Review of the complete set of Venomous Spiders
by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. I do not remember the year of release but it must have been during the acquisition of Yujin, since urls for both companies are listed on the paperwork. Kind of a funny name for a set, they could have just called it 'Spiders' since 1) all spiders (except for, I believe, Uloboridae) produce venom and 2) not all the species in this set are venomous for humans!
There are 6 figures in the set, 5 standard and one secret. Unlike most sets from Japanese manufacturers, the species are not specifically Asian or Japanese. They are standard gashapon-sized. All are single-piece PVC. Some come with a habitat-style base of some kind that they can be attached to and removed from. All of the figures have a flat, black, display base that they cannot be attached to (i.e., they sit freely and loosely on it). The display base has the Japanese name, Latin name, and the degree of toxicity on a 1-5 scale represented by skull-and-crossbones.
T-ARTS released a similar set of scorpions (that I am sure I will review soon...).
On to the figures:
1. black widow, Latrodectus mactans
This figure's habitat-style base is a leaf. This is probably the most common spider made at the species level. Other figures have been made by Discovery Channel (Deadly Kiss), Safari LTD (Hidden Kingdom, Smithsonian Insects, Glow-in-the-Dark, and possibly the Good Luck Mini to be released next year), Club Earth, K&M International, and Play Visions, plus several of unknown origin.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
2. redback spider, Latrodectus hasseltii
This is the Australian mainland cousin to L. mactans
. The only other figure I have is by Science and Nature (Animals of Australia). This figure's base appears to be a grate of some kind, or maybe a vent or screen (definitely hints at an anthropophilic association).[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
3. Japanese sac spider, Cheiracanthium japonicum
This is my favorite. Not only because it is a unique species (even at the family level), but I love the base of a rolled leaf complete with its egg sac![You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
4. Sydney funnelweb spider, Atrax robustus
Considered the most venomous spider to humans, this set would not be complete without it! As an Australian species, of course it has been made by Cadbury (for both Australian and UK Yowies) and Science and Nature (Insects of Australia), but the biggest and baddest of them is the large model by Bullyland![You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
5. European wolf spider, Lycosa tarantula
Not really venomous to humans, but it was believed for a long time to be venomous and cause tarantism, which can only be cured by dancing the tarantella. Hence, it has the species epithet, tarantula
, which is now commonly applied to the hairy mygalomorphs in the family Theraphosidae. This is a nice figure, but Papo's figure from 2016 is the best. Also made by Bullyland and unspecified wolf spiders have been made by Club Earth (Spiders to Go), Funrise Toys (World of Nature Insect Collection), and Safari LTD (Cave Dwellers TOOB).[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
6. SECRET, cobalt blue tarantula, Haplopelma lividum
This figure is covered with a light felt-like fabric coating. This species was also made by Club Earth (Spiders to Go).[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]