Vault Tales 120 ToyTrio Vauxia, Reef Manta, Paradisefish

Here we have another ToyTrio, with a chance to revisit a figure from an earlier, revisit a set I mentioned once, and visit a set I’m very fond of for the first time!

Safari Cambrian toob Vauxia

This first one is a look again specifically at the Vauxia figure from the recent Cambrian Life toob from Safari Ltd, item number 677104. We visited this figure early on in my very first clades post on the Porifera near the start of the blog. It’s hard to say much about it, to be honest. It is a very nice representation of one of the simplest animals to have evolved, so there’s that. I might take issue with the very simplistic colour scheme though–the figure is a flat solid blue, with only the holdfast being painted a plain brown (unless that’s meant to be the seafloor…it’s pretty vague). There seems to be a range of Vauxia morphology, so at least they went with a fancy branching one.

I really don’t have a lot more to say about the figure. It’s pretty basic, and would make a good background for a scene from the Burgess Shale or other Cambrian sites. So I can say that this figure alone is hardly worth hunting down, but getting the whole Cambrian toob is definitely worth your time. I have lamented many times, just how many of the really interesting Safari prehistoric toobs have been discontinued; so far we still have the Cambrian one, but I would suggest getting it sooner rather than later! We don’t see enough figures of this very early life.

Colorata mini Reef Manta Ray

Next we have a figure that I didn’t even expect to get! It is a very tiny reproduction of a Colorata manta ray, but I didn’t order it. Instead, A friend had sent me several Colorata box sets from Japan, from one of their public aquaria. In each (sealed) box, there was a tiny bonus Colorata figure. I had seen them before on Aliexpress but didn’t know what they were–apparently, they were hidden extras in some boxes. There were several boxes, and a variety of animals–all marine creatures, which is logical given the source (unfortunately I don’t recall which public aquarium). I actually got two mantas, plus a seal, shark and coelacanth (!) but a friend has the other one now.

The figure, despite a tiny size of about 4cm across the wings, has all of the details of a larger figure. I can even be fairly confident in assigning the species to Mobula alfredi (as opposed to Mobula birostris) based on the large number of spots on the ventral side, as well as the markings on the dorsal (which aren’t exact). There’s a good chance that the original design was just randomly assigned, since I don’t think the two species had been separated when Colorata made the model. It is, however, pleasing to have a tiny little figure like this of such a neat species, although I couldn’t begin to tell you how to get this one…visit Japanese aquaria, buy lots of Colorata boxes? That’s on my list of goals at least.

Yujin Round-tail Paradise fish

It’s hard to believe that this is only the second time that one of the fish figures from the Yujin Freshwater Fish series come up. I have so many figures from the sets, and there are so many of them, you’d think more would show. Anyway, this Yujin series has quite a history for me. And this particular fish turned out to be a royal pain in the neck as well. This model is number 10 in the series, released as part of “Book 1” and it turns out that mine is from the original release of the figures. For that set they were released as a ‘Taiwan goldfish’ AKA Paradise fish. However, a quick look indicates that this can’t be right, even thought the associated info paper even said Macropodus opercularis. I was familiar with the species from my pet shop days, and the most obvious thing is that the tail is wrong (it should be forked).

One thing about the Yujin fish series…they came out several times (at least four releases for book 1), and I knew which one mine is, based on the info paper. During my quixotic quest to do reviews of at least one representative of each figure in both Freshwater fishes series for the Animal Toy Forum and STS forum, I did enough research to realize that Yujin had relabeled the figure to better reflect the species they had made! By the second release (not the re-release of the first release…) it was labelled M. chinensis, which is now synonymous with M. ocellatus–the Round-tail Paradise fish. This is just the kind of lunacy that collecting figures like this has given me–I personally love these little rabbit holes of knowledge that I sometimes fall down. As for the figure–it’s bright, it’s very representative, and it’s an unusual species as a figure, so I highly recommend tracking one down. Not easy, but not that hard either. And now I’ve even saved you the trouble of sorting out its identification!