The 24 foot Ouranosaurus was an interesting ornithopod from Early Cretaceous Africa, where it coexisted with the fish-eating theropod Suchomimus. Its name means “brave lizard”, and some distinguishing traits of Ouranosaurus were its thumb spikes and the elongated neural spines of its back. It was once assumed that these spines supported a skin sail, but their robust form makes it seem more likely that they were for muscle attachment or supported a hump similar to a camel’s.
Schleich’s Ouranosaurus figure was released in 2003 back when their Replica-Saurus series enjoyed much more variation in the genera they released. It was in production from 2003-2006. It’s about 6.5 inches long and 3.25 inches tall, and is scaled at 1:40. There isn’t a whole lot to say about this figure because it isn’t very interesting. It has a wrinkly texture all around. The color is a mix of dark and light browns, with much darker brown on the ends of its digits and around the bill. Its underside is a creamy light brown color. The eyes are yellow with huge black pupils. All in all, this is an incredibly boring color scheme. Literally half of all of Schleich’s Replica-Saurus series are a take on this drab, ugly brown coloring. The pose is static and boring and incredibly inaccurate, but I’m just getting to that.
In terms of scientific accuracy, this Ouranosaurus sucks, simply put. It is a terrible reproduction of the animal, especially for how recent the figure is. Quality control is something Schleich is still struggling with, and always has. Not only is this figure posed in a tripod stance with its tail dragging, which is an idea that has been outdated for decades now, but the ankles are bent at such an unnaturally awkward angle. This model should have been posed on all fours. The neck is too skinny, and the skull is just terrible. It looks too much like a duck. The sail does not even follow the shape of the underlying vertebral spines correctly. In the end this figure just looks like an ugly, reptilian kangaroo. It’s obvious that Schleich did next to no research when they produced this figure, which is a shame. However, they did remember to give it small thumb spikes.
It astounds me that such an outdated sculpt could have been released in 2004. It’s ironic that the Battat Ouranosaurus, which was released more than 8 years before this one, beats it in every category. What’s more, Schleich itself released a beautiful Iguanodon in 2002, which is a very closely related genus, and then came out with this piece of junk two years later.
As if a testament to its ugliness, I just picked this figure up this past winter from a toy shop where I’d known it had been sitting on the shelf with the other dinosaur toys for years. I don’t blame kids for not wanting it. It took me a while to even bother buying it, but I like collecting the older Schleichs so paying $8 retail for a long retired sculpt was worth it for me, but I’m not sure I would have paid much more.