Vault tales 16 Wild Republic Sockeye Salmon

Who makes it? Wild Republic as part of their Canadian Wildlife tube, number unknown.

It’s a salmon! Whoo!

When did it come out? From what I could find, 2007

Still available? And from the same research, the set is discontinued so…nope. Sorry. This is a bit of a shame for reasons I’ll get into below!

It’ hard to scale this figure. It would be a little small for the guy, but close

Where can it be found in my displays? I can’t believe we haven’t hit one of these shelves yet–one of the fish shelves, Hemnes3Aγ. Unsurprisingly, there are many fish shelves.

How does it fit in the collection? I collect a lot of fish, in particular freshwater fish (and weird fish). So getting a Canadian tube with fish in it (there were a few) was an easy decision (although I don’t have most of the rest anymore!)

Getting a closer look! Something seems…off about the mouth

Any story behind it? I want to say I got it while on a trip to Victoria, BC. So, if I’m going to get a sockeye, might as well be there!

Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): Well this is going to be awkward. As a sockeye salmon, it’s fine. Covers the bases of being a male sockeye salmon in full spawning phase. Including the enlarged teeth. But when I was preparing this, something seems off about those teeth…

Seriously? Those teeth are enormous…almost, sabre-tooth like?

I looked closer, did some research. Sockeye salmon males get big spiky teeth during spawning–but I couldn’t find any that, at this scale (the figure is about 9cm long) there should be a row of barely discernible but spiky teeth along the jaw. Instead we have these massive fangs…or…sabres?

It made me think of another salmon, an extinct one Oncorhynchus rastrosus. These are big salmon from the North American Pacific coast. And they are very notable for their very big, very pointed front teeth (hence the original genus name Smilodonochthys which is an objectively awesome genus name). At this this scale, the front teeth would still be huge, as in the figure. Of course, Wild Republic wouldn’t have intended it this way, they were just exaggerating a feature that would look more impressive.

If this were a sabre-tooth salmon, this would be a more closely scaled relationship with a diver. At up to 2.7m, the diver figure may actually still be too big.

Would I recommend it? If it were still available, and you really wanted a salmon, it would be fine. Interestingly, given their prominence as food and sport fish there aren’t a ton of salmon figures (this year Safari Ltd did bring out a nice one, probably a Chinook). And this one would be fine. But since it’s out of production, it’s probably not worth stressing out about it to get one.

On the other hand, if you want to use it to represent the fossil species…it might be an interesting addition to a collection or a Pacific Northwest diorama for the Mioccene (what else would be in there? There are a few other fishes, sharks, whales, and pinnipeds from contemporaneous deposits…not sure how distinct they’d be). Unfortunately, the figure is still out of production but might be worth trying to track down a little harder!