The primitive ornithopod dinosaur Iguanodon lived during the Early Cretaceous period in Europe, approximately 125 million years ago. Animals like Iguanodon eventually gave rise to the hadrosaurs of the Late Cretaceous. In the past, numerous remains from all over the globe have been attributed to this genus, spanning from the Late Jurassic all the way until the end of the Cretaceous period, but current research suggests that the only valid species of Iguanodon (I. bernissartensis) lived in Early Cretaceous Europe. Iguanodon was the second dinosaur to be formally described (the first being Megalosaurus) and was first discovered in Sussex, England in 1822 by physician-turned-fossil enthusiast Gideon Mantell.
Schleich released this Iguanodon way back in 2002, but it’s still one of their better figures. Despite it being a relatively well-known dinosaur to the general public, Iguanodon has lately been absent from major toy lines, excepting Carnegie’s bipedal figure, which has been around since the early 90’s. Bullyland and Invicta have both long since retired their retro Iguanodon figures, the short-lived but well done Toyway Walking with Dinosaurs Iguanodon quickly became difficult to acquire in the early 2000s, and the Schleich version reviewed here has also been retired for years by now. This figure is 5.5 inches long and roughly 2.25 inches tall, which in 1:40 scale (which Schleich tries to adhere to with its Replica-Saurus line) equates to roughly 16 or 17 feet in life, making this guy far too small. It should be almost twice this size to fit in 1:40 but I’ve always just considered it to be a juvenile. There are distinct folds of skin around the neck and limbs, and the figure is overall very wrinkly. This figure also sports what is undoubtedly one of Schleich’s best prehistoric paint jobs. Along the animal’s spine it is painted a dark green that could almost be black, while on its sides and limbs this lightens to more of an olive color. The underside is painted striking mustard yellow which contrasts nicely with the green. Each foot is lightly painted tan, but the hooves are unfortunately not painted a different color. The muzzle is also tan, and the eyes are painted orange with black pupils. This Iguanodon figure is unusual in that it is the one of the few to be posed in a quadrupedal stance (the Toyway is as well), but fossil evidence supports this as the primary means of locomotion for Iguanodon.
This sculpt is definitely one of Schleich’s hits. It is the most accurate Iguanodon ever produced by a major company for a few reasons. All other attempts by Bullyland, Invicta, and Safari are posed bipedally with the tail reaching the ground for support (this is exaggerated to a HILARIOUS degree in the Invicta), while the quadrupedal stance of the Schleich looks much more fluid and natural. The sculptors also sculpted its hands to look more like hooves for walking, with the middle three digits fused together, an idea which is also widely supported by paleontologists. Unfortunately, the thumb spikes are quite small and don’t look much bigger than the figure’s “pinky” fingers, but you could also consider this to be a juvenile trait. Other than that the animal is proportioned beautifully, and the skull is quite accurate. I should mention the Toyway WWD Iguanodon here as it is also in a quadrupedal pose, but it was never widely available, the front limbs show no fusion of the middle digits, and its hind feet are just absolutely bizarre.
In short this Iguanodon is simply fantastic, and I’d recommend it to any dinosaur enthusiast. The hard part these days is finding one because, like I said, it’s been retired for a few years now, so your best bet would be Ebay and the like.