This ToyTrio is features three very different fish from very different companies…enjoy!
Schleich Sea Animals Blue Marlin
First off, we have a great little figure from the second time Schleich put out marine animals, their blue marlin! Item number 14556, this one came out in 2005 and was the first in the line to be discontinued in 2008. The rest of that series would end in 2009. In a short form it is a really nice figure–very active and well-proportioned. Some elements, like the bill, are a little thick and blunted, and the pelvic fins are sculpted against the belly, but that must be due to it’s purpose as a toy. Compare this to the Colorata marlin, where the bill is super thin, and the pelvic fins are also trailing; of course the latter is not at all meant as a toy.
There are some interesting choices in this figure’s sculpt, especially in the twist of the body–the tail lays almost horizontal. Maybe it’s to work with a scene where it is leaping into the air? Or maybe just to twist fast in the water after prey. Either way, it is pretty active and bright. A definite must-have for fish collectors, from a time when Schleich could do some really interesting things…of course, as mentioned, it is out of production and not always easy to find. Fortunately, there are other marlin figures of a similar size, not that they’re any easier to get…but it does make me wonder why marlin are more common than swordfish as figures?
Colorata Saltwater Fish box Pacific Mackerel
Speaking of Colorata saltwater fish, we have a quick visit with one of the smaller fish in that box, the Pacific Mackerel, number 10. There is so little left to say about these fish figures now (I’ve talked about individuals here, here and here, and looked at the entire box set here). So I will treat them in the Trios from here on in. That said, it’s kind of nice to get figures of ‘normal’ open ocean animals–much of what we see lean towards either the big predators like sharks, whales, or some of the big fish (see above re: marlins), the big weirdos like Molas or rays, or giant squids. It’s surprising how rarely the lower trophic levels are made.
So if someone had to make some, it rightly should be a company like Colorata that will do it justice–there is a lot of colour and detail on this little figure, just as much on their bigger, showier species. To be fair, Kaiyodo or Yujin probably did them too, or something similar, but they’re still not that common…and none of them are all that easily obtainable.
Marmit World of Tropical Fish Rummynose Tetra
This final fish is a Rummynose Tetra comes from the Japanese company Marmit. They produced a World of Tropical Fish set featuring 10 figures plus a secret in multiple colours. By tropical fish, though, they were referring to the aquarium trade definition–in other words, a set of fish frequently seen in aquaria (some more than others…). I may have just said that smaller open ocean fish are uncommon…but the really small aquarium fish are even less frequently seen. Especially once you take away piranhas and…that’s really about it, for fish that are normally seen in fish tanks.
This rummynose tetra is very representative of many of the fish in the set–mostly small species, familiar to aquarists, and very well done. Also, generally larger than real life, for the tetras. Others are of course smaller (there’s a discus, and the secret is the Asian Arowana) or similar to life size (betta, zebra pleco). But in each case they really captured the colour. The figures are single-piece casts made of a soft PVC, with the ‘peg’ molded as part of the body–so they are not breakable, but tend to deform a bit. The bases are a green bottlecap, not sure if that reflects their original distribution. Another neat thing is that ones like the rummynose tetra here are slightly translucent, giving them an even more realistic appearance. The good news is that the set is not well-known but often shows up on ebay and such, and doesn’t have to be too expensive. Definitely worth the search.