Vault Tales 114 ToyTrio Liopleurodon, Water Monitor, Rhino Iguana

This one is a new Toy Trio, a model I’ve used only once before. A chance to look quickly at a few figures that were picked by the Random Number Generator, but might not warrant a full on post on their own. It’s also a chance to work through the list a little faster…there’s about 3900 items still on there (give or take some doubles or skips) so I’m not running out anytime soon!

Kaiyodo Dinotales S1 Liopleurodon

It hasn’t even been that long since I pictured this figure with a whole bunch of its brethren in a post about the pliosaurs in my collection. And I already talked about the later revised brown version of this model waaaay back near the beginning of this blog. It’s funny, given how many prehistoric Kaiyodo figures I have…and how many Kaiyodo figures overall I have…that the two versions of this one came up long before a lot of others. But anyway…it doesn’t leave much to say about it. This one is number 11 in the Dinotales Series 1.

I can say that I received this one a few years before I received the S2 is a random lot of figures. My first impression was that it was way to skinny and dolphin-like. Probably because Liopleurodon was only familiar to me through a certain BBC documentary program. Looking again, I can see how this figure hews pretty closely to other detailed reconstructions; the light blue with white counter-shading is reminiscent of some whales or dolphins, but is still nice and original. As always, an excellent figure from an excellent line. Not easy to find, but as far as they go, I don’t think they’re too outrageously hard to get (helps that there are no small bits to fall off, but it’s still breakable).

Yujin Lizard Pictorial Book Water Monitor

Next up we have one of two lizard figures from a Yujin set called Lizard Pictorial Book. This was a common name for sets of all kinds of gashapon sets from Yujin featuring different animal groups. The set, I believe, contained 24 figures or so (depending on how many secret chase figures existed), in this case a variety of lizards. I don’t know when exactly it came out, but the two I have are from the early 2000s, so probably around then. It’s not an area I have a lot of expertise in, but I am pretty sure the animals were unique sculpts at the time; it’s possible they’ve been reused or re-released later. The water monitor here is number 08 in the series.

The water monitor was one of the figures I chose because it just looks so cool! Yujin did an amazing job capturing the detailed pattern of this animal. As I have said, while I like lizards, I don’t have huge number in my collection. No particular reason, just have to pick some things over others? Most likely I was making a purchase through a Japanese source and saw some opportunity. They were relatively inexpensive at the time, so that probably helped. The set is of course discontinued now, but unlike contemporary Kaiyodo or even Yowies, they are soft PVC, similar to Play Visions (more on that in a moment…), so they are more likely to hold up over time without breaking or losing pieces.

Yujin Lizard Pictorial Book Rhino Iguana

My other Yujin lizard is a rhino iguana, number 11 in the series, and it is likely the reason I have these lizards at all. Back as a kid, I used to watch a local program called Monty’s Travelling Reptile Show. It was on all the time, and featured a guy (named Monty, naturally) who had…reptiles…and showed them. And he traveled with them, but not on the show (he passed a few years ago, but his travelling show lives on). Instead he would just bring out various reptiles from his collection and talk about them. And one of his stars was Teebo, a Rhino Iguana! So when I saw a chance to get one for my shelves, I jumped at it. It’s like a little piece of my childhood!

The figure itself is also very well, done, with some really nice shading and washes. It is not, however, unique. One thing about Yujin figures is that they will definitely reuse models, or mix and match from sets (this happens with their fish for sure). In this instance, the sculpt is the same as the one from the Play Visions Exotic Lizards set–but painted better. I honestly couldn’t say which one would be easier to find anymore. Another thing about the Yujin lizards is that they are all the same size, which means that scales are all over the place. I just happen to have two that, measured nose to tail, are very close. If that matters it might affect the ones you want (they range from geckos to Komodo dragons) but if the chance comes up, I’d recommend them.

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