Vault Tales 197 FigureFrenzy Japanese weasel, Sidneyia, Marine iguana, Fukuiraptor

Today’s newest Figure Frenzy is a bunch of random figures again! So much fun! This time, though, we have two from Safari, and two from Kaiyodo–demonstrating some variety in on what those companies can do.

Kaiyodo ChocoEgg Animatales Japanese Weasel

First we have a figure from the Kaiyodo ChocoEgg Animatales series, the Japanese weasel. It was part of the 4th series, from 2000. It is #97 in the series, when the figures were still focusing on Japanese fauna. I was very excited to discover a species like this, especially back then when a lot of my collection was focusing on mammals, especially carnivorans. And back then, there were not a lot of figures, beyond the usual big cats and wolves, plus a few others. So finding out there were all kinds of less common species made in Japan, I had to jump on this! And a few others of course. Okay, quite a few others. These early Animatales figures were similar to Yowies, in that they were made of pieces; but they are less cartoonish, and the seams are also blended better. Great small figures, and it’s too bad that they are of course long out of production.

Safari Ltd Cambrian toob Sidneyia

Next up, another figure from the Safari Cambrian toob (they can be found among this search). This one is the Sidneyia figure, an unusual figure of an unusual arthropod. No other figure of this species has been made, and this is a weird one. It’s a decent figure–one nice thing about inverts, it’s at least possible to have a decent grasp on the appearance. A slightly odd thing is that the figure is painted entirely gold…which is a weird choice I think. That was kind of an issue with all of the figures, the sculpts were well made, but the paint jobs were a little lacking; either a little too monochromatic, or kind of bland. But with the toob still available, and including some unique models, it is still worth tracking down.

Safari Ltd Incredible Creatures Marine Iguana

Another Safari Ltd figure, this one from the Incredible Creatures line. These figures are notable for being a softer, often hollow PVC-type material, and for generally being larger than the the standard series figures. In many cases, this means that the figures are nearly life size, but sometimes that would be crazy. For example, with a figure like this Marine Iguana model (item 262329), which is large (compared to, say, their toob version) but even at 29cm long, it’s still roughly 1:5 scale. It a great model, and really benefits from the larger figure size, as they can really bring out the textures, spines and scales of the real animals. Models like this are great as toys as well, but can be trickier for collection displays–because they are quite large. There are a lot of figures in the series, so shelves could get very full very fast! Not that it keeps me from having a few of those anyway (the marine iguana is stored though). I highly recommend the figure for any reptile fan, but of course this one is discontinued. Bet you could find one fairly easily though.

Kaiyodo CapsuleQ Dinos of Japan Fukuiraptor

Finally, an awesome small Kaiyodo dinosaur from a more recent series, the CapsuleQ Excavation Dinosaurs of Japan. This was a series of 5 really cool models for an expo in Japan from around…2015? Maybe? A couple were reinvented versions of figures Kaiyodo had made before (their Therizinosaurus revisit is excellent). This Fukuiraptor was a new model, although of course the species has been made by many Japanese companies, as well as by Kaiyodo for different series. Of course it’s exciting for them to have a theropod of their own (the same has been true for their other big reptiles). This figure is one of the newer representations of Fukuiraptor and is fairly modern, although there is no apparent feathering, which at this point we should expect manirpatorans to have feathers (again, that Therizinosauruswas resculpted to be feathered). I would still really recommend this model, but again, it was only available for a short period of time and that was years ago…and from what I’ve seen, it can be kind of expensive now. Which is why I always try to jump at Japanese figures as soon as they come out (learned that lesson the hard way a few times)!

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