Vault Tales 9 Gosnell “Gemuendina”

Who makes it? Gosnell? A bulk bin toy supplier as part of a marine animals set…it’s probably supposed to be a ray, but it would be a weird looking ray…

Okay, the photo is a bit fuzzy…it’s like a cryptid or something. But at least it’s possible to see the dorsal fins…and the mouth that is at the front of the head…

When did it come out? No idea. I got it a couple years ago

Still available? Probably. The set overall tends to show up all over the place randomly.

Where can it be found in my displays? Same as the Dinosaur King and other weird, colourful figures Hemnes2Aβ

A clearer photo. With the weird heart shaped body…that isn’t very ray like. Maybe a weird guitarfish thing?

How does it fit in the collection? Well, it’s another one of these really colourful figures. And I’ve mentioned the prehistoric/primitive fishes before. So it gets squeezed in there for now.

Close to scale with Kevin the diver. It’s a little bit of a whimsical figure, but sometimes we need these random bursts of colour!

Any story behind it? I knew it existed from photos, but was not about to actually chase it or order it. I found it in a local toy store after a trip to the US—it used my last $1 bill! I think it is supposed to be a ray of some kind, but everything about it looks more like the weird, flat placoderm rhenanid Gemuendina. So that’s what I call it, and until a better suggestion comes along, I’m going with that. The only problem is the dorsal fin…but those round fins are nothing like a normal ray or skate. If I turn out to be wrong, well, it will be an unusual model of a ray of some kind, so it won’t be completely disappointing.

Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): First off, and I will say it several times, I’m highly doubtful that it truly is meant to be a Gemuendina. It all depends on the original sculptor and how they chose their information for a model. More likely, it was meant to be a ray (but at least a few sets out there include random acanthodiians, so who knows). That said, the body has a distinct shape with lobed pectorals that would normally be associated with the placoderm fish, as well as the mostly terminal mouth (neither of which are very ray like). On the other hand, the dorsal fins work against it. It’s probably a chimaera figure, with unrelated body design stuck together from multiple sources. It’s not like the set was meant to be scientifically accurate (most of the set is essentially cartoon animals)

Would I recommend it? Not really. It was a bit of a whim. But since non-arthrodire placoderms aren’t exactly overflowing as figures, why not, if it happens to show up in a store and you have change in your pocket (they’re not expensive…)? It kind of has a Paleozoic fish vibe, help round out that Devonian display a bit. Bury it in the sand and hide the dorsal fins (or do some Exacto knife surgery if that’s your thing) At roughly 1:13 scale or so, it’s going to be oversized against most other figures reflecting the era.

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