Vault Tales 255 FigureFrenzy Betta, Capybara, Catfish, Wiwaxia, Mammoth+Smilodon

Another FigureFrenzy! And it’s going to be very random…all over the place, really. Little of everything. Although they’re all small, and all part of larger sets so…unifying features?

Marmit World of Tropical Fish Betta

First up, another aquarium fish figure from Marmit, a Siamese fighting fish or Betta. Very familiar species, although the choice of colour palette is…unusual. I can find references to white or pearlescent bettas, but not with that weird longitudinal stripe. It’s possible, I guess, as these fish have been cultivated is soooo many different shapes and colours. Clearly, this is a male, and a domestic one at that (this probably wouldn’t survive in the wild). Given the popularity and familiarity with bettas, I’m surprised that we don’t have a larger number of figures of them (or even an entire series by a Japanese maker) depicting various colours and finnages. As it is, this one from Marmit is one of relatively few, part of their out-of-production Tropical Fish series (I looked at a tetra before). As before, a decent if somewhat simple depiction of a common pet fish; and one that reminds us again that aquarium-type fish are sadly minimal in toy and figure collections.

Safari Ltd South American Animals toob Capybara

Just this year Safari released a South American Animals toob, item number 100684, which was very exciting (the Pirarucu was my main focus) featuring a number of familiar and, generally, famous animals from that whole continent! Or, really, mostly the Amazon or Orinoco. But it does mean we get this nice little Capybara figure. There are quite a few figures of this giant rodent out there now (most are quite recent), but I do enjoy having at least one representative. It’s a nice if somewhat simple version of the animal, unmistakable for any other. I definitely recommend getting the toob set, and it should be easy since it was one of the few releases for 2021 and is of course still available.

Kaiyodo CapsuleQ Museum (Biwako Series) Rock Catfish (xanthic)

A figure that is not still available, from a set that was never all that easy to get hold of, we have a xanthic Rock Catfish from a Kaiyodo CapsuleQ Museum series. There were several sets make by Kaiyodo featuring various regions of Japan. This one is from Series 05, Biwako. And while the Biwako giant catfish Silurus biwako might have been more obvious…they produced the related but smaller rock catfish Silurus lithophilus instead. Maybe because the giant has been made several times before? Either way, it’s kind of fun to get a few Silurus catfish figures, because while common, they are not made very often. The figure I have is 036B from the series–036A is the naturally coloured rock catfish, and has proven very elusive to get (for a reasonable amount). As it is, this is my 2nd xanthic one…my first one arrived to me missing the big lateral whiskers (so it had holes in its face). Glad to have a complete one at least! These are definitely a bit of a pain to track down, but worth it for a different catfish model!

Yowies Lost Kingdom B Wiwaxia

Next up, a Wiwaxia figure from Yowies Lost Kingdom B series (I did a Run the Set of my LKB figures here). It is definitely a stand out figure in the set–if for no other reason than the garish rainbow colours! It’s hard to miss, although maybe, why not? Maybe it’s supposed to be aposematic? Warning away predators because of big spines? Or maybe it just can’t contain how fabulous it is? Either way, one of my earlier Yowies gets, and a nice little one; most of the others I have are larger than this one, so scaling is tricky for scenes if that’s important to you. As I usually mention, the Lost Kingdom Yowies have been unavailable for some time, and getting them now usually involves finding someone in Australia. If you’re going to, I highly recommend just getting the whole sets. Worth it just for the novelties!

Cosmol & Co Woolly Mammoth & Smilodon

Finally, another prehistoric figure–or figure pair, really. This time it’s a diorama from Cosmol & Co from their Mammoth dioramas series. As before, we have a focal point of a big Woolly mammoth, but this time it appears to be stalked by a predatory sabre-tooth cat. Although not specified, that cat is probably meant to be Smilodon, mainly because of the big canines and…being the default species for something like that. As a small sabre-tooth it is okay if non-distinct. It would have been nice if the makers had done a bit of research to make it more clearly like Homotherium; paired with the Mammoth & Calf set (seen here) it might have better reflected fossil finds. The figures are nice enough of course, although a little basic and cartoonish. The inclusion of the diorama bases is also a nice touch. The series is out of production, but honestly, I don’t even know where or when it came from! But I’ve had it for at least 15 years!

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