Parasaurolophus is a well known lambeosaurine dinosaur from Late Cretaceous North America, where it lived near the Western Interior Seaway. It sported a large crest on its skull which may have been used for making vocalizations and has caused this genus to be easily recognizable to the public. The name means “near-crested reptile”. Parasaurolophus was a large animal at over 30 feet in length, but was herbivorous. The first fossil remains were discovered in 1920 in Alberta, Canada by an expedition from the University of Toronto. The area is now known as the Dinosaur Park Formation.
Parasaurolophus is one of the most ubiquitous dinosaur figures out there because it seems to be as much of a requirement for a toy line as T.rex or Triceratops. However, very few sculpts do justice to the animal. This figure, which was released in 2007, does. Schleich previously released a green Parasaurolophus in a tripod pose for this line, which is a good figure, but this one’s better. Schleich’s 2007 Para is 9 inches long (1/40 scale) and hefty! You’ll notice it’s very solidly built when handled. The figure is incredibly detailed and covered in realistic scales, giving it a rough texture. The colors are very earthy, if a bit drab, but that’s Schleich. The predominant color is a caramel brown, with darker brown spots that almost give it a cow-like pattern. There is a row of these markings along the spine. The figure’s underside is gray and the crest is an interesting lime green, which contrasts with the brown. Its hooves are painted dark brown and its eyes are yellow with black pupils. The animal is in a quadrupedal striding pose.
This Parasaurolophus is awesome. It is quite possibly the best figure Schleich has released to date. This one shows that the people at Schleich did a little research. The sculpt is very well proportioned and does not have the “awkward” vibe of a lot of other Schleich sculpts (cough*Ceratosaurus*cough). The scalation all over the body and the wrinkles on its tail make this figure very realistic. There are even very small scales on its head. The limbs show some muscle definition, the 1st and 5th digits of the forelimbs are reduced, and the animal is also posed on all fours, which is an idea widely viewed by paleontologists to be its usual posture, although Parasaurolophus could run on two legs. The neck also curves up in a nice S-shape, and there is no purely speculative fleshy sail connecting the crest to the neck. Lastly, there is a notch in the figure’s spine above the shoulders. This was recently thought to perhaps accommodate the animal’s large crest, but it has since been determined that the fossil specimen the anomaly was found in was broken. Still, I like its inclusion because it shows that Schleich was at least paying attention to research, which is something I’m not so sure they always do…
Parasaurolophus is my favorite dinosaur, and this figure is one of my favorite ever renditions of it. Pictures make it look good, but it’s a figure you really have to see for yourself. I don’t foresee this guy being retired anytime soon and it is widely available. This figure gets top marks from me.