Author Topic: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.  (Read 2772 times)

callmejoe3

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Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« on: December 27, 2020, 05:16:20 PM »
When peeking around the DTB forum, I've noticed that the user Dinoguy2/TerribleDactyl started an impressive website serving as an archive for pretty much everything surrounding the Safari Ltd's Carnegie Collection, ranging from the line's history, production, tags, model revisions, etc. This preservation project delighted me because it mirrored my own interests regarding the Monterey Bay Aquarium line, such as my thread where I posted the different versions of the older tags and collector's guide.

One day I hope that a comparable project is done for the Monterey Bay Aquarium collection. However, at the moment, there are not too many resources at my disposal. So for now I'm going to be starting a few threads to serve as a resource for either myself or someone else in the future to act as a foundation. This thread will be documenting all the cast and paint job variants between the Monterey Bay Aquarium series. Due to collecting figures through lots, I ended up having multiple different casts of the same figures in the MBA line, some I choose to keep, others I'm planning on selling, so I'm doing this now while I still have them.

Now even though I have a fair bit to share, this thread won't ultimately be as interesting as the Carnegie Collection because:
  • The Carnegie Collection marked Safari Ltd's transition from outsourcing their animal replicas to becoming an in-house manufacturer. The MBA line was produced when Safari was no longer relying on Schleich or Bullyland like during the early years of the Carnegie Collection
  • Since the MBA line produced extant animals, speculation about the animal's appearance was not a limiting factor in designing the figures. The accuracy of the figures was limited by technical restrictions. So once an expert-approved design was in place, sculpt updates and paint job differences were inherently less drastic than they were in the Carnegie collection.

Beluga Mother



On the left is the original cast and on the right is the second cast AFAIK. They're pretty much the same in the design, the major difference is the material they are made of. The original cast is stiffer while the 2nd cast is much more rubbery.



Here is the second cast (left) and the 3rd cast (right),the one in current production. The 3rd cast is ever so slightly leaner than the first two and is made of a stiffer matieral, like the original one.



(Top left)2nd cast
(Top right) 3rd cast
(Bottom)Original



Imprinted stamps (open to get closer look). Left->Right Original,2nd,3rd

Beluga Calf





(Top) the repainted version of the beluga calf I reviewed on the animal toy blog that had the weird eye rings ( which I found out was part of the manufactured look), I'm assuming this was the original or early cast.
(Bottom) 2nd cast calf.

The original cast calf was made of a stiffer material while the second cast was more rubbery. Also the 2nd cast had its imprint stamp on its chest while the original was stamped on its right side.

Narwhal


Older narwhal. More rubbery material



Current Narwhal. Stiffer material.



Imprint stamps. (Top) New; (Bottom) Old.

Killer whale mother



Current (left), original (right). The main difference is the paint job, the new one has a saddle patch



Original orca imprint stamp



New orca imprint stamp

Bottlenose Dolphin mother



Original (left), 2nd cast (right)

Both the original and 2nd cast were pretty rubbery, but the 2nd is more flexible.



2nd (left), 3rd (in production) right.

Similar in flexibility, but the 3rd cast is slightly leaner and has a matte paint job.



Original imprint



2nd cast imprint



Current cast imprint

Whale Shark



New (left), Old (right). The older cast is slightly longer and has a more grayish and glossier paint job.



Old imprint



New imprint.

Great White Shark



Old (left), New (right)

Besides differences in paintjob, the newer figure is stiffer than the original.



Old imprint



New imprint

Sawfish



Old (left), New (right). Besides the difference in the paint job, the older figure is stiffer than the current one.



Old imprint



New imprint

Manta Ray



Old (left), New (Right). Besides differences in the paint job, the newer figure is more flexible than the current one.



Old imprint



New imprint

Humpback whale Mother


Old


New

The main difference here is that besides the paintjob, the older one has a more concave-arching back and a thinner and wider body overall. (UPDATE: It has recently come to my attention that this is not a sculpt update that was applied to all future releases, this seems to be some mold variant that only some figures resemble).
The older figure is also more rubbery and flexible.


Old (Top right), New (Bottom left)
Here you can sorta make out how the older figure is slightly wider.



Old imprint



New imprint

Sperm whale mother



Old (left), New (right).

The older figure is slightly longer and is darker than the newer figure.


Old imprint



New Imprint

Now as for the designations, the only thing I'm certain of are the relative ages of these variants. It could be the case that there are some intermediate releases that aren't mentioned here or that some of the figures I've labeled as ''original'' or ''in production'' may not be accurate because I got these used or a while ago. The ones I did purchase new and recently such as the Narwhal and Bottlenosed dolphin, I can confirm the in-production versions. Any owners of the MBA line, please feel free to either use this as a guide for finding out which figures you have or add on to here different casts that aren't mentioned here. I know for a fact the Gray whale has atleast 3 different paint jobs and the calf has 2, and those will likely be added in the future.



















« Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 05:26:32 AM by callmejoe3 »


callmejoe3

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2020, 05:48:46 PM »
While doing some research, I've found PDFs for Safari's catalogs from 2007 to 2020. It seems that around 2016, the manta ray, great hammerhead shark, giant squid, bottlenosed dolphin, killer whale, humpback whale, sawfish, blue Shark,  and whale shark got ''Remastered''. I'm certain that I had my humpback and killer whale pre-2016, and I'm also pretty certain that's also true for my secondhand ''New'' Manta Ray, Sawfish, and Whale Shark. So it seems that for those species, the casts that I labeled ''New'' in the initial post represent their 2nd casts and that the figures that are currently in-production are their 3rd casts.

2016 catalog pages with ''remastered'' figures.




2015 catalog




I don't own the 2016-refresh casts for the killer whale, humpback whale, whale shark, sawfish, and manta ray, only the bottlenosed dolphin and Giant Squid. They honestly don't look too different from their second casts, even for their paint jobs. If the current giant squid and bottlenose dolphin that I do own are anything to go buy, these current figures most likely switched out their glossy paint jobs for matte ones while still keeping the same schemes.

So bottom line:

In 2016, the humpback whale, killer whale, whale shark, sawfish, and manta ray received even newer casts that my original post did not cover, giving them each a total of 3. They appear to be just the same as their second ones, except that they most likely have matte paint jobs, like the 3rd cast for the bottlenose dolphin.

Now as for some of the other 3 that were refreshed in 2016. I only have the oldest version of the great hammerhead and it seems that even the pre-2016 model has a different paint job, so the hammerhead most likely has atleast 3 variants itself. The blue shark I own, based on the tag, is definitely a pre-2016 version, though not likely the original, so the Blue shark most likely has 3 variants as well. The giant squid was I believe the last addition to the MBA line, likely around the time most of the original figures were getting their second casts. Therefore, the 2016 refresh was most likely its first revision, giving it a total of 2.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 06:30:50 AM by callmejoe3 »

K907

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2021, 02:23:45 AM »
The Monterey Bay Aquarium sea otter pair variants. The only differences are the paint jobs and material (the golden kelp version is a lot more softer).








callmejoe3

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2021, 04:31:55 AM »
The Monterey Bay Aquarium sea otter pair variants. The only differences are the paint jobs and material (the golden kelp version is a lot more softer).









Thanks for the contribution. If you have any other variants not yet posted feel free to post them here.

K907

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2021, 04:48:15 AM »
@callmejoe3 Your welcome! I used to have more variants but gave them away because I didnít want to be a hoarder lol.  I do have the mountain display from the 90ís with most of the figures glued on, Iím going to add the remaining missing figures I have (gonna try to make it all fit lol). Iím just a completist - one for the mountain and another loose complete set to go with the different brand figures.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2021, 04:52:00 AM by K907 »

callmejoe3

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2021, 07:17:45 AM »
@callmejoe3 Your welcome! I used to have more variants but gave them away because I didnít want to be a hoarder lol.  I do have the mountain display from the 90ís with most of the figures glued on, Iím going to add the remaining missing figures I have (gonna try to make it all fit lol). Iím just a completist - one for the mountain and another loose complete set to go with the different brand figures.

That's neat!

K907

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2021, 08:09:45 AM »


Since the MBA collection was sculpted by Forest Rogers (who also did the Carnegie Collection and Vanishing Wild Collection), she also did this ocean animal poster, if you look at the models and the poster, the animals look quite identical!

Btw I took this picture from the 1998 Safari Ltd Catalog. I also have the 1999 one as well. I donít have a scanner but if anyone wants a photo of something I will gladly take a pic of it.

callmejoe3

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2021, 12:50:54 PM »


Since the MBA collection was sculpted by Forest Rogers (who also did the Carnegie Collection and Vanishing Wild Collection), she also did this ocean animal poster, if you look at the models and the poster, the animals look quite identical!

Btw I took this picture from the 1998 Safari Ltd Catalog. I also have the 1999 one as well. I donít have a scanner but if anyone wants a photo of something I will gladly take a pic of it.

This is neat! Feel free to add and share any new info to either this thread or the thread I've made for tags.

http://animaltoyforum.com/index.php?topic=2730.new#new
« Last Edit: January 07, 2021, 12:51:20 PM by callmejoe3 »

callmejoe3

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2021, 01:55:22 PM »
Okay, now for the gray whale, the figure with the most extensive variation in terms of paintjobs.

Now I'm not sure about the relative ages of these first two variants. I've found Ebay listing for each variant with their tags and they both had the original pale green tags. So they're both from the 90s.

Version A

(Credit to @Gwangi for this photo).

Version B


Now here's the current paint job. AFAIK, it has been around since atleast 2007, but it's likely to have been a few years older.



Imprint (Version B)



Imprint (Current version)


I've seen listings for variants that look just like this one but more blue, but chances are that it's just the lighting rather than the true color of the figure.

Now for the calves. There are 3 variants out there, and I own two of them



The left one is a calf that corresponds to Version A, you can tell because it has the same color for the barnacles. There's also one that corresponds to version B that can be found on the profile on the Animal Toy Wiki. It's the one with the gray eyes and the same bright-orange halos around the barnacles found on the version B adult. The one on the right obviously corresponds to the current version.

Imprint (Version A calf)



Imprint (Current version calf)





« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 03:45:18 PM by callmejoe3 »

JimoAi

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2021, 05:58:06 PM »
Do you know which version of the whale shark this is?

callmejoe3

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2021, 06:34:32 PM »
Do you know which version of the whale shark this is?

My best guess is that it's the current revision. I'm basing it off the what the head is painted and how the over finish appears to be matte rather than glossy.

JimoAi

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2021, 05:17:37 PM »
Also, holy 30th anniversary to the first releases

callmejoe3

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2021, 07:39:24 PM »
Also, holy 30th anniversary to the first releases


Yep. The Monterey Bay Aquarium collection's lifetime is very interesting when compared to Safari Ltd's other scaled collections like the Vanishing Wild line and the Carnegie collection, having been discontinued in 2008 and 2015 respectively. It's also more amazing that after 30 years, of the 24 releases, about half of them are still in production if we're assuming the tiger shark and hammerhead have been retired. They've also haven't gotten too many remasters to replace certain animals like the Carnegie collection and Vanishing wild did, mainly just slightly different molds and paint job updates.

It seems like the quality of the Wild Safari couldn't outcompete the MBA line as well as it did with the other two.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 09:59:04 AM by callmejoe3 »

JimoAi

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2021, 04:15:16 PM »
The MBA hammerhead shark is gone from Safari LtD'S website. Has it been retired?

JimoAi

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2021, 06:11:30 PM »
Are you aware that Safari Ltd shows the item production date in the form of 4 digit numbers?

callmejoe3

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2021, 08:57:15 PM »
@JimoAi

It seems to be the case that both the tiger shark and hammerhead seem to be retired, though there's no official word as of yet.

Could you clarify what you mean regarding the production date? Are you referring to the year on the imprint stamps?

JimoAi

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2021, 04:39:53 AM »
For example, this 2016 remastered MBA Manta ray has the numbers '0419' stamped on it, meaning it was produced on April 2019. The first 2 digits are the month the item was produced in and the last 2 are the year. They do also show the date of production in the bags that brand new figures are packed in
 

callmejoe3

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2021, 10:06:33 AM »
For example, this 2016 remastered MBA Manta ray has the numbers '0419' stamped on it, meaning it was produced on April 2019. The first 2 digits are the month the item was produced in and the last 2 are the year. They do also show the date of production in the bags that brand new figures are packed in
 


Ahh that's neat. I just checked my bottlenose dolphin, Giant Squid, and Narwhal since those were the only figures for which I have the new versions. My Bottlenose dolphin is also April 2019 while the Squid and Narwhal are November 2019. I didn't find any on my other figures, so it seems to be something unique to the post-2016 figures.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 11:26:24 AM by callmejoe3 »


JimoAi

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2021, 10:23:35 AM »
For example, this 2016 remastered MBA Manta ray has the numbers '0419' stamped on it, meaning it was produced on April 2019. The first 2 digits are the month the item was produced in and the last 2 are the year. They do also show the date of production in the bags that brand new figures are packed in
 


Ahh that's neat. I just checked my bottlenosed dolphin, Giant Squid, and Narwhal since those were the only figures for which I have the new versions. My Bottlenose dolphins is also April 2019 while the Squid and Narwhal are November 2019. I didn't find any on my other figures, so it seems to be something unique to the post-2016 figures.

 

The older figures have a smaller black 4 digit number. Here's the IC snapping turtle and carnegie tylosaurus for example

JimoAi

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Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium cast variants.
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2021, 01:47:36 PM »
@JimoAi

It seems to be the case that both the tiger shark and hammerhead seem to be retired, though there's no official word as of yet.

Could you clarify what you mean regarding the production date? Are you referring to the year on the imprint stamps?
The tiger and hammerhead are still in production

 



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