Today we are looking at the third release in Kaiyodo’s Revogeo line, the Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia. The Revogeo figures are large, articulated, and (to date) all arthropods. Endemic to Southeast Asia, eastern Russia, and Japan, V. mandarinia is the world’s largest hornet. It gained some attention here in the U.S. in late 2019 when a population apparently established itself in Washington State. Of course, the media had to make a mountain out of a mole-hill, and dubbed them ‘murder hornets’, as ridiculous as a name as calling the European-African honey bee hybrids ‘killer bees’. That being said, queens and workers (which are also females) can give a very painful sting and in sensitive induvials, have been known to kill people after multiple stings. Like many other hornets, V. mandarinia is a eusocial insect with colonies consisting of a queen, drones (reproductive males), and workers (sterile females).
Now on to the figure. Like other Revogeo figures, it is large, very well-detailed, and articulated. The figure measures about 14.5 cm in its resting pose (not including appendages), making it about 3.5:1 to 4.1:1 in scale for a worker. The figure comes with two sets of wings, one for displaying in a resting pose and one for displaying in-flight. There is also an acrylic base with two rods; one rod is straight for supporting the model in its resting post, while the other rod is longer and articulated for displaying it in a flying pose. There are also extra ball joints for the articulations in the legs.
Here is the figure in resting pose:
Here is the figure in-flight, which is how I will be displaying it, at least for the foreseeable future:
There are many points of articulation with this figure, several more than the first two models in the series:
- juncture of head and prothorax
- both antennae
- both mandibles
- 12 points in the legs (the base of each leg and the femur-tibia juncture)
- juncture at thorax and abdomen
- base of wings
- 4 points in the abdomen
- a retractable stinger (it’s cool – you pop open the last abdominal segment and slide the stinger out! Very creative in the part of the design team!)
I am going to let the pics speak for themselves. The level of detail is beyond incredible, even down to the reflective eyes with pigmentation (wow!) and the (gasp!) accurate wing venation!
Here is the stinger, out and ready for business:
Look! Accurate wing venation! Something companies rarely make an effort to get right:
You can display it with the mouthparts closed:
…or open (notice the detail given to the maxillae and labium!):
The Asian giant hornet is no stranger in figure form, at least among Japanese companies. This is my ninth representative of this species, and my third by Kaiyodo. I also have figures by Epoch (including a life cycle set I plan to review some day for the blog), Rement, Yujin, Shine-G, and Subarudo, plus I have another coming later this year by Bandai. Because of the size and cost of this figure, in addition to the articulations, it is likely only to appeal to serious collectors, especially those like me with a predilection towards insects. If you want a smaller figure just to represent the species in your collection, I recommend either of the two smaller figures by Kaiyodo (Choco Q Animatales or Capsule Q Museum – Sanitary Insect Pest Exhibition) or the one by Yujin.