The burly, heavily armored, herbivorous nodosaur Edmontonia inhabited North America during the Late Cretaceous period some 70 million years ago. The name simply means “from Edmonton”, as the type specimen was discovered in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation near the city of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada by George Paterson in 1924. At roughly 22 feet in length, Edmontonia was a relatively large nodosaur which could reach a weight of 3 tons. The large spikes on its shoulders may have been used in dominance disputes between rival males, and would almost certainly have been a deterrent to predators such as Albertosaurus, which lived alongside Edmontonia.
Schleich’s Edmontonia was released in 2004 during a time when the company regularly added new and diverse prehistoric genera to its Replica-Saurus line, something which Schleich sadly has not done for many years. It is a good choice for a figure because thyreophorans are often overlooked by companies and Edmontonia’s rather unique armor and spines just look really cool. Also, the only other Edmontonia figure I know of is the Battat. This figure measures a little less than 6 inches in length and is about 2.25 inches tall, and is scaled at 1:40 along with Schleich Man for an accurate size comparison. The colors are a bit drab, with the tan plastic being highlighted with light brown paint around the joints and on its armor and head. Schleich has never been notable for producing exciting paint jobs, but in this Edmontonia’s case it is understandable because the figure is clearly based on the life-sized model of Edmontonia which is on display at the Royal Tyrell Musuem in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada, and which has a similar pose and color scheme (that model is part of a larger diorama which also includes life-size reproductions of Albertosaurus, Struthiomimus, and Stegoceras, and I do recommend visiting it if you have the chance!). Unfortunately, its nails are not painted a different color and almost look like part of the feet as a result. The only other paint is the black used on its eyes. The skin is wrinkly and folded around joints. The forelimbs both have five digits, which is one too many, but it’s excusable as the model the figure is based on does as well. The armor is exquisitely detailed and exhibits some of Schleich’s best, most accurate work, but more on that in a little bit. The head is great and exhibits well the animal’s broad, flat snout, but it is a bit crooked and the sculptors perhaps went a little overboard with the “jowls” and these, along with the expressionless black eyes, give the figure a decidedly sad, dopey expression.
Now on to the armor and spines! Schleich really did their homework on this figure and it’s a winner. They have almost perfectly reproduced the armor of the very accurate full-scale model, except perhaps on the large forward-facing shoulder spines which are split into two subspines in the full scale, but this trait is not present in all specimens of Edmontonia so their omission in the figure is excusable. The rest of the spines are placed accordingly with fossil remains. The three nuchal rings on the neck and shoulders are accurately reproduced on the figure (although there is a big gap in the largest), as are the rows of smaller osteoderms which start on the back behind the forelimbs and continue down to the end of its clubless tail. Unlike Schleich’s Sauropelta, this figure really looks like what it’s supposed to be. I think this figure is better even than Battat’s Edmontonia (GASP!) which has a disproportionately long body and an almost squashed appearance by contrast.
This fantastic figure is one of Schleich’s best and one of my favorite tyreophoran models. Aside from the drab paint scheme and rather static pose (what more can you expect from Edmontonia as far as an exciting pose anyway?), it’s an awesome piece of plastic. It’s been retired a few years now but I recently bought mine from H&H Winner’s Circle for eleven bucks, and as far as I know they still have some left, so head on over there ASAP if you’re interested.