Vault Tales 177 ToyTrio Goblin shark, Spinosaurus, Basking Shark

Another weird assortment today. Honestly, I’m going to keep these short. Not that they’re not good figures in their ways, but sometimes there isn’t much to say.

Learning Curve “Dinosaur Train” The Old Spinosaurus

First up, another Dinosaur Train figure from Takara. This time, it’s their take on Spinosaurus from an episode called “The Old Spinosaurus and the Sea” featuring…a Spinosaurus. Next to the sea. As a depiction…it’s not terrible, based on the understanding of the animal at the time. And of course, it is depicted in the style of the cartoon show, which is a show that doesn’t get remembered enough. They introduced all kinds of unusual prehistoric animals…and so many of them never got made as figures.

All I know from this figure…is that the episode featured a Mawsonia coelacanth as well…that never got made as a figure. Which is disappointing. I am sure that out of all of the coelacanth figures I have, at least one of them might work…but they don’t look right. I think I have this one around because my son saw it for sale and wanted it…honestly not sure what else I can say about it!

Nayab Basking Shark

Next up, a strange shark figure from a strange company. I don’t think I’ve had a Nayab figure show up more than once, at least not of the larger figures. Like that Postosuchus, this Basking shark is a hollow-cast PVC figure. Sometimes they are sold under different names as well…I think this one came in a box marked Lontic. They tend to be decent figures, if not exactly ‘museum quality’ but better than the normal dollar-store level figure. This one was part of a box set, one of two, of a variety of shark figures, many of which are pretty distinctive (as opposed to some figures that appear to be poor copies of Safari figures…for example). The funny thing is that it was found at an agricultural hardware store! They bring in random things every Christmas season, and one year it included shark figure sets! Score! Sadly, they don’t seem to do that as much anymore.

As a figure, representing a giant shark, it isn’t bad, as I said. It doesn’t quite come across as realistic as some of our current ‘great’ companies, but it is still a nice one. The sculpt is a bit rough, and the paint job is also a bit flat–there isn’t much nuance to it, but it’s alright. At least they gave it five gill slits (something that gets missed surprisingly often). And it’s a male based on the pelvic claspers. Overall, a good figure for playing with, but also a decent collectable. Nayab figures seem to appear sporadically, and it’s hard to pin down where they might be available. But…they should be, somewhere?

Kaiyodo Dydo-Miu Deep Sea Odyssey 1 Goblin shark

Finally, we have yet another Kaiyodo figure, this one from a set I haven’t visited yet, the Dydo-Miu Deep Sea Odyssey series. Specifically series number 1, this goblin shark is number 07 in the series. I think this was the first bottlecap series I was aware of, where the figure come with some kind of cap as a base, I think in conjunction with a drink as a promotion (I looked it up, Dydo does drinks among I’m sure other things). This series came out around the same time as the initial Animaltales, Aquatales and Dinotales–it looks like Kaiyodo got heavily into awesome animal figures that were somehow tied with merchandising around the latest 90s/early 00s. Which meant great figures for collectors if you could find them outside of Japan.

As with many Kaiyodo figures of the era, this one has a lot of detail crammed into a small figure–the Deep Sea Odyssey figures are all single piece PVC, so they are also not breakable, which is great. It also means no small pieces to lose (although the mounting rods are tiny, and I suppose could get lost). As far as figures of goblin sharks go, at the time there was not much; as I said, this was my first one, although I was able to get the Play Visions one soon after. Now, there are several in all kinds of sizes, but they were never common before Japanese companies produced all sorts of them. Many are very well done, but something that still keep this Dydo-Miu figure near the top of the list is the base–it is simple, but for swimming animals it really is very effective, and the design has some detail without being too much (too plain). Although of course long out of production, I think this figure, and the others from the set, are fairly easily available on the usual auction sites, and don’t seem to cost as much as some of the other Kaiyodo figures of the era–maybe the non-breakable material helps?!

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