It’s been a while since I did a random figure frenzy, but here we are! Five figures from varying companies, of varying quality. And all represent marine animals (although I don’t think they coexist…)
FUL (Nayab?) Sea Cucumbers large & small
First up, a pair of weird little figures that I picked up at various dollar stores! I have looked at a few of these before, and some of the figures feature animals that we’d never expect in a kind of low-end set. The first time I came across them, it was the small figures in bulk bins. It was quite a while ago, and I remember picking them up because I knew my son (quite young at the time) would probably appreciate them. I also remember the clerk at the store giving me a weird look…yeah, like I’d never seen that look before. Later on, I came across what looked like the same figures, but a little larger; some of the models were a little different or different colours. The Sea Cucumbers, though, were pretty much the same, other than size. It was kind of interesting to see these weird echinoderm models; as a group, generally not animals that get made…ever (Yowies did one recently though). The figures are simplistic, but seem reasonably well-made. The sizes are also good for displays and accessories with larger marine animal figures.
Safari Ltd Good Luck Minis Purple Sea Star
Staying with echinoderms! It’s the Safari Ltd Good Luck mini Purple Sea Star, a figure that is still available under item number 344422. The good luck mini figures are often interesting, as they tend to be miniaturized figures of larger Safari models, often with the same (if smaller) details; the paint schemes are sometimes a little lesser. The starfish is a pretty decent model though–lots of detail and starfish anatomy. Even the other side has been taken care of–even the mouth is on there! Like the above sea cucumbers, the figure is especially great as an accessory for dioramas or to associate with larger marine animal figures.
Yowies Series 3 Ringed Pipefish
Staying in the marine realm, but moving on to fish, we have a figure from the original Australian Yowies releases. It was released as part of Yowies Series 3, number 15 in the set of 50 (Series 3 was a big series!) This is one of the many models that I had to track down from the various sets; I was especially inspired to track down the Ringed pipefish as pipefish figures are really, really uncommon as toys and figures, despite their ranged of interesting colours and morphologies. Unfortunately they seem to get overlooked compared to their seahorse and sea dragon relatives. The Yowies figure is a really nice representation, and the Yowies style seems to really bring out a realistic look of a pipefish. Maybe it’s because they’re already a little cartoonish animal, so the animated appearance of Yowies works. It’s unfortaunate that of course these Yowies are no longer made, as they are still the only pipefish figures made (there are actually two different pipefish species…but I don’t have the other one). Definitely worth trying to track one down, but you’ll probably need to find one out of Australia.
Colorata Coral Fish Real Figure Box Spotted Garden eels
Next, we have a wonderful little Colorata model, a trio of Spotted Garden eels from the Coral Fish box set. I have looked at a few other garden eel figures before, and as I maybe noted before, this is probably one of the most common eel figures. Seriously, I have lots of spotted garden eels (and a few other species of garden eel, but not nearly as many). And as with all of the garden eel figures, they are portrayed as rising out of the ground…which is of course representative of the live animal. Being made by Colorata, they are of course very well-made, with the paint and sculpt being expertly done. As far as I know the box set is still available, although not that easy to get hold of (since they’re generally only available in Japan). The set is excellent…but if you need garden eel figures, these are one of many possible models (all of which, I think, are from Japan).
Kaiyodo Takara Choco-Q Animatales 07 Serpentine goby
Finally, we have a very cool fish model from a Kaiyodo Animaltales series. This is one from the later Takara Animatales series. In this instance, it was series 07, number 180 (the Animatales figures are sequentially numbered right from the first set). While concurrent Furuta animal figures (that were, originally, Kaiyodo) were not always at the same level, this Serpentine goby is a proper Kaiyodo figure, and definitely looks the part. Lots of great paint work, and the fins are sculpted beautifully, and even a little translucent. The figure is also essentially to scale, so for all intents and purposes, this is pretty much a great little representation of the real animal. Of course, these figures are out of production, having been released in 2007 or so. Worth looking for if you are into unique fish figures, and who wouldn’t be?