Vault Tales 203 FigureFrenzy Wrasse, Moorish idol, Acanthodiian, Nurse shark, Mammalodon

Going with an aquatic theme today! Mostly a variety of fish, and then one prehistoric mammal as well! Bunch of interesting animals though. Let’s take a look!

Colorata Coral Reef Fish Humphead Wrasse & Moorish Idol

To start with we have two figures from the Colorata Coral Reef Fish box. As it was, the Random Numbver Generator happened to pick two figures from the series, so might as well put them together. The two figures are a Humphead Wrasse (number 07 in the set) and a Moorish Idol (number 09). The former is a very cool fish to see in a set, and while wrasse overall are familiar different species are not commonly made. Moorish Idol, with their distinctive shape and colour, are certainly familiar as reef fish, and show up relatively often as figures. Both of the Colorata figures are of course excellent representations of the species, and are indicative of the quality of the figures in the set. Definitely recommended but of course you have to get them out of Japan.

Unknown maker Acanthodian (Climatius?)

Next is a trio of figures representing an entire group of extinct fish, the Acanthodii. Based on overall appearance they are probably meant to represent Climatius, one of the more familiar species. As a group, they are notable for the series of paired spines along the belly, between the pectoral and anal fins; in the figure, the spines are single. This is probably more for the ease of production. I am not completely sure who actually made this figure; I remember I had a couple from a set of sea animals from about 1987, and when I remembered it I was able to track these ones down again on ebay more recently. Different colours, but same mold, and no indication of the maker. I do know that several of the figures were copies or recasts of figures from a company called Azur or Prior (same figures, different countries…I think) but I don’t recall this one being part of those sets. Definitely one to track down, flaws and all, just because there aren’t many figures made of this short-lived but distinct fossil fish group. It’s often more difficult to search for them as they usually show up in group lots and are not clearly identified. Certainly worth the hunt for a collector of prehistoric animals!

Safari Ltd Nurse Shark

Next we have a more recent, widely available figure, the Nurse Shark from the Wild Safari Sealife series, number 200629. Released in 2015, it’s surprising that this species hasn’t really been made more often. They are quite popular in public aquaria and zoos, and show up all the time in shark books. Yet we’ve never seen a really good one until now, which seems strange. This is definitely a great figure, with a great sculpt and paint job. A major complaint would be that it only has 4 gill slits on both sides…when it should be at 5. Although the fifth one can be harder to see, it should still be visible on a figure that is sculpted well. I suppose someone more talented than me could make the adjustment…but that’s not something I would do. Nice enough model though, and worth adding to a shark collection. At least it’s still readily and easily available!

Yowies Lost Kingdoms B Mammalodon

Finally, getting away from any kind of fish (unless you’re being all phylogenetic…then all vertebrates are fish, etc) we have another Yowies Lost Kingdoms figure. This time the prehistoric baleen whale Mammalodon, number 29 in series B. It’s especially interesting because, out of all the fossil whales this is the only figure made of any of them, other than several Basilosaurus, all of which came later. As with most of the LK Yowies in these series, the figure is a decent representation of a species found in the ‘Oceania’ region, and does decent justice to the animal. It has the usual Yowies features of very visible and loose seams, and a bit of a cartoonish look, but it is unmistakable as a whale. But, it also clearly looks just a little ‘off’ from what we would expect a modern whale to look like. Definitely worth adding to a collection just for being the only prehistoric baleen whale I expect will ever be made! And like most Yowies, the best bet is going to be finding other collectors if you want one!

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