Vault Tales 219 FigureFrenzy Cockatoo, Coyote, Eel, Goblin shark, Wakaleo

Back to a randomized figure frenzy. And this one is very, very random! A lot of these will also be pretty quick…sometimes there just isn’t much to say…

Safari Ltd toob Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo

First up we have a Sulfur-Crested cockatoo from Safari toobs. It has actually shown up in at least two toobs. The first one I got was in the Land Down Under toob, number 681404 (back when the toob came with a human figure as well!). The second one I have, which is painted with less detail, is part of the Exotic Birds toob, number 680404. Judging by the numbers, they were probably released at similar time (indeed–Land Down Under was 2004; Exotic Birds was 2006) but I added them to the collection in a much larger time interval. Which is probably why the figure from the later toob is not painted as well (a common issue–always try to get first-run Safari toobs!). As a cockatoo figure it appears to be pretty accurate. Nice enough at least. Both toobs are still available, so there are still at least a couple ways to get the figure!

Ausini Coyote(?)

Next up, we have another mini figure from the Ausini series. I have referred to it as a Coyote although on closer inspection, it might be more like a wolf. That’s the trouble with these sets, they are kind of generic and yet specific at the same time. At the very least, this is a wild canid of some kind–I suppose it could stand in for a few different animals. Which is also a good feature; at their small size, they can be used to round out a display or diorama as a background animal depending on what you need! I have never been able to determine if the set is still available–not sure if this dog is all that motivating, but there are others in the set that make it interesting.

DeAgostini “Piranha & Co” Longfin Eel

Okay, so here’s a way more interesting figure, and I don’t think I’ve touched on this type of figure before. It is a stretchy figure from an Italian company called DeAgostini (one of several companies that make similar products). They are released as blind bag figures with broad themes, and often their artwork does not live up to the figure…in this instance, this eel is part of a set called Piranha & Co, featuring a number of ‘scary’ fish, both freshwater and marine. An odd thing is that they produce artwork that is very distinct and labelled to species…but the figures don’t often live up to it. This figure is referred to as an “electric eel” but…seriously? It has a dorsal fin, for one, and the face is clearly modelled after a true eel. I have gone with New Zealand Longfin Eel as it appears most similar to a ‘freshwater eel’ species, and something about the head and fins pointed vaguely in that direction; again, they aren’t clear. They are fun figures though, and make a wide range of species in their sets for those looking for something different. Worth trying to get (although some are very, very hard to get outside of Italy and nearby areas); I think there may be reselling of similar figures on Amazon, and I may have received mine as trades from someone that got theirs that way. I don’t know if the Piranha & Co set is still being made, but take a look–again, that company does some crazy stuff!

Takara TOMY 3D Capsule “NHK Deep Sea Sharks” Goblin Shark

Next up, a very cool Goblin shark figure. For once, it is a figure with the protruding jaw that actually makes sense, as it is in the process of eating a small…fish? I think? Normally, goblin shark figures demonstrate the weird, extended jaw in a non-attacking animal, so it’s an excellent way to show this bizarre shark. It’s a well-made depiction, although some of the seams are more obvious than they should be; definitely more than expected from a company like Takara. The figure is the secret or chase figure from the Takara TOMY 3D Capsule Encyclopedia “NHK Deep Sea Sharks” series, a set with some unique figures for sure (the only definite sixgill, for example!) There are several Takara sets that include goblin sharks, most of which are closed-mouth; I didn’t get that figure from this set but I do have them from others. I would hazard a guess that I only managed to get this one in a bulk lot of figures from a Japanese auction. Purchasing chase/secret figures from sellers that know what they are usually costs too much! I highly recommend the various Takara sharks and other deep sea fish figures, but of course they are currently unavailable. It isn’t uncommon for them to re-release the figures in later sets so maybe we’ll see them come out again?

Yowies Lost Kingdom Wakaleo

Finally, we have another figure from the Yowies Lost Kingdom sets, this time number 4 from series C. It is the Wakaleo figure, which is especially interesting because we rarely get marsupial lion figures at all; and in those rare instances it is usually the primary one Thylacoleo so at least there’s a way to get this more gracile genus (or…was. Because of course they’re long out of production). As a model, it is a decent representative, with the distinctive marsupial lion face, and the the unfamiliar body proportions (the head seems small…but that appears to track with the skeleton). By this time, Yowies had also really learned to hide the seams on the figures, (it snaps along the midline instead of at the limb joints) so it seems less jarring, except at the neck. I have of course said it many times, but a lot of these prehistoric Yowies figures are definitely worth trying to get hold of, but it will generally take a contact in Australia to do so. So you should probably get a whole bunch at once, make that postage worthwhile!

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