Well, today is about as random as they’re going to get. All over the place in terms of species, quality, brand, materials…Kind of like my actual collection, it can be kind of all over the place!
Schleich Bayala Arelan Cheetah
Our first figure is a Cheetah from Schleich, but not one of the wildlife figures. This one was released as part of their Bayala Arelan line, item 70442; Bayala is a series of fantasy and mythical figures and the Arelan line was a subset, featuring a number of animals with human companions that were somehow…similar…to their animals. This cheetah came with a woman named Lissa but I have no idea where she went in the house…Anyway, the cheetah figure itself is very well, done, and the design of the figure, in a crouched stalking pose, is fairly unusual. This is actually true of many of the Arelan figures; most have interesting sculpts or poses, making them fairly desirable to animal collectors (it helps that most did not have any ‘extras’ added, like armour). The line is no longer in production, but this cheetah is worth trying to find.
Playmates Dinosaur King Iguanodon
Next, a Dinosaur King figure, from the second wave. Like the rest of that line, these are sculpted a little smaller than the first series, and with a little more finesse. This Iguanodon is not a bad model, fairly representative if basic. Knowing that they are based on figures from a show/game/card set, they definitely capture the artwork of the series (unlike some other models…like the upcoming sturgeon at the end of today’s post!) It is a good figure, if admittedly less exciting than some of the other prehistoric animals in the set. Great for collectors, but the wave two distribution was absolutely terrible, and brief–so finding them is pretty difficult, and there are lots of other people also looking!
3D Printed Milkfish pair
Sometimes the only way to get a figure of a specific species, or even higher order clade, is to have it made. In this case, I wanted some kind of representation of the Gonorhynchiformes (just a thing I do). But there are absolutely none out there. Fortunately, a friend on the Animal Toy Forum had some .stl files, and I was able to get them printed! It was actually the same source for my toadfish figure. The print of the fins was pretty thin…which made it difficult to work with (hence, once has a broken tail fin). I tried my best to paint them like the real animal, and I think I got close despite my dubious skills. I am pretty sure that these files are available online…somewhere…so if you really need your own, you could probably find them. I’m guessing there’s a pretty limited number of people that would need these!
Wild Republic Madagascar Nature Tube Coquerel’s Sifaka
Surprisingly, I haven’t hit upon many Wild Republic figures, despite having a fair number (although far less than I once did–I don’t even have the salmon anymore!) That said, there were several really interesting sets of small and large figures from them over the years (more in their “K&M International” days), and a few recent tube sets have been especially interesting–as an example, their Madagascar Nature tube, 85679. This is one of the few figures I was able to get from that tube, a Coquerel’s Sifaka (and yes, the figure was specific). I especially like that they chose a different lemur for the set, instead of the usual ring-tail (of course there is one, and a ruffed lemur as well). The pose is great for showing how these animals move on the ground, although the figure isn’t very stable (which, actually, Furuta also did but a little more stable). It would be nice to have one in an arboreal pose, but I’ll take it. It was released in 2007, and of course it was discontinued at some point after that, not that it was particularly easy to find. The tube is definitely worth trying to find (the fossa alone makes the search worthwhile) but I honestly don’t know how easy that search would be.
Diramix “Epic Animals” Monstri di Flume Adriatic Sturgeon
Finally, a great figure of a great creature, an Adriatic sturgeon from a Diramix set of ‘River Monsters’ or, in the original Italian, Monstri di Flume. I don’t think I’ve focused on any Diramix figures before (although might have popped up in taxon sets at some point) but they are similar to DeAgostini figures. They are very soft rubber, filled with a gel or beads, and tend to be sculpted in a slightly cartoonish form. I referenced artwork above with the Iguanodon, because both of these companies are notable for very stylized, active illustrations for their series, most of which don’t really see that reflected in the actual figures. Fortunately, a sturgeon is kind of weird so it really suits the style. It’s actually a pretty decent sturgeon model. The figures were released in blind bags of large sets of animals, and later showed up in random lots on places like Amazon under different names. They don’t usually specify what you will get though–a friend actually purchased a number of them that way, and I was fortunate to get some of his spares–like this one! Which is great, I always like to get more primitive fishes!