Time for another fast, single-figure post. This time featuring one of my favorite models…from a series called My Favorite Animals. Naming the company is awkward…anyway, it is part of the subset ‘Past Works 4, the only figure I have from the sculptor. It’s definitely not a toy, and definitely one of the more obscure figures and series in my collection (among many, of course).
Quite a long while ago I reviewed all of the Chondrostean figures in my collection (at that time), which meant featuring a number of sturgeon and a surprising number of Paddlefish figures (all of them being the American paddlefish except one). This model is an easy stand out–it is a special made resin model from Japan made by a sculptor that, as far as I can tell, makes small batches of animals (often fish and reptiles). I think they are created for expo sales, and then online until the moulds are no longer viable, but it’s not clear. Anyway, the models are very, very detailed and often have very nice, small bases. But the figure itself hasn’t missed any details–the sculpt is amazing, but it’s the little things. The really large opercula, the big gill arches inside the mouth, even the fine detail on the tail fin.
I only have this figure because of another desperate collector–they are expensive and hard to get hold of without help in Japan, so I didn’t really pursue it. But this friend desperately wanted a particular set of Bandai figures, in particular an Irritator from the set–and of course I had it! Selling wasn’t really something I wanted to do, but he suggested a trade…again, not much I wanted but then I remembered this Paddlefish. So, after a convoluted series of events, our mutual friend, in the US, had his contacts, in Japan, purchase and ship the Paddlefish to me, in Canada, while I mailed a set of small dinosaur figures to the other collector, in the UK! It was quite the circuit! Especially considering that years earlier I had received the dinosaur set from Japan myself! This hobby can create all kinds of meetings and swaps like this! That’s part of the fun.
I very much love this figure, and would highly recommend it (if I could find my links…and if it’s available). Of course, it is not easy to obtain outside of Japan, and even there they are limited in quantity. It is a delicate figure, and every time I handle it I am extremely anxious about dropping it (maybe it would be fine…I never want to find out). But it was very much worth it to me, to go through that complicated trade. It’s absolutely not a toy of course…and it still makes me want one of our other companies (I’m thinking Colorata) to make a more commercially available and resilient one. It also reminds me that several years ago Kaiyodo was supposed to release five sets of polyresin models to celebrate an anniversary of the original Aquatales lines…and a Paddlefish was included. But they never released it, and that hurts so much. This model is definitely worth having in the collection, but the cost and accessibility probably makes it limiting for many people–I want to see animals like this in everyone’s hands!