Rubber Bug Collecting: Blattodea (Cockroaches)
Though best known as garbage-eating, sewer-lurking household pests, less than thirty of
the 4,000+ cockroach species are capable of thriving in a man-made environment, your
typical cockroach being no more than a humble forest-dwelling scavenger, munching on
fallen leaves and rotting wood with little to no interest in your kitchen cabinets.

Even the few "pest" roaches have been rather unfairly judged, as no substantial evidence
exists for their supposed disease-carrying capacity. Unlike flies, they are equal-opportunity
foragers and not especially attracted to decaying, dirty environments. A cockroach is only as
germ-ridden as the house it wanders into.

Though a bit more difficult to come across, I have almost more varieties of fake cockroach
than fake spider. As personal favorites, I'm going to try and include every single mold that I
have, but there is little to say about the majority of these.
I rarely see toys of wingless cockroaches,
though there are many species that lack wings at
maturity. This little guy is also very finely detailed.
- More exceptional fake cockroaches! -
I have only one of this roach, which is made from
very hard plastic. My others are all made from
soft rubber, and usually came in entire bags.
Another of those "stretchy" toys that I try not to
expose to dust..
A much larger wingless cockroach, very lifelike
except for its coloration.
This great-looking, harder plastic roach came in
a test tube of slime.
Of all the life-sized, soft rubber roaches, this one
has the most lifelike detail and nice, sturdy legs.
I have around a dozen of these, and all of them
came from an arcade at Six Flags in 2002. You
could say they're sentimental, even.
This variety came in six-packs as "totally
GROSS!" party favors. I love the solid body
visible through the transparent carapace, just
like the real thing.
This flat, floppy rubber cockroach came with this
amusing package art and instructions.
Another candy-filled "bug factor" product. These
also come in the typical dark brown of cockroach
toys, but I thought I'd show the cooler green and
yellow variety.
This soft suction-cup cockroach is another
candidate for the most real-looking. It somewhat
Blaptica dubia, the orange-head roach
commonly raised as feeder insects for
tarantulas, scorpions and various reptiles.
This big roach is made from hollow, flexible
plastic and contains a very loud squeaker!
This hard plastic roach is shaped to flip through
the air if pressed down and released.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to include this or not; it's
actually an accessory to the villainous
from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
toy line! Its blinding neon orange coloring
refused to come out on my digital camera.
"Poached Roach" is one of the Real Squish
Bugs, a toy line that appears to condone my
least favorite behavior. Nevertheless, it's a
pretty cool-looking monster, even if it looks
more like a cricket than a cockroach.