Japanese Animals (Colorata)

Well, here we are. I’ve reached a big milestone, my 50th review! I want to thank everyone who read, rated and commented on my reviews to this point. I also want to thank bmathison1972 for editing my work. For this milestone, I wanted to cover something well made and on the more expensive side, so I chose the Japanese Animals set by Colorata. Colorata have released several sets of animals, and here is one of the more recent sets, celebrating animals from the land of the rising sun, one of my favourite countries in the world. This is a set with a mix of intriguing and rarely produced species, so let’s delay no longer and dive right in!

  1. The Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) is a smaller subspecies of the Asian black bear that lives on the main Japanese islands. It is at risk from illegal meat trades, and has an important role in spreading seeds of plants far and wide from the parent plant. The proportions and colourations here are perfect, and fairly well detailed fur has been sculpted too. It is a small figure, measuring 2″ long and 1″ high, with a stoic pose of it standing on all four limbs. Nice, but maybe not the most dynamic.

2. The Japanese serow (Capricornis crispus) is one of four serow species, the goat-antelopes that live in Asia. This figure really shows the fluffy nature of the species, which can cause some to think it’s a wolf before you see the accurately small horns, tail and hooves. Again, it’s quite small, at 1.6″ long and 1.4″ high, though this works. It shares the stoic pose as the bear, and the thinner legs can bow a bit if not given space. It’s quite cute.

3. The Misaki horse (Equus ferus caballus) is a small feral horse breed found in Japan found at Cape Toi. The dark brown colouration is perfectly shown here, and the pose is great, as if browsing, quite nice. It measures 2.4″ long and 1.2″ high, making it among the larger figures in the set.

4. One of the sad parts of the set are the endemic Japanese species that are no longer with us. The Japanese wolf (Canis lupus hodophilax) or Honshū wolf was a primitive wolf species that lived in mainland Japan, one of two wolf species there. As a result of hunting, disease and habitat loss, it was extinct by 1905. This figure has the stoic pose, but with a very alert tail. The furs do seem to match the taxidermy specimens very well, perhaps a little gingery in places, but works very well. It measures 2.4″ long and 1″ tall, working well with the figures so far. A beautiful little figure.

5. The Iriomote cat (Prionailurus bengalensis iriomotensis) is a wild cat native to Iriomote Island, and is a subspecies of leopard cat. Human activity on the island means these beautiful cats are in decline, considered to be critically endangered. This shows a very accurate version of the cat’s stripped and spotted pelt, looking absolutely gorgeous here. At a measurement of 1.9″ long and 0.7″ high, this could fit into a lot of lines, with even the stoic pose working here. [Editor’s Note: This is outdated taxonomy used by Colorata. The subspecies P. b. iriomotensis is no longer considered valid; both the Iriomote and Tsushima populations are classified under the name P. b. euptilurus.]

6. The Tsushima leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus) is a species of leopard cat found on the island of Tsushima, is a wild cat the size of a domestic cat, but with rounder ears and greater number of stripes on it’s face, seen well here. The grey striped and spots seen on the cat is very well captured, though could be a bit more brown worked in. The pose works well here, a stalking pose, very nice for a cat. It measures 1.9″ long and 0.6″ high, again, working well with larger figure lines, as it is the size of a domestic cat. Brilliantly done.

7. The Japanese marten (Martes melampus melampus) is an arboreal mustelid, that lives in the forests of Japan, eating all manner of small prey and berries, which are good for seed dispersal and farming by eating pests. This cute little figure shows the orange, brown and white furs seen on the species, perfectly fitting it in fact. It is accurately small, measuring 1,9″ long and 0.5″ high, great for a lot of lines. Cute little fella!

8. Another sad story for this set, the Japanese river otter (Lutra lutra nippon) once lived throughout the rivers of the Japanese islands, until fur hunters and habitat loss reduced it’s numbers to none, going extinct in 2012. This model does see, similar to other river otters, though brown and white do seem to match the taxidermy specimens. It is another small figure, measuring 2″ long and 0.5″ high, again working well with other lines, as the otter was quite small. It seems stoic, but relaxed. I like it a lot. [Editor’s note: This is outdated taxonomy used by Colorata; the Japanese river otter now goes by the name L. l. whiteleyi.]

9. A rather interesting member of the set, the Amami rabbit (Pentalagus furnessi) or the Ryukyu rabbit, is an anachronistic species of ancient rabbit that used to live on mainland Asia, and only exist on two small islands in Japan. This figure shows the traits of the rabbit well, the small ears and dark fur. There are specks of white on the figure represents where the dark fur is broken up by the skin. It is an accurately tiny figure, smallest in the set, measuring a miniscule 0.9″ long and 0.6″ high. Very cute little figure.

10. A rather odd but correct addition, the Russian or Siberian flying squirrel (Pteromys volans orii) are widespread throughout Eurasia, and found in Japan in Hokkaido. This cheerly little chap is in full flight, arms outstretched and flaps taught to capture the wind to carry it away. It measures 1.5″ from nose to tail and 1″ wide, so better with larger figures than it’s own set (unless you are quite into the prospect of flying squirrels the size of bears).

11. And here we are with the birds, starting with the Japanese crested ibis (Nipponia nippon). This species nearly went extinct, if it weren’t for conservation efforts, allowing it to be returned to it’s native home. It is a mix of white and brows, quite accurate to the living animal. It is in a simple standing position, simple but effective. It measures 1.2″ high and 1.4″ from beak to tail feathers, but adds any extra 0.1″ high owing to the stand it has to help it stay upright, of which it fits into very well.

12. Finally, we have the Japanese crane (Grus japonensis) or Red-crowned crane, is a wetland bird, found in the marshlands of Hokkaido. It nearly went extinct in the Meiji period of Japan, but protective measures meant it was able to boom in population. This depicts it’s colouration well, from it’s white and black feathers to it’s red head. It is the tallest figure, measuring 2.1″ high and 1.6″ from beak to tail feathers, adding and extra 0.1″ with it’s base. It struggles to stay in at times, but makes it more stable.

This set, released in 2020, really shows how well Colorata can do, and I see it as a great box of animals, many that are really made into figures. It may be on the pricier side (as with many Colorata box sets) but I think this is a worthwhile buy, from any online store, either the Colorata site or places like eBay. If you see it, grab it.

Once again, I want to thank everyone who has been reading my blogs and leaving ratings and comments. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing them and interacting with the community, and I see no current end in site. Here’s to the next 50 reviews!

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Comments 4

  • In these recent zoogeographic-centric sets, I am finding the quality less than what we are historically used to with Colorata. Still, they have a charm about them (reminiscent of old Play Visions or Club Earth figures!)

    I only have the Tsushima leopard cat from this set in my collection, as it’s the only new ‘taxon’ for me (I put taxon in parenthesis, because the Tsushima and Iriomote leopard cats are now believed to be the same subspecies).

  • Congrats on 50!

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