Review of the complete set of Crabs
by Play Visions, Habitat Earth
series (1996). Another in the taxonomically-diverse sets of animals released by Play Visions in the mid-late 1990s.
There are eight figures in the original Play Visions set, although knock-off sets often include a hermit crab that is not included here. At the time, most if not all of these were probably unique but several species have since been made (esp. by the Japanese gashapon-style manufacturers).
Each figure is a solid piece of PVC, approximately 25-30 mm across their greatest widths. They are marked with their common name, year (1996), and traditional PV logo.
On to the figures (in no particular order):
1. Spider Crab, Macrocheira kaempferi
. Possibly the first figure of this species, it is well-represented now thanks mainly to the Japanese companies. I have figures by Epoch, Kaiyodo (Choco Q Animatales, Enoshima Aquarium, and Sendai Aquarium), Kitan Club (Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan), and Yujin. Plus, the Colorata Deep Sea Creatures figure is currently in the mail enroute to me.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
2. Striped Shore Crab Pachygrapsus crassipes
. A unique figure, related to the Sally lightfoot crab which has been made a few times.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
3. Blue Crab Callinectes sapidus
. Several portunid crabs related to this one have been made in figure form, but the only other one that I would comfortably assign to this species is the large figure by Safari LTD (Incredible Creatures).[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
4. Helmet Crab Telmessus cheiragonus
. This to my knowlwedge one of the unique figures.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
5. Purple Globe crab Randallia ornata
. This is another unique one.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
6. king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus
. This is another species that has been made several times by the Japanese manufactures. I have figures by Kaiyodo (Yasei Strap Figure Collection and Hokkaido Figure Winter Collection), Nihon Auto Toy, Epoch (Earth Life Journey), and Yujin.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
7. fiddler crab, Uca
sp. There is not enough detail to assign this to a given species, but among other manufacturers, I have five other species of Uca
so it is reasonable to assume this is probably one of those.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
8. 'pear crab'. This is the most baffling figure. Despite exhaustive internet searches I cannot find a match for this species. Many people in the online toy animal community have attributed this figure to various members of the Porcellanidae, and while I cannot argue with that, I have yet to find a species- or genus-level match. It is extremely well detailed so I am sure it was modeled after something legitimate but what? Who knows what book was referred to when someone said, 'hey make this one' :)
If ANYONE has a good idea, please share your thoughts here! Thanks![You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]