Vault tales 65 Kaiyodo Aquatales Red Spiny Gurnard

Who makes it? Kaiyodo, as part of their Glico Aquatales Series 2. Number 22 in that particular set…there are so many different sets under different names and releases…

When did it come out? The set first came out in 2003. But it may have been re-released later.

From the side, it’s a colorful but seemingly regular fish.

Still available? Not usually, except in the usual after market sources.

Where can it be found in my displays? In and among many other Kaiyodo figures.

But from the front, crazy big fins!

How does it fit in the collection? A small weird fish figure from Kaiydo? It was likely to end up in the collection.

Any story behind it? I was able to get the whole set, but the gurnard wasn’t the main reason. There are several interesting animals in the set, and at the time it was relatively inexpensive.

And a better view near the back end.

Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): How often can it be said? Kaiyodo is easily the master when it comes to quality sculpting and painting of small figures. Especially because, of course, these are part of a small box set of collectables (the figure is about 5cm long). They didn’t cut any corners though. Not only the face and overall fins, but each ray is picked out, the lateral line is clearly visible, and the face is shaped an detailed as well. The photos didn’t quite capture it, but the pectorals do have the finger-like projections that gurnards use to ‘crawl’ along the sea floor. As for the paint job, Kaiyodo did the best they could, given how colurful these fish are. But the colours are captured very well, with each band along the fins, and the pectoral fins in bright green with blue spots. For such a small (and, at the time, inexpensive) figure, there is a lot of effort put into making this look just right. The only curiosity is that some images appear to show a big eye spot at the base of the fin, but not on the figure. It is mounted on a soft plastic base; with this set, all figures have the same base (even the flying albatross…). The material is a softer plastic as well, not the more familiar (and more brittle) plastic of other Kaiyodo figures of the time.

The fish and human are way out of scale–the Gurnard is about 1:7.

Would I recommend it? I mean, it’s hard not to recommend Kaiyodo figures. If you enjoy fish figures, or wildlife figures, it would be great. They’re not the easiest to find, but not the hardest either. Plus, the softer material means that they could be handled but older kids (those fins can still break off I suppose). They’re not quite toys though. It would definitely be a good addition to a collection.