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 Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales

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Brandubh94

Brandubh94


Country/State : Ireland
Age : 29
Joined : 2023-05-31
Posts : 425

Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales  Empty
PostSubject: Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales    Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales  EmptySun Feb 11, 2024 9:26 am

Figure Brand: Schleich & CollectA

Figure Name(s): Orca (14807)
Blainville’s Beaked Whale (88761)

Sex: Both males

Name: Orca – Valentine
Blainville’s Beaked Whale - Blainville

Year Made: Orca - 2018
Blainville’s Beaked Whale - 2016

Observations/Thoughts:

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I named my Schleich Orca Valentine because I kept an orca in my aquarium in the game Zoo Tycoon years ago as a child and I loved that pixelated whale so much, I felt calling this one Valentine is a cool way to remember him!
Oddly enough, whilst doing research, I came upon an unfortunate orca bull of the same name housed in an aquarium in Europe I believe?
And as the name in Latin means ‘healthy and strong’ it fits him well as I imagine these whales in the wild have to be exceptionally healthy and strong in order to survive.
As with all orca whale models, he’s a uniform black and white colour, which of course makes him very striking. He’s mostly a very shiny black with a white underside, white eyebrows, and a saddle patch. I don’t think his markings are based on any particular subset of orca whale species seen in the wild, they just seem to be the basic generic colouration. Some species in the wild can be wildly differing in markings depending on location geographical location and genetics etc.
He is sculpted in a slightly lying but leaning upright pose with raised head and tail, it makes me think of the preforming orcas in the likes of SeaWorld who were trained to lie like this with their heads and tails up. Still, when set on a flat surface, Valentine has the appearance of barrelling through the water in a hunting/stalking pose, though his mouth remains closed.  
I believe some models have the mouth open, but Valentine doesn’t which is fine. His dorsal fin is also set a little low or far back on his spine, which makes me wonder if the model is supposed to represent a cow orca, not the bull, hence why the dorsal fin is less tall and erect as is commonly seen in the wild with bull orcas? However, I don’t mind, I have decided he is a bull orca named Valentine.
He has is a sleek but chunky model as lots of cetaceans tend to be in the wild. I think he represents a generalised orca very well, with ordinary/generalised markings and in a swimming/slightly charging pose. I love him a lot, though he’s definitely basic and fine as cetacean models go.

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Next is Blainville, my CollectA’s Blainville’s Beaked Whale. I choose that name because as he’s a Blainville’s Beaked Whale, I felt that I can’t come up with a better name than that. I’m swiftly running out of polar sea names and artic explorers already!
The whale was named after French zoologist Henri de Blainville in 1817. He described the animals jaw as the heaviest bone he had ever come across hence its Latin name ‘densirostris’ meaning ‘dense beak’.
The model has a nice body colouration, a deep blue grey in colour with a cream white underside and white/grey spots all over its’ body in seemingly random speckles.  It seems to be a realistic enough representation on how the species look in the wild- I find the speckles and blue grey body a cool shade and tone.
With whales, there’s not much posing you can do with them really as they’re long and torpedo shaped anyway, though this whale has a thick chunky body with a straight and simple swimming pose. The real species also have little dents in their sides that allow them to tuck their flippers into, allowing them to dive faster, etc. but in this model, those little fin pockets are missing, which is a shame, however, as that’s the only real thing with it that doesn’t fit with the realism of the animal, that’s not necessarily a problem with Blainville.
Looking at these whales online, the CollectA model does seem to be a very good representation on the species, the dorsal fin is small, pointed and set quite far back along the animal’s spine. The jaw also has two high ridges with teeth and bone either side of the jaw, giving it the heavy look they have. This apparently only applies to males, as females and juveniles of the species do not have these, so this CollectA model must obviously be a male.
It's lovely to see a rarer whale species being depicted by a toy model company. It’s so rare to see, as most cetaceans tend to be either large baleen whales, dolphins, or porpoises- toothed whales seems to be lacking proper representation in the toy model world. Seeing this fine model, makes me wish at least some manufacturers would focus on expanding their cetacean models to more rare and unusual whales like these. I salute CollectA for designing and depicting this one very well!

Rating: Orca -4/5
Blainville’s Beaked Whale – 4/5
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Kikimalou
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Kikimalou


Country/State : Lille, FRANCE
Age : 59
Joined : 2010-04-01
Posts : 19907

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PostSubject: Re: Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales    Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales  EmptySun Feb 11, 2024 11:31 am

I really like Blainville despite the flipper defect that had eluded me.
I like the cetaceans that had less of a closed mouth option and Valentine is very satisfactory in that respect. That said, her very generic look makes her less glamorous in my eyes.
I'm happy with the Colorata for the moment as I'm hesitating between the Mojo 387114 and the Safari 103538.
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Brandubh94

Brandubh94


Country/State : Ireland
Age : 29
Joined : 2023-05-31
Posts : 425

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PostSubject: Re: Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales    Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales  EmptySun Feb 11, 2024 12:29 pm

Thank you Kikimalou! I agree with your point on Valentine. I find him generic alright, ok for a 'starter' orca but other than that a bit... general/dull even?
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Roger
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Roger


Country/State : Portugal
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Joined : 2010-08-20
Posts : 34735

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PostSubject: Re: Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales    Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales  EmptySun Feb 11, 2024 1:03 pm

Interesting, this is a comparison between opposites but somehow tells the story of what has been the work of these brands in this category of marine animals. Oceanic dolphins are absurdly common in this hobby, and the orca is undoubtedly one of the most commonplace. On the other hand, beaked whales are very rarely represented, and among the brands in this niche, only CollectA has been brave enough to create one. It's a bit like comparing a Schleich tiger with the Papo ocelot. They're both very good figures, but the interest they spark in me is completely different.

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Brandubh94

Brandubh94


Country/State : Ireland
Age : 29
Joined : 2023-05-31
Posts : 425

Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales  Empty
PostSubject: Re: Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales    Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales  EmptySun Feb 11, 2024 2:32 pm

Thanks Roger, the comparison as well as their species differences is actually why I like putting them together! I try to reach for both opposites of the same scale, as you mentioned with the tiger and ocelot being cats, these are both whales but very different!
I'm glad you spotted that too. Also, I do really wish some brands would take the plunge and develop some toothed whales, as they're very different and little known.
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widukind

widukind


Country/State : Germany
Age : 48
Joined : 2010-12-30
Posts : 44063

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PostSubject: Re: Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales    Collection Review: CollectA and Schleich Whales  EmptyMon Feb 12, 2024 1:32 pm

study study study

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