Vault Tales 121 Colorata Dolphinfish

This post is going to look at another figure from the Saltwater Fishes box produced by Colorata. This will be the Dolphinfish, AKA Mahi-Mahi, number in the original set. It’s interesting that, given that I have hundreds of Colorata figures (they’re a little like popcorn or potato chips, hard to stop at one!) I have had five randomly picked, and including this dolphinfish, three of them are from the Saltwater box (a set that contains less than 20 figures total…). I suppose it could have gone into a ToyTrio, but the larger fish figures are pretty impressive, and can use a few more angles!

As I have mentioned before, my Colorata Saltwater fishes box is the first release–this meant that all of the bases for the pelagic species were the same, with three holes to combine the species together. No guidance was given by the set or the guidebook, so it would be up to the person displaying them to do so. Some are kind of arbitrary, but to me it kind of made sense to combine it with the Japanese Flying Fish from the same set. I have been familiar with descriptions of Dolphinfish hunting Flying fish, so it seemed like a natural pairing. Unfortunately, while both are very well made, they are very not to scale. The Dolphinfish is about 1:14 while the flying fish is 1:6.5, so almost two times too big (or the dolphinfish is half as big as it should be). So the pairing on the display makes sense, but it doesn’t look particularly realistic.

As with most other Colorata figures, the dolphinfish figure is a marvel of sculpt and painting. The colours are spot on with a real fish, and they have taken the time to very closely match even the fine details and patterns of light spots and dots. The whole fish is then given a shiny finish, providing the smooth, streamlined look to this accomplished, high-speed swimmer. Even better, the material used to produce the fish uses a somewhat translucent PVC; the fins are all coloured appropriately but are all see through. Beyond that, the fish figure is a single piece (other than the pectorals, I think) so all of this colouring variation is from production alone. Unlike the previously discussed marlin figure, this highlights how this earlier model is still superior to the revised later model; the colours are more distinct, in particular in the fins.

I know I always kind of say something along the lines of whether a figure is worth tracking down. I will of course say this one is. Being the earlier version, unavailable since the late 2000s, might make it more difficult to find, but could be worth the effort. The current version is probably just as nice (I don’t have the revised set) but I personally think the colour difference pushes this one up on any list. But even better, track down both. In Japan of course, because that’s where Colorata is available, but it’s worth the effort.

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