Back to another very random bunch of figures. Not sure if there is any particular way I can connect them…perhaps, all of them are living animals that could theoretically cause some kind of harm to people that aren’t paying attention? Whatever connects them (it was random) they’re all pretty decent models though!
Play Visions American Badger
First up is a fantastic figures from the company Play Visions, which I have mentioned before as a maker of bin figures (and later box sets) of all kinds of animals. In this instance, we have the American Badger from their “Weasels and Skunks” set. As with many of these sets, there are eight figures in the series, all of which are sculpted very well (although some if their paint jobs are a little off). I am pretty sure that this is the first American badger figure I was able to get, and I don’t think there are a tonne of others (especially compared to the European species–maybe affected by where the companies are often based?) Getting this set was a bit of a challenge–it first came out in 1996, but I wasn’t able to actually get it until the earliest 2000s–when I found an online company (now defunct) that was willing to bring in that series (and the Mongooses & Civets one) so that I could order it! I am especially happy about that since the line, like pretty much all of their best sets, was discontinued soon after. Lots of collectors still want them, but they are not easy to find.
Papo Indian Gharial
Next up, a great Papo model representing what may be the oddest modern crocodile, the Gavial or Gharial. It is part of their Wild Animal Kingdom series, number 50154, released in 2016. It is very well made, and really captures the long, narrow snout and beady little eyes. The paint is well applied and really captures the living animal. Even the rows of small, fish-catching teeth along the margins of the jaw are there. Overall it is a superb figure of a great animal that gets made occasionally but…honestly not very well when it does (for example). So it should be in every collection…which is why it’s terrible that of course it was discontinued in 2020. I would guess that there are still some out there–move fast, because I think they are going to be true collectors items soon enough!
Yujin “Insects Pictorial” Giant Water Bug
Out next kind of scary critter is a Giant water bug from the Insects Pictorial 3 series by Yujin. These bugs are popular as edible insects in parts of their range–and this might be why they also show up as figures in a number of Japanese sets as well. This figure is pretty incredible–the material is a fairly hard plastic material, which makes it almost kind of feel like a solid insect! And the sculpting–I am not an insect expert, but it seems to really capture the tiny details of an insect, with the small joints and mouthparts–and that mouthpart even shows the kind of scary pointy sucking face that is notable for it’s ability to stab prey…and apparently hurts quite a bit if they bite a person. So, nice figure–but, of course, they’re out of production. As always, these sets are limited production, so of course even if you should have one in your collection, it’s going to be tough to find, but could be worth the look.
FameMaster 4D Puzzle Black Bear
Now a more conventionally ‘dangerous’ (in some circumstances) animal, a black bear from the North American Animals set from FameMaster. As always, it’s part of a set of four animals (the moose from the same series can be seen here), number 20156A (the item numbers are based on letters). It makes a really nice figure, and although the seams are visible in a few places, they aren’t too obvious (might help that the rubber is overall black!) The upright stance is actually pretty novel for a black bear figure (brown bears, representing different subspecies and regional forms, are depicted this way more often). It’s a little awkward, but works well enough, and they’re available for people who are interested (but might take some internet searching.)
Safari “Incredible Creatures” Alligator Snapping Turtle
Finally, the biggest figure in the frenzy, which is suitable because small figures don’t really do it justice. This is the Safari Alligator snapping turtle, number 268029 from their Incredible Creatures series, a series well noted for being large, sometimes full scale, soft PVC figures that are generally hollow (at least in the main bodies). The alligator snapping turtle figure is a big figure, but it does seem a little awkward, like the shell is too small for the rest of the body. Something like that–the shell gives a scale of 1:5 or so, but it seems like the head sticks out too far and the tail seems to short. Something like that. But they did do a great job of capturing the heavy head and the pink tongue, which acts as a lure for prey. A nice figure, although too large for most collection shelves, it would be better as a sandbox or other toy. Or would have been. After releasing in 2008, it was discontinued in 2016. A shame, but I’m guessing they’re not too hard to find.