Vault tales 149 – Clades – Salamandroidea

It’s been a while, but here we are with a new Clades post. Since then, I have been reorganizing my database and how the clades are organized. So when this one came up–‘Salamanders’–I realized that I could break that down a little bit. Especially because there are a fair number and this post was going to get hard to handle. So I split things up, into Cryptobranchoidea and Salamandroidea (there’s a 3rd grouping, Sirenoidea, but no figures exist so far. If someone can prove me wrong I’d appreciate it). Salamandroidea won the coin toss. Normally I would have a bunch of discussion paragraphs, but honestly, it seems like there are a lot, and there’s a limit to how much I can say–so it’s going to mostly be photographs. It’s easier, and pictures are more fun anyway. I’ll just have quick descriptions.

Starting with photos by company/source:

I will start with photos by company. First up, we have figures from K&M International, now better known as Wild Republic now. I’m going to start by picturing the figures by company. There are two series here from their Rubber Animals lines; small ones and medium ones (implying a large series, which I can’t imagine the size of since the Medium figures are 17cm long already). They are all a soft rubbery material, and are clearly single molds repainted. But they did come with tags, so the species were easier to determine.

Next we have a variety of figures from two Japanese brands, Kaiyodo (of course…) and Kitan Club. It may seem like I don’t have many Japanese salamander figures…but part of that is the other big clade, Cryptobranchoidea, is far more common in Japan and other parts of Eastern Asia, so those companies are more heavily represented there! All are of course capsule or other Gashapon figures, and all are limited runs.

The next brand represented is from Safari Ltd. Bit of range here, as I have the entire Tennessee Aquarium Salamanders set (a now-discontinued but very sought after set); a one-off special release for Great Smoky Mountains park (that fits right in with the Tennessee set); and a trio of smaller figures from Safari toobs.

Finally, a bunch of figures from random sets and companies, often bin figures or other weird things. There’s also an Animal Kaiser one in here…and I didn’t even realize it had a broken gill filament until I was taking photos!

Now I’ll look at them by approximate scales:

This can be almost as tricky as some identifications! Most of the figures are tough to measure, and for the bin figures I’m just guessing on possible species anyway. Others are closer, and of course the ones from Safari are amazing. The human model is just there to amuse me, since the range of all of them is about 1:5 to 2:1. Probably because most salamandroidea are not particular large anyway!

So there they are, a wide range of figures that I have, representing the Salamandroidea clade of salamanders. It would be nice to say that there are lots of others and I’m just missing them…but that’s only kind of true. There are several more axoltol figures from Japan that I know of (but they’re hard to get). And there are some other fire salamanders out there, by companies like Bullyland–word is, they are even releasing an Alpine Newt later this year, so that’s exciting! And beyond that…there are a number of questionable bin figures, and some other toob ones. Given the diversity of these animals, it would be nice to see more representatives of the group.


So I had most of the photos done. Much of the writing done. And then this pair of salamander figures arrives–and I’d forgotten about them, since I ordered them from Austria in May! And they shipped in June! And I got them…September 30th! So here they are, an Alpine Salamander and a Fire Salamander–both are roughly 1:1 (the Alpine is just a little smaller). And the Fire comes as a blank, black figure–with a yellow paint pen! So you get to make it look however you want! Every one is an art piece! I got my whole family involved with mine. Don’t paint the Alpine salamander though, they actually are pretty much straight black.

These two figures are special fundraisers for the Naturschutzbund Mühlviertel West. They can be found at They are not expensive, but they might take a while to get to you overseas! Totally worth it though, and in support of wildlife and nature no less–and such unique designs! Highly recommend them. It’s kind of nice to be able to say that at least of few of the pictured figures can still be obtainable!

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