Animal toy reviews and walk-arounds

Author Topic: Goldfish Carassius auratus, Bento baits, by Lunkerhunt Fishing Products  (Read 364 times)


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In our collecting many of us, especially those whose focus lies outside the usual "African Safari" cast members, will find ourselves drawn to novelties, children's toys, or other animal related products from a species completionist perspective. While that wasn't the case here, it is where most of the collector interest in things like fishing lures would lie.

I'm going to be reviewing a number of fishing products from a collecting perspective over the coming days, and most of them will be less than glowing, so I thought I should start with a stand out gem. The Lunkerhunt Bento is by all accounts an incredible surprise, and shining example of what unconventional figures can bring to the table.

The package backing reads;
"Designed to perfection, the Lunkerhunt Bento is one of the most realistic baitfish imitators on the market. The Bento features a lively tapered split tail, holographic core, and biologically correct detailing. All of these elements are incorporated into a soft yet durable body construction that enables the Bento to come to life with the slightest movement."

It's not marketed at a species level, but I think the best ID is a juvenile feeder goldfish (presumably a common goldfish or comet goldfish), as opposed to a gold white cloud minnow, golden shiner, or fathead minnow. The mold is fairly stylized and was used for a number of colour variations, so unfortunately an ID is likely trivial in this example.

I purchased this set along several other brands to compare and hopefully find some that would be appropriate for us as "props" in dioramas. I thought something that looked like feeder goldfish would be perfect for the role.

The package wasn't wrong when it described these as durable, many rubber fishing lures are surprisingly fragile because of reflective foil reaching the surface of the plastic, the eyes are often poorly glued on top, and paint is an afterthought. Lunkerhunt has avoided all of these problems by placing the entire assembly deep within the rubber body of the lure, nothing is touching the surface, even the eyes are embedded inside. The downside is that there are small air bubbles within, but that is far from the only part of these that looks off on close inspection.

Despite lacking all fins but the tail, they are decently convincing even up close (convincing as dead fish that is), and when partially obscured in the jaws of an appropriately sized predator I imagine they will make for some great photographs.

I highly recommend these to anyone seeking feeder fish stand-ins for photography or for making your own play sets to go with a hungry plastic pet.

Some fishing lures are sold already with hooks in them, and are not appropriate for children unless these are first removed. Use your own discretion but be careful. Pets may also attempt to eat them.