So here’s a bunch of random figures today…sometimes the random generator is really, really random! So let’s get random! One thing…every figure that is in a numbered set is number 04…and the one that isn’t is a set of 4! And I’m putting this up on March 4! Spooky numbering, and entirely coincidental!
Safari Safariology Luna Moth life cycle
First off, we have another Safari life cycle from their Safariology science series, number 663516. This one features a Luna Moth, a large, distinctive moth species notable for its big greenish wings with spots. I’ve actually interacted with these before; once I came across a big one that let me pick it up…it flew off and was subsequently eaten by a kingbird (it was a weird morning). Anyway, the series is an interesting one, with the figures all very close to at-scale sizes (again, big moths). They are of course very nice figures, and it’s great to see a moth get some attention instead of always butterflies. But this is more something that my kids were/are into than me. For entomophiles, this set is unfortunately discontinued, but I’m betting it is findable still.
Colorata Scalloped Hammerhead sharks (two versions)
Next we have two slightly different versions of the same species by Colorata. Both are intended to represent the Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, a species that is familiar due to its broad, flat head and its popularity as a figure (I think it may be more common than the larger great hammerhead, when the figures are named to species). The first one produced is a little larger, and was part of the first attempts by Colorata to make animal figure sets. Rather than the now-familiar lunchboxes (the Real Figure Box series), they had small themed tubs released in about 2002; the Ocean Kingdom tub included several species that would show up in later Colorata sets but with different sculpts and paint jobs (some species only showed up in the Ocean Kingdom tub…getting those is why I also have the hammerhead). The figure in the tub set is a little larger, with lighter paint, and less care in the detailing, specifically around the eyes and face. That said, for what was meant as a general interest toy box, it’s pretty nice. The set was discontinued in 2004 when the Sharks of the World box was released; the hammerhead in this set, number 04 in that set, is painted more carefully, and a little shorter, but otherwise excellent. I recommend either figure for any shark fan, but you’re more likely to find the still-available lunchbox of course (still hard to get outside of Japan though).
Yujin Freshwater Fish Pictorial Book (revised reissue) Rainbow Trout
Next we have another figure from the Yujin Freshwater fish sets, this one from the revised reissue of book one (it’s a headache keeping track). The Rainbow Trout is number 04 in series two, and I think the only actual trout in a series with a whole lot of salmonid fish (mostly otherwise salmon and especially char). Really, trout ‘proper’ are surprisingly uncommon as figures, and despite being a fairly ubiquitous fish (due to their natural range and widespread introduction) rainbow trout are not seen as toys that much. There was one from Replica Toy Fish…and I think as far as reasonably available-at-some-point, that’s it. As figures, they are of course well done and reasonably realistic (although I did just notice the white margin on the paired fins, a char trait). The stand gives some nice action to it as well. It is great to see a well-known freshwater fish available, and despite being unavailable (after, like, four separate releases so far!) they can be found for reasonable prices in secondary markets. Just be aware that different releases have slight variations in colours; the revised/reissued tend to be bolder. It is nice that they are unlikely to be broken, due to the single-piece and the soft material.
Colorata Marine Mammals 2 Beluga Whale
Finally, still in the aquatic realm, another Colorata figure, this time their Beluga Whale from the Marine Mammals 2, number 04 in that series (again, all 04 today!). I am not sure why the set is ‘2‘. Unless the initial release was like the Sharks one mentioned above; when first sold, the sets came with their wide range of species, but there were two of most of the smaller ones. They stopped doing that some time after I got the Sharks one…maybe the same was true of the marine mammals? As it was, I received it with a bunch of others from a friend in Japan (the easiest way to get them). Honestly, I enjoy the figures, and they are great and well done, but marine mammals (it is surprisingly light on whales, with a few of every major group) are less my thing than sharks. Still, a nice set with some good figures, and the beluga is a good representation. Another recommendable set!