see a lot of treasures but they never answer a email. That is the sad problem.

Are they out of China? I have heard that a company in China is producing PV figures (others?); in fact, the PV Exotic Insects I just posted might be from this Chinese release (eventhough they still have the PV quality, logo, names, year, and PVC style)!
I have the six crabs from Wing Mau's 'Aquatic Museum' collection but those are, to my knowledge, unique for them.

I've seen the catalogs as well--they definitely produce the figures--but it appears that they sometimes release their own (maybe they are unpurchased sets that they created?)

But the big problem, especially for PV, was that other companies were re-casting their figures (in lower quality) which is the actual reason that they ceased their good lines! Don't buy bootlegs!

Pretty sure mine are not bootlegs, I have had bootlegs in the past and there are clear quality differences.

These sets make me think, it was great when these sets were made because they thought these were cool, interesting creatures and not simply what's marketable. Now look how sought-after they are!
Years from now, who is going to go out of their way to hunt down a Safari blue tang?

Club Earth are definitely legit--and tend to be unique even compared to other lines.

As for figures like the Safari Blue Tang--who's hunting it down now? As a species, it is done by everyone, often more than once. The large companies don't even bother with the other species of tangs, never mind the thousands of other reef fishes/animals that would be just as interesting.

stargatedalek

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Re: Ants and Termites (Club Earth)
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 06:12:18 AM »
To be entirely fair, if the Safari blue tang had been a tad more unique, maybe make it startled with its tail blades visible, or make it large enough (~1:1) to stand out from the usual role as a bin or accessory figure, it could have been worth hunting down.

Surprised this is the only leaf-cutter ant, they're so famous (and not just "by invert standards") I'd think they'd be one of if not the go-to ant.

 



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