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 Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)

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bmathison1972

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PostSubject: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyMon Jan 09, 2017 1:15 am

Toy Major Butterflies

Review of Butterflies produced by Toy Major in 1996. OK, butterfly sets have been made multiple times. Club Earth did a set, Safari LTD did at least three (Collectors Case, Authentics, TOOB), K&M did a tube, US Toy did a small set, and I have figures from sets not attributable to manufacturers.

All of these below are marked ‘TM’ and ‘1996’. They have letters on the underside, but the letters are duplicated and not just on a figure of the same sculpt. Makes me wonder if TM produced two sets of 12 in 1996. I probably bought these in the early 2000s and honestly cannot remember where I bought them. My numbering below is random and not how the figures are marked or marketed.

Because they were not marketed as specific species (to my knowledge) the identifications are all mine. Several are based on the Club Earth set (these companies all had habit of copying one another) but many are from my deductions, often by using ‘The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Butterfly World’ by Paul Smart in conjunction with Google searches.

I am sure these are not all the best identifications possible. If anyone has a better idea, PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS. If anything, I hope this thread will initiate discussion on these and other figures…

Several factors were taken into consideration when making an ID. Shape and color were the big ones, but sometimes you have to ‘read between the lines’ and note that a prominent color on the figure might be a minor accent on the real thing. Think of it this way, if some painted a toy zebra, the way it was painted could determine if it appeared to be white with black stripes or black with white stripes. So, at times you have to be creative and try to get into the mind of the artist.

Papilionidae (swallowtails)

1. eastern tiger swallowtail, Papilio glaucus. This is a fairly safe determination given that this species has been made several times before.

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2. anise swallowtail, Papilio zelicaon. Based on the color, this could be several things (the Old World swallowtail, P. xuthus, is another possibility). I chose this one namely because it was also made by Club Earth.

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3. nobile swallowtail, Papilio nobilis. I am not happy with this ID, but I couldn’t find another tailed species with a pale orange-brown base color.

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4. purple-spotted swallowtail, Graphium weiskei. This figure pops up in toy form now and then, including by Club Earth.

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5. pipevine swallowtail, Battus philenor. While these colors are clearly those of the pipevine swallowtail, they are the colors of the underside of the organism. Like adding or removing tails, painting the venter on the dorsum is also not unheard-of with toy butterflies… Beam did a larva of this species.

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6. Cairns birdwing, Ornithoptera euphorion. This is generic enough it might represent any one of a few birdwings, but Cairns was also made by Club Earth (as well as by Cadbury-Yowies).

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Nymphalidae (brush-footed butterflies).

7. monarch, Danaus plexippus. This is the most-commonly made species of butterfly and its ID cannot be in question here, either.

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8. queen, Danaus gilippus. This figure could also represent the tropic queen, D. eresimus, but I thought the queen was the more logical choice. The unbranded caterpillar sets include a larva of this species.

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9. red admiral, Vanessa atalanta. A distinctive shape and color, this species was also made by Bullyland and Skillcraft. Surprisingly, neither this species nor the mourning cloak (next) were made by Club Earth.

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10. mourning cloak, Nymphalis antiopa. A distinctive species and possibly a unique figure!

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11. Large tortoiseshell, Nymphalis polychloros. I waffled back-and-forth with this one. At first I thought it was a Papilio or Graphium without tails (but the shape in general never sat right with me). Adding tails where they shouldn’t be, or removing them when they should be there, is not unheard of among toys (Safari added tails to both its Morpho peleides and Idea leucone in their Collectors Case). I then started looking at Polygonia and Nymphalis and suspected the spots on the wings were just painted as continuous stripes…


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12. purple emperor, Apatura iris. Not as realistic as its Club Earth counterpart.

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13. red glider, Cymothoe sangaris. This predates, and is a much better example of, the figure by Safari LTD for their Butterfly TOOB.

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14. Graecian shoemaker, Catonephele numilia. Very similar to its Club Earth counterpart (I do not think I would have ever figured this one out if CE hadn’t made one!).

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15. Menelaus morpho, Morpho menelaus. Generic at the genus level, I chose this species as it’s commonly made (the Club Earth species clearly represents M. cypris).

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16. large true forester, Euphaedra sarcoptera. I am not happy with this ID but it is a best fit for the underside (again) of E. sarcoptera. There just are not many species incorporating pink and green with black spots.

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Pieridae (whites, sulfurs, orangetips)

17. southern dogface, Zerene cesonia. This might represent something else but I think this is the best match (plus it’s one of my favorite leps). K&M did one for their Butterflies tube. Interestingly, the only pierid in this set!

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Lycaenidae (gossamer-winged butterflies)

18. crowned hairstreak, Evenus coronata. Being from Arizona, I always associated this figure and others like it with the great purple hairstreak (Atlides halesus) but E. coronata was made by Club Earth and others and this seems to be the species of this morphotype…

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19. coral jewel, Hypochrysops miskini. I bounced around several lycaenids but finally settled on this one. This could easily be assigned to other species if you guys have a preference for your own collections…

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20. Genoveva azure, Ogyris Genoveva. Again, not the best example but it corresponds to the Club Earth figure.

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21. small copper, Lycaena phlaeus var. schmedtii. I bounced around a few Lycaena species (including L. gorgona) but finally settled on this one.

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Riodinidae (metalmarks)

22. Cramer’s mesene, Mesene phareus. This does not seen to be a great representative of this species, but it is in-line with the Club Earth Figure (and a good example why the target species may not be immediately recognizable).

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UNASSIGNED
These last two I am just not comfortable with:

23. This is probably a color variant of Graphium weiskei (above)—just not many options utilizing pink, green, and white.

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24. I am really stumped here. I was hoping the pink spots would be an indicator but I cannot find anything like it.

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Last edited by bmathison1972 on Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:47 am; edited 6 times in total
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Wilorvise

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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyMon Jan 09, 2017 1:55 am

Thanks for sharing with us the results of your research :)

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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyMon Jan 09, 2017 9:16 am

Great to see you  again, Blaine cheers

What an enormous job you did here !
Very interesting and inspireing to  read about your research and thoughts, - and see the perfect pictures of these models, of course study Very Happy

For instance , I think that nobody but you could identify a model, where the underside has been used as upper side Laughing

Thankyou very much for sharing from your treasure of knowledge sunny flower

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widukind

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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyMon Jan 09, 2017 9:38 am

Very nice stuff :)

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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyMon Jan 09, 2017 8:52 pm

Great and comprehensive topic. Thanks for the overview with so many photos and detailed description! cheers cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyMon Jan 09, 2017 9:20 pm

Excellent topic, thank you Blaine Very Happy

It is a hard task to identify species with such models, we are here far from a Yujin set.

About the third, I know the shape isn really different but the kind of painting let me thought about a Pyrgus. Of course, as noticed Susanne you are the specialist and I must say I am a nut.
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bmathison1972

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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyTue Jan 10, 2017 2:43 am

Thank you all. I am glad you find the info useful :). Tackling these unnamed butterflies and caterpillars is challenging.

Also, upon further examination of other figures, I am pretty sure now [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] is indeed a variant of Graphium weiskei (it looks more like the Club Earth and its knockoffs). That there are two version of this species, in combination with duplicated numbering systems, makes me think there were two sets of 12 rather than one large set of 24.
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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyTue Jan 10, 2017 7:23 am

It's really incredible you can find species when we only see "Fantasy" butterflies. Applause

I've seen a variant of Graphium weiskei but without the pink patches. scratch
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bmathison1972

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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyTue Jan 10, 2017 1:38 pm

Kikimalou wrote:
It's really incredible you can find species when we only see "Fantasy" butterflies. Applause

I've seen a variant of Graphium weiskei but without the pink patches. scratch

I normally do not try to find species where none exist...but it's clear these were modeled after something. Too many in the set represent actual species. But it is possible a few of them are 'made up'.
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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyThu Jan 26, 2017 10:05 pm

In any case, they ARE wonderful!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyTue Mar 07, 2017 12:51 am

Thanks to your topic and pictures, a new wonderful gallery page was now created at Toy Animal Wiki.
You can find your butterflies here!
The two not identified were not intorduced yet, however, all other 22 have their own pages as well as all pages to missing species were created.
As soon as it is found identification to the other two figures, I'll enter them on TAI. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptySat Mar 25, 2017 5:24 pm

bmathison1972 wrote:
All of these below are marked ‘TM’ and ‘1996’. They have letters on the underside, but the letters are duplicated and not just on a figure of the same sculpt. Makes me wonder if TM produced two sets of 12 in 1996. I probably bought these in the early 2000s and honestly cannot remember where I bought them. My numbering below is random and not how the figures are marked or marketed.

Blaine, I know you mentioned it but after trying to sort these figures according with informations obtained from other members. It seems that letters marked in these figures do really represent specific moulds. If it is not consistent with your figures, it may turn useless to sort them.
However, I'd love to know which letters fit with the way they are listed now on TAI (url=http://toyanimal.info//index.php?title=Toy_Major_Butterflies]here![/url] study
I also added some butterflies from Beatrice's collection that were not listed yet. It could be great to have your species identifiction on them if possible.

E-mould
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I-mould
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L-mould
Beatrice suggested this one to be a common bulkeye (Junonia coenia)
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I may be back here once Fernando is already showing some more Toy Major butterflies not listed yet. bounce

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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptySun Mar 26, 2017 11:17 pm

I am familiar with these Roger; Beatrice sent me the pics first for identification assistance. I first proposed that 'L' was the buckeye (not 'bulkeye). It's nice; wish I had a representative of this Nearctic species. I also proposed that 'I' is probably a variant in painting of Mesene phareus.
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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptySun Mar 26, 2017 11:31 pm

bmathison1972 wrote:
I am familiar with these Roger; Beatrice sent me the pics first for identification assistance. I first proposed that 'L' was the buckeye (not 'bulkeye). It's nice; wish I had a representative of this Nearctic species. I also proposed that 'I' is probably a variant in painting of Mesene phareus.

Thanks for checking Blaine and sorry for my bulkeye thing. Laughing Fortunately on TAI I am more careful and I did it right. Wink
I will list the I figure as a mesene then.

Now we have two more butterfly species from Fernando's collection... B and I moulds, any idea about the species?

B-mould
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I-mould
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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyTue Mar 28, 2017 2:04 am

The 'B' mold looks like a variant of the buckeye, Junonia coenia (although I like Beatrice's better). The 'I' mold might be Morpho diana (which would be another species I lack...), or a poorly-painted Morpho cypris.

Keep in mind, Toy Major produced figures for other distributors and these may or may not be part of formal Toy Major butterfly sets, but rather randome figures for other insect sets and may or may not be painted after actual species...
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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyTue Mar 28, 2017 1:01 pm

bmathison1972 wrote:
The 'B' mold looks like a variant of the buckeye, Junonia coenia (although I like Beatrice's better). The 'I' mold might be Morpho diana (which would be another species I lack...), or a poorly-painted Morpho cypris.

Keep in mind, Toy Major produced figures for other distributors and these may or may not be part of formal Toy Major butterfly sets, but rather randome figures for other insect sets and may or may not be painted after actual species...


Yes, that's a fact and that's also the reason why it is so difficult to sort all these figures. The only way is to keep listing them according with their year marked and letters. Though, there is a relevant fact, we already listed 30 different butterflies, not counting with simple variations, and none of the moulds has more than 3 different versions. They are marketed for several companies but, if they were randomly painted according with each company specifications we much likely would find a certain mould with several versions what hasn't happened yet. To narrow things a little more, from the 12 moulds, we've found 3 different versions for 7 of them whilst there's not yet a fourth version of any of these.
It makes me think that other companies using Toy Major figures ahd the chance of choosing models already designed and they had no influence over the final product painting.

I know two other TM butterflies from two bugs sets sold by the Italian company Fantastico Giocattoli. Though, I believe these are from 1990. or maybe the seller meant 1990's. If anyone has one of the other bugs represented, maybe we can check the exact year. study

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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyWed Mar 29, 2017 9:38 pm

Roger wrote:
bmathison1972 wrote:
All of these below are marked ‘TM’ and ‘1996’. They have letters on the underside, but the letters are duplicated and not just on a figure of the same sculpt. Makes me wonder if TM produced two sets of 12 in 1996. I probably bought these in the early 2000s and honestly cannot remember where I bought them. My numbering below is random and not how the figures are marked or marketed.

Blaine, I know you mentioned it but after trying to sort these figures according with informations obtained from other members. It seems that letters marked in these figures do really represent specific moulds. If it is not consistent with your figures, it may turn useless to sort them.
However, I'd love to know which letters fit with the way they are listed now on TAI (url=http://toyanimal.info//index.php?title=Toy_Major_Butterflies]here![/url] study
I also added some butterflies from Beatrice's collection that were not listed yet. It could be great to have your species identifiction on them if possible.

E-mould
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

I may be back here once Fernando is already showing some more Toy Major butterflies not listed yet. bounce

Abouth this green butterfly... couldn't it be a (very bad copy of) Actias luna?

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Bowhead Whale

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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyThu Mar 30, 2017 10:41 pm

Anyone?
Anyway, since Toy Major's butterflies almost all seem to be inspired by true species, I don't see why this little green one's case would be different.
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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyThu Mar 30, 2017 11:00 pm

Bowhead Whale wrote:
Anyone?

Honestly, I find it too optmistic that Toy Major wanted to represent a luna moth from that mould. Not that I find your guess unappropriate but their shapes are so different and a moth in this kind of set also doesn't sound logical at all.
However, I wished more people tried to guess what it is, butterflies are sometimes a question of luck, they are so many that you can't check them all and you may be lucky of finding something similar to these not very accurate renditions. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyThu Mar 30, 2017 11:22 pm

Roger wrote:
Bowhead Whale wrote:
Anyone?

Honestly, I find it too optmistic that Toy Major wanted to represent a luna moth from that mould. Not that I find your guess unappropriate but their shapes are so different and a moth in this kind of set also doesn't sound logical at all.
However, I wished more people tried to guess what it is, butterflies are sometimes a question of luck, they are so many that you can't check them all and you may be lucky of finding something similar to these not very accurate renditions. Very Happy

Well, my guess was based on a few points. study

First, Toy Major often uses the same mold to represent more than one species, I noticed that. All the different species represented are made from a small range of molds. Plus, their butterflies being all colorful, I don't think the company creators really cared about the difference between a butterfly and a moth, their concern being to represent colorful species of lépidoptères.

Second, I also noticed that this particular toy has a variant with a tiny white spot in the middle of each purple spot, which makes it look a little more like a luna moth; I think this variant is pictured on the forum.

Third, I have been searching a lot for REAL green species of butterflies (and moths) on the internet and books. And let me tell you that green is not a very common color among lépidoptères: in fact, it is one of the rarest color that covers the wings of moths and butterflies. Orange, yellow, black, Brown, white and blue are a lot more commonly seen. But not that much green. And this narrowed my research a lot. And only one all-green lepidoptere species was there, being both green and purple-dotted: the luna moth...

See what I mean? So, if this green butterfly with swallowtail-like wings and a purple dot on each wing is NOT a luna moth, well... I have no idea what else it could be...

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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyThu Mar 30, 2017 11:43 pm

Your points are very reasonable and I hate to do what I did. I told you could be wrong but I am not able of offering a better approach. Though, I wanted your effort didn't get unreplied.
The variations you are mentioning is much probably this one from Fernando's collection, already on TAI too.
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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyFri Mar 31, 2017 8:25 pm

Roger wrote:
Your points are very reasonable and I hate to do what I did. I told you could be wrong but I am not able of offering a better approach. Though, I wanted your effort didn't get unreplied.
The variations you are mentioning is much probably this one from Fernando's collection, already on TAI too.
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Don't worry, I wasn't angry. Smile  I just felt I had to explain exactly how I came to that conclusion. study You had the perfect right to know how I did, since we both know hasting conclusions may be Dangerous. bom You just wanted to make sure I didn't make any hasting conclusion, that's all, and that is perfectly fine with me. Cool

Now, let's try to find out what species inspired the Toy major creators to paint their other green butterflies... it won't be easy! study

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PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyThu Apr 06, 2017 9:25 pm

bmathison1972 wrote:
Toy Major Butterflies

Review of Butterflies produced by Toy Major in 1996. OK, butterfly sets have been made multiple times. Club Earth did a set, Safari LTD did at least three (Collectors Case, Authentics, TOOB), K&M did a tube, US Toy did a small set, and I have figures from sets not attributable to manufacturers.

All of these below are marked ‘TM’ and ‘1996’. They have letters on the underside, but the letters are duplicated and not just on a figure of the same sculpt. Makes me wonder if TM produced two sets of 12 in 1996. I probably bought these in the early 2000s and honestly cannot remember where I bought them. My numbering below is random and not how the figures are marked or marketed.

Because they were not marketed as specific species (to my knowledge) the identifications are all mine. Several are based on the Club Earth set (these companies all had habit of copying one another) but many are from my deductions, often by using ‘The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Butterfly World’ by Paul Smart in conjunction with Google searches.

I am sure these are not all the best identifications possible. If anyone has a better idea, PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS. If anything, I hope this thread will initiate discussion on these and other figures…

Several factors were taken into consideration when making an ID. Shape and color were the big ones, but sometimes you have to ‘read between the lines’ and note that a prominent color on the figure might be a minor accent on the real thing. Think of it this way, if some painted a toy zebra, the way it was painted could determine if it appeared to be white with black stripes or black with white stripes. So, at times you have to be creative and try to get into the mind of the artist.



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I think I finally found it: it seems to represent EREBIA TYNDARUS. I found it when I started reading a newly bought book about european butterflies a few days ago. On one page, there was that dark grey, roundish-winged butterfly with metallic reflections in the colors orange and green on its wings.

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What do you think?


Last edited by Bowhead Whale on Fri Jun 17, 2022 9:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bowhead Whale

Bowhead Whale


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Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) Empty
PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptyTue Apr 18, 2017 9:25 pm

Anyone?
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bmathison1972

bmathison1972


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Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) Empty
PostSubject: Re: Review: Butterflies (Toy Major)   Review: Butterflies (Toy Major) EmptySun Aug 20, 2017 11:24 pm

I am sure if they were modeled after actual species, they are butterflies and not moths, but who knows. Call them whatever you want for your personal collections.
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