My Plastic Menagerie

January 2nd, 2018

When I was in the fifth grade, our classroom got a Visible Man plastic model, which shows the internal organs of a human body. In hindsight, the missing parts suggested that it was a thrift store purchase by my teacher (our country really should fund education more), but it was enough to get my young science mind going.

I still keep up with scientific plastic models, now with the financial mobility to get them myself. One company, TEDCO Toys has a line of imported see-through models for both biological subjects called 4D Vision. Looking for something to spice up my non-existent future office, I went for the gorilla model first.

( Front of the box. }

( Front of the box. }

{ Back of the box. }

{ Back of the box. }

The completed model came out to around a foot tall and long, much larger than I expected. IThe internal organs were very solid and brightly painted. It really gave perspective to the large digestive system. The robusticity of the bones is also highlighted in the artistically transparent areas. While most of the abdomen is visible, the head and limbs have clear areas on the left side, with hair and skin rendered on the right. The booklet has pictorial instructions for where the parts go, plus blurbs on each organ. Some facts are more random than others:

{ Odd unit of measurement for length. }

{ Odd unit of measurement for length. }

{ Posterior torso piece waiting for more. }

{ Posterior torso piece waiting for more. }

{ Assembled torso, minus the anterior cover. }

{ Assembled torso, minus the anterior cover. }

There is also a section for writing down your time trials in assembling the gorilla, if you want to turn it into a race. The suggested times are very generous since the model is not complicated.

{ Cool cutaway to see the robust skull. }

{ Cool cutaway to see the robust skull. }

After the gorilla model, I wanted more so I bought an imported Ein-O BioSigns Red Blood Cell after a price drop on Amazon. It was a red translucent red rubber disc assembled from four quarters and a center plug.

Moving on, I went back to 4D Vision with a Human Anatomy Muscle & Skeleton model. This one stood around six inches tall and had many intricate parts. Confusingly, the model came partially assembled, but they had to be disassembled to complete the construction. The fitting of the pieces would be an engineering marvel if it was not so instructionless and hard to manipulate. For example, the right torso could only be closed by joining the right arm and leg simultaneously. Then, the rectus abdominus piece has to be placed to hold the torso together. The problem is that the torso came with the rectus abdominus already in place, with only a tiny picture in the booklet to hint that it even could be removed. After that process is done, then the torso has to be pried slightly open to fit the right arms and legs. Even after it was completed, the right limbs could spontaneously fall out of the loosening torso without a little glue to keep it together (no more time trials).

{ Model-assembly success! }

{ Model-assembly success! }

While I was obsessed with models, animal toy vendors were having sales to capitalize on the holiday season. I indulged a lot before I stopped myself:

{ My plastic menagerie. }

{ My plastic menagerie. }

My non-existent future office is going to be sweet.


One Response to “My Plastic Menagerie”

  1. Rebecca says:

    Hell ya, it is! Those are kickass! 😀

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