Vault tales 74 Colorata Striped Marlin

Who makes it? Colorata as part of their Saltwater Fishes box set–the original release (not the currently available version). Item 01 in the series, the box number is still 978399.

When did it come out? I’ve had it since 2009, and I believe it was originally around then.

Note the base–there are two visible extra holes, in case I want to squeeze two more fish on there.

Still available? As mentioned, the figure (and the set) is available in a revamped version of the box. The bases were altered to be individualized (in my version, all pelagic fish have generic, 3-point bases and fish had to share). There were also some alterations to the paint job; maybe there were also some in the sculpt or fitting of pieces? I don’t have both so I am not sure.

The last view a lot of little fish have…

Where can it be found in my displays? I have a whole shelf filled with primarily Colorata sea-going fish (plus a few others that kind of suit the theme). So of course it goes there.

How does it fit in the collection? Well, Colorata fish set. That’s pretty much all that needs to be said! Colorata is still easily the best maker of small to just-above small fish figures. Although this one would sit quite nicely next to the standard size figures of many companies.

Full on side view. They didn’t miss a beat–even the double keel at the base of the tail.

Any story behind it? Not more than the usual I suppose. I was lucky enough to have a friend in Japan that was able to send me a few sets back in the day, and this was one of them! At the time I only had a few–there were fewer options for getting sets and individual figures then. It’s always good to know people around the world!

A better view of the pattern of the colours, as well as a good sense of the translucence of the fins.

Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): First off, I’ll just say it is a really nice figure. In more detail, there is a lot to appreciate about it. The body has been painted With a strong counter-shade, just like the real fish. The stripes are fairly thin, made of of dashes and dots; in the real fish these can be thickened into bars (the current version has this paint scheme). The fins are translucent which is a nice touch of realism. The pectoral and pelvic fins are separate pieces; the material is slightly flexible PVC, so fitting them together is not difficult, although they can fall out easily. This also means that while the figure could in theory be played with, those fins won’t stay in. It also means that the bill is somewhat flexible; in the box, the head is protected by a plastic case to prevent bending. The base, as mentioned, is a basic light blue with three peg-holes. The fish could be placed in any one of them. Overall, the model is an alert and dynamic figure, befitting the top-predator status of the striped marlin (unlike other companies, this figure is identified right to the species. It is about 15cm long, so assuming maximum size (4.20 metres) it is roughly 1:28 scale.

It’s not perfect, but the figure is almost to scale with the diver here. Assuming it is a maximum sized individual!

Would I recommend it? It gets repetitive, but yes, Colorata figures are awesome and I highly recommend them. But it will be trickier to get this particular one since it was revised several years back; I would still say track down the new set, the bases are better in a way. And it’s not impossible to find these older versions. Either way, it’s a great addition to a collection; and if you get the whole set, even better!