Yes, the Dolphin looks a lot like a kiddy toy--what with the eponymous dolphin-shaped bridge and the candy colors it comes in (if you don't like sparkly metallic blue, there's all the colors of the rainbow, to quote Homer Simpson's donut delivery man.) Red, red burst, yellow, white, pink, green, and even orange.
The key to getting this uke to sound like a serious instrument is to restring it with better strings, and the general consensus is that Aquila Soprano Strings will make this uke sound terrific. Well, I did just that. I pulled off the black strings that came on the uke and I put on a set of Aquila nylgut and the instrument sounds loud and tuneful, well, as tuneful as I can manage to play it.
I use this as a "battle uke" that is, I can take it camping or outdoors or leave it in the car and not worry about it getting damaged. You can use it for kid's classes --not a great investment yet with the right strings, you will not be hampering a new musician with an unplayable, terrible instrument. (Giving a new player a really bad instrument often discourages them because the feel and sound is so bad.)
Sometimes you need to adjust the action by filing the nut down or the bridge, or polish the edges of the frets if they are rough. If you search on ukulele or guitar set-up, you will find a lot of information on the web about fixing up a stock instrument. While I would take my "serious" uke to a luthier (guitar builder/repair person) I might attempt an adjustment myself on a Dolphin. Mine was fine out of the box, however.
In short, if you want a ukulele and don't want to spend a lot at first, or want a spare for whatever reason, or you just like bright shiny things,l this is one of those inexpensive-but-great things in life.
If you are new to ukulele, I'd suggest two books, Ukulele for Dummies which has a CD along with it and covers a lot of ground, and Barry Maz's book [[asin:/1461059941 What Ukulele Players Want to Know.]] Those are a great place to start out.