It’ll be a quick look at the figures I have from a set today–two thirds of which I looked at in greater detail once before (when I apparently changed my format!) But always great to look at the history a bit more.
As said before, the series was released as a gashapon set in or around 2007 (that’s close to when I received mine). It was the second of two sets produced by Kaiyodo with the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo. The set includes representation of a number of aspects of science, nature, and history discussed in the museum, but I limited myself to the prehistoric figures–they weren’t easy or inexpensive to get, so I had to make my choices! But given what was produced, the three I have (of nine) were worth the trouble. The others are nice as well of course, if they suit a collector’s interest.
I mentioned before that I obtained the reconstructed Futabasaurus as soon as I could, along with what might be the actual star of the set–the ammonite Nipponites. At the time, there were few ammonites of any kind (a few of which came from Kaiyodo in other sets!) but none of the heteromorphs were produced. So why not bring out what has to be among the most convoluted ones out there!? Of course it’s amazingly well-done. At one point I was fortunate to have two of them (can’t remember how) but the spare found a new home eventually! I might have even obtained that spare at the same later time I was able to get the Futabasaurus skeleton but I can’t remember anymore.
I have already said that the models feature a lot of great, fine detail, giving them life-like poses and paint. The skeleton is displayed in a very dramatic fashion that compliments rather than imitates the reconstruction; and the ammonite looks like a real animal bobbing along. The stony diorama base, and black labelled plinth upon which it all rests, gives the figures an air of elegance even compared to other Kaiyodo from around that time. The material is also softer–while I would be horrified if someone gave these as bath toys, they can certainly withstand handling, and would survive a drop without issue.
I only have the prehistoric representatives from this National Museum set (and only one from the other set, a very different collection) but they are excellent representatives of what the collection produced. I can’t imagine a collector out there that wouldn’t want these on their shelves…but for the most part they’re incredibly hard to come across, and can cost accordingly (although as always surprise and bargains can be found). The good news is that they are unlikely to have any damage to them (maybe the little acrylic peg). There are of course other Futabasaurus figures out there, even if none are quite as nice (again, Japan is clearly proud to have a plesiosaur!) but you won’t find other Nipponites figures. At least CollectA recently produced some small (and large) unique ammonites, so those can kind of compensate (I’m happier having both!)