Today we are looking at the fourth figure in Kaiyodo’s Revogeo line, following the emperor scorpion (2019), red-clawed crab (2019), and Asian giant hornet (2020). The subject of today’s review is the Japanese giant water bug, Kirkaldyia deyrollei (historically referred to as Lethocerus deyrollei). This giant belostomatid occurs throught much of East Asia, including eastern China, the Amur region of Russia, the Korean Peninsula, Indochina, and Japan. They live in still freshwater, including lakes, ponds, marshes, and rice paddies. They are voracious predators on almost anything they can get ahold of, including aquatic insects, small fish, amphibians, and even snakes and young turtles.
Being a Revogeo figure, this specimen of K. deyrollei is very large and articulated. The figure measures 14.5 cm long, making it approximately 3:1-2:1 in scale. There are multiple points of articulation, including the base of the head and the base and femur-tibia junction of each leg. The pro-mesothorax junction swivels very slightly. As to be expected with a figure by Kaiyodo, especially one of this size, the sculpt and paint application are absolutely unbeatable.
The figure comes with two base options. One (shown in some of the pics here) includes a large flat acrylic base with a swiveling arm that allows the figure to be displayed at various angles. The figure connects to the arm of the base by a small hole. The other base (not shown) is much smaller and has a single, short, straight peg and can display the figure in a horizontal position slightly above a shelf or whatever it is sitting upon; this smaller base also has a magnet, so the figure can be displayed vertically on a metal surface, such as a refrigerator door.
One of the coolest things about this figure is an ‘accessory’ that comes with it, the nymph of the lesser emperor (Anax parthenope julius), a dragonfly in the family Aeshnidae. Anax parthenope occurs throughout much of the Palearctic, but this particular subspecies is endemic to East Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, southern Far East Russia, and South Siberia. It too is a voracious predator, feeding on aquatic invertebrates, small fish, and tadpoles. Nymphal development last approximately two years.
This additional figure is designed to be displayed as the water bug’s prey, but it is cool enough to stand on its own! It has a body length of 10.0 cm, for a scale of 2:1 on average. Several points on the figure move slightly, but the only points of articulation are the base of the legs (it would have been cool if the mouthparts extended!). Like with the larger water bug, the sculpt and paint are beyond reproach.
This is an absolutely amazing pair of figures, but because of the size, cost, and the articulations, are best for serious collectors, and not toys to be played with. They probably appeal to those who like a lot of taxonomic diversity in their collection, or like larger museum-quality models. If you want a Japanese giant water bug in your collection, but don’t want to invest in this particular figure, Kaiyodo made three smaller versions of this species, and Bandai and F-toys each made one (the Bandai figure comes with a frog ‘prey’). Yujin made a very realistic figure in the 1:1 scale range, and it’s probably the best of these ‘smaller’ figures. However, if you go with any of these latter options, you miss out on the Anax nymph ;-). Speaking of which, A. p. julius has received even less attention in toy/figure form than K. deyrollei. DeAgostini made one for their World Insect Data Book collection (the only non-beetle in the Japanese release of the series) and Break Co. Ltd. made one as well (the latter of which wasn’t marketed at the species level and the ID is mine).