Animal toy reviews and walk-arounds

Author Topic: Bandai tropical fish: characin  (Read 1223 times)

Halichoeres

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
    • View Profile
Bandai tropical fish: characin
« on: January 10, 2018, 07:52:37 PM »
Bandai's tropical fish set consists of 15 varieties, but only 3 sculpts. This thread is for the characin sculpt, which represents 4 species (and one domestic strain) by changing the paint job.

First up: Tucanoichthys tucanoi, a truly minute tetra species endemic to Uaupés River in Brazil. It's named after a group of indigenous tribes, the Tucano. I don't think the species has a standardized common name, but most people I know call it the Tucano tetra.







The maximum recorded length is 1.7 cm, so these figures, despite being only 2.8 cm long, are almost twice life size. Annoyingly, they're missing the adipose fin. Every tetra species in this set should have one. Sure, it's going to be small on these tiny characids, but it should still be visible.

I'll do the other characid species soon. I mostly collect prehistoric figures, and I would find it pretty annoying in that context if a company simply repainted a figure and called it a new species. But the truth it a lot of freshwater fish differ in extremely minor ways externally, apart from their coloration. You'd need geometric morphometrics (or tooth or fin ray counts, depending) to tell them apart with all color information removed. So I don't bedgrudge Bandai the re-use of this mold, but I still begrudge them the missing adipose fin.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 02:12:26 AM by Halichoeres »




bmathison1972

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1797
    • View Profile
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 12:00:39 AM »
Yeah, Tim! So glad you are contributing to reviews here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sbell

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1283
    • View Profile
    • Fauna Figures Toys & Collectables
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 12:47:46 AM »
Knowing that this is an unusual species makes it more interesting for me...but knowing that such an important physical feature was left off kind of makes it lower priority. Too bad, since Bandai is usually so good at this sort of thing!

Halichoeres

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
    • View Profile
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 01:05:48 AM »
Yeah, Tim! So glad you are contributing to reviews here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ha ha, well thanks for the enthusiastic welcome!

Knowing that this is an unusual species makes it more interesting for me...but knowing that such an important physical feature was left off kind of makes it lower priority. Too bad, since Bandai is usually so good at this sort of thing!

At least it's not a really prominent appendage like the anal fin [cough cough CollectA Leedsicthys cough].

sbell

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1283
    • View Profile
    • Fauna Figures Toys & Collectables
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 02:16:27 AM »

Knowing that this is an unusual species makes it more interesting for me...but knowing that such an important physical feature was left off kind of makes it lower priority. Too bad, since Bandai is usually so good at this sort of thing!

At least it's not a really prominent appendage like the anal fin [cough cough CollectA Leedsicthys cough].

WHAAAAAAA!? :o I didn't even notice! To be fair, I haven't done much with it; I've been emptying and resetting my shelves, so it's just been kind of sittig around while I decide how to organize.

I guess I'll just stare at my giant 1/40 model Leedsichthys instead! ;D

Halichoeres

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
    • View Profile
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 03:07:18 AM »

Knowing that this is an unusual species makes it more interesting for me...but knowing that such an important physical feature was left off kind of makes it lower priority. Too bad, since Bandai is usually so good at this sort of thing!

At least it's not a really prominent appendage like the anal fin [cough cough CollectA Leedsicthys cough].

WHAAAAAAA!? :o I didn't even notice! To be fair, I haven't done much with it; I've been emptying and resetting my shelves, so it's just been kind of sittig around while I decide how to organize.

I guess I'll just stare at my giant 1/40 model Leedsichthys instead! ;D

Stare a little longer and you'll see that it too is missing its anal fin, and instead has pelvic fins, which most pachycormids lacked. (Granted, that portion of Leedischthys in particular is not preserved, to my knowledge.)

sbell

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1283
    • View Profile
    • Fauna Figures Toys & Collectables
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 03:22:59 AM »

Knowing that this is an unusual species makes it more interesting for me...but knowing that such an important physical feature was left off kind of makes it lower priority. Too bad, since Bandai is usually so good at this sort of thing!

At least it's not a really prominent appendage like the anal fin [cough cough CollectA Leedsicthys cough].

WHAAAAAAA!? :o I didn't even notice! To be fair, I haven't done much with it; I've been emptying and resetting my shelves, so it's just been kind of sittig around while I decide how to organize.

I guess I'll just stare at my giant 1/40 model Leedsichthys instead! ;D

Stare a little longer and you'll see that it too is missing its anal fin, and instead has pelvic fins, which most pachycormids lacked. (Granted, that portion of Leedischthys in particular is not preserved, to my knowledge.)

So it is...but it's still fun to stare at!

Halichoeres

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
    • View Profile
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2018, 02:39:22 AM »
Here's the next version of the Bandai characin, Paracheirodon innesi, the neon tetra. This wild-type version is number 3 in the series, but I'm posting it second because I'm a rebel.



Not sure it's really possible to capture the electric glow of a neon, but these figures at least have the overall color distribution about right.



The acrylic rods they come with are ball-jointed at the base, so you can adjust each fish's angle of attack. Maybe the left one is going after a tasty chironomid larva.



The gravel base is very nicely done but it says "home aquarium" a little too loudly for my taste.

Beetle guy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 325
    • View Profile
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2018, 06:59:46 AM »
really realy nice models! I think the Japanese fish figurines are te best. Takara just has released a new set of fish, I am sure you willl heve seen. :-)
To beetle or not to beetle.

Halichoeres

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
    • View Profile
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2018, 08:59:07 PM »
really realy nice models! I think the Japanese fish figurines are te best. Takara just has released a new set of fish, I am sure you willl heve seen. :-)

Actually, I don't think I am familiar with it! I'd be interested in learning more.

bmathison1972

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1797
    • View Profile
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2018, 09:50:59 PM »
really realy nice models! I think the Japanese fish figurines are te best. Takara just has released a new set of fish, I am sure you willl heve seen. :-)

Actually, I don't think I am familiar with it! I'd be interested in learning more.

this Takara set (all marine) looks like a re-release, but Sean will know for sure:

http://toypara.com/catalog.cgi?products/gasya/zukan/kaisui2008.html
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 09:51:40 PM by bmathison1972 »

Halichoeres

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
    • View Profile
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2018, 12:22:10 AM »
really realy nice models! I think the Japanese fish figurines are te best. Takara just has released a new set of fish, I am sure you willl heve seen. :-)

Actually, I don't think I am familiar with it! I'd be interested in learning more.

this Takara set (all marine) looks like a re-release, but Sean will know for sure:

http://toypara.com/catalog.cgi?products/gasya/zukan/kaisui2008.html

Oh, I have seen that set, I just didn't know it was Takara. Thanks for the info! I only collect the medium-sized clade I study, and none of the living species is marine.

Halichoeres

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
    • View Profile
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2018, 12:30:38 AM »
The least interesting part of this set, for me, is the leucistic neon tetra (Paracheirodon innesi). It's one of several captive strains of neon that you can get in the pet trade.



The pigmented eye tells me it's leucistic, although breeders also offer albino neons. Bandai's paint job does a pretty decent job of capturing the pearly sheen of a leucistic individual.



At least the aquarium-gravel base makes more sense for these. This is not a variety found in nature.

sbell

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1283
    • View Profile
    • Fauna Figures Toys & Collectables
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2018, 01:58:33 AM »
really realy nice models! I think the Japanese fish figurines are te best. Takara just has released a new set of fish, I am sure you willl heve seen. :-)

Actually, I don't think I am familiar with it! I'd be interested in learning more.

this Takara set (all marine) looks like a re-release, but Sean will know for sure:

http://toypara.com/catalog.cgi?products/gasya/zukan/kaisui2008.html

Oh, I have seen that set, I just didn't know it was Takara. Thanks for the info! I only collect the medium-sized clade I study, and none of the living species is marine.

I do know about that series! I only have the cutlassfish...Not sure if they are re-releasing it using the same bases and peg-system (instead of holes, the fish I have is held by a clear 'claw' around the body).

For the most part, I collect freshwater fish, and generally more unusual/primitive ones--but the cutlassfish is unusual enough! I am glad that this one is back out, but I would prefer a new series of new species myself!

Halichoeres

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
    • View Profile
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2018, 02:10:33 AM »
Another characin paint scheme from the Bandai series, the green neon tetra Paracheirodon simulans:



The two P. innesi figures come on gravel bases, but the other three come on a base of some indistinct aquatic greenery, maybe a mat of algae.



The green neon looks blue from some angles and green from others, but the figure just looks straight blue. Perhaps to make it easier to distinguish it from the other Paracheirodon species in the set, they've left the red out almost entirely.



Not too shabby a figure. The only version of this species that I'm aware of.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 02:12:55 AM by Halichoeres »

Halichoeres

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
    • View Profile
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2018, 07:33:45 PM »
The last characin paint job from the Bandai set is the cardinal tetra Paracheirodon axelrodi. The cardinal tetra has a huge broad stripe of red below the lateral line, hence its common name.



Another one on a grassy base. This is one of the better looking paint jobs because the red of the cardinal tetra isn't iridescent and doesn't get diminished when rendered in plastic. The blue on the figure doesn't have any iridescence but it's not as noticeable with all that red.



The cardinal tetra is roughly life size. If you put these in a tank you might be able to fool someone.



I'm pretty happy with this set overall, despite the lack of adipose fins. The Characoidei is one of those incredibly diverse--by vertebrate standards--groups where only a smidgen have been made into figures. Unlike the Cypriniformes, which live in toy-making regions like the US, Japan, and Europe, the characins are almost exclusively tropical, which no doubt contributes to their scarcity as figures (not a lot of big toy companies in Brazil or the DRC, so far as I know). It's a pity, moreover, that the few that have been made are common aquarium fish, where the actual live animal is only a few dollars more expensive than the figure. Maybe someday some company will really explore all the weirdness of tropical ostariophysans (I know, I know, Toy Fish Factory, but honestly I haven't been impressed by those so far).

sbell

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1283
    • View Profile
    • Fauna Figures Toys & Collectables
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2018, 12:25:42 AM »
I've honestly never pursued much of this set, but your photos and descriptions make it seem more worthwhile (I have one of the cory cats, that's it). If I can find a really good price when the budget allows (currently awaiting the two new Favorite Ancient fish, so saving for that!)

It is a strange thing that despite their familiarity tetras, etc aren't made often as toys--other than this Bandai set there is the Marmit set with a few, and I think a couple of Kaiyodo ones or Takara ones or something.

Also, piranhas excluded as well! Although, honestly, even then it feels like there should be more piranha figures...

Halichoeres

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
    • View Profile
Re: Bandai tropical fish: characin
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2018, 04:23:14 PM »
I've honestly never pursued much of this set, but your photos and descriptions make it seem more worthwhile (I have one of the cory cats, that's it). If I can find a really good price when the budget allows (currently awaiting the two new Favorite Ancient fish, so saving for that!)

It is a strange thing that despite their familiarity tetras, etc aren't made often as toys--other than this Bandai set there is the Marmit set with a few, and I think a couple of Kaiyodo ones or Takara ones or something.

Also, piranhas excluded as well! Although, honestly, even then it feels like there should be more piranha figures...

Yeah, I think they're worth hunting down if for no other reason than the Tucano. Most of the rest are duplicated in the Marmit set, with adipose fins.

And like any other clade, the big carnivorous members are more likely to be toys. The piranha family is definitely the best-represented characoid family, but until there's a good pacu and a good silver dollar I'll still consider it deficient!

If I were dreaming up a characin series, it would require a lot more molds, to show their morphological variation: a Tarumania, an alestid or two, a dogtooth, a serrasalmid, a bryconid, a Charax or Roeboides, a pencilfish, a freshwater hatchetfish. Not so cost-effective as the Bandai set.