FaunaFigures Fishes are back! And a personal moment…

Good news for fans of fish models! The FaunaFigures Fishes are back! Same philosophy, new style, more exclusive production! And a new logo!

The fish was drawn by my niece, based on a photo of my actual pet Polypterus delhezi!

After a hiatus (for varying reasons), we revisited and realized that we wanted figures that better represented the subjects, and more time to produce each one well! But more importantly, there were still so many fish still out there to do, ones that need more attention!

So the good news is that there will be new models, larger ones with more details. A little more production value will also go into the packaging and info cards.

And we’ll be including prehistoric ones too*!

As before the models are sculpted, hand casted and hand-painted by Brandon DeMoss, who also produces the Obscurus line of models (which are also coming back in a cool way!).

And as before, the figures will be a lightweight resin model. So they are not toys (unless you’re very gentle. It’s up to you). Definitely not bath toys.

But on the less good news side…these models will also be limited to small runs of roughly 20. After that, we will move on, maybe revisit it much later if demand requires, although they will probably end up looking different. It gives us a chance to adjust and change as we go. And, yes, the price will be a little higher, but we think they’re worth it.

But enough words–what is the first new model?

Of course it’s a revised bichir. You saw the new logo, right!?

It’s a bichir species, but this time it is what may be the fanciest of them, Polypterus ornatipinnis, the Ornate bichir! A personal favorite that I kept for many years…and will hopefully do so again someday.

For an idea of the changes from the original Senegal bichir to this one:

P. ornatipinnis at top, P. senegalus at bottom

Complete with Lego brick, a pretty universal item that should give an idea of size! It’s the standard on the STS Toy animal collecting forum!

Note that not only is the new figure bigger, the pose is far more dynamic. It better reflects the active, curious way these fish prop themselves up on the bottom of streams, ponds and aquariums (!) to take note of their surroundings and look for food!

P. senegalus to left, P. ornatipinnis to left

Top view, to really give a sense of the difference in these models.

But on the note of more bichir models…why bichirs? I know that there are so many other fish out there, but these ones have fascinated me since I noticed my first one in a fish store…several decades ago. I can even remember the tank! It contained a gar (probably a needlenose gar, a type of freshwater needlefish), a spiny eel (fire or tiretrack are the most likely species) and a bichir–Polypterus senegalus to be exact (although it was labelled as ‘palmas’ because for the longest time, on the few occasions a bichir was in a store, it was always called that, and was always wrong). I spent a long time researching whatever  could–in the pre-Internet days. There wasn’t much.

Author’s diorama rendering that store tank. Using various models from my personal collection–Play Visions spiny eel, MPC Needlefish,, and FaunaFigures Senegal bichir! All of these are discontinued models…

Eventually, I worked in pet/fish stores and was able to recreate a community sort of like that…and a lot of others. I also took the opportunity to educate and excite others about bichirs and what wonderful aquarium pets they make! They get big (30 cm to 90 cm depending on species), and they’ll eat small enough fish, but otherwise are very hardy, mostly peaceful, and really fun to watch skulk around. And taken care of well, they’ll live for several years–who wouldn’t want that? I had some that eventually outgrew me–that were donated to a museum for a display. They did die eventually, but I estimate they were roughly 15-20 years old each at the time (I got them as partially grown fish, not babies).

So now I want to take my passion for these, and other weird fish, and raise some awareness, and get other people interested! I hope you like the figure, and are excited to see what comes next. And if there are species (living or extinct) that you want or need to see, contact me on the Social Media channels or in an email…can’t promise when it will happen, since the list is long already, but we don’t want to miss anything!

The product page can be found here.

*the next model is the first prehistoric model, and it’s already sculpted with some photos on Twitter! If you follow Fauna Figures there you might have seen it…it’s really neat!