Ceratosaurus (Replica-Saurus by Schleich)

The famous Jurassic predator Allosaurus coexisted with its smaller, though likely equally fearsome relative Ceratosaurus during the Late Jurassic. Fossils of Ceratosaurus (“horned lizard”) have been recovered from numerous localities in North America, Africa, and Southern Europe. Unfortunately, this figure by Schleich is far more unimpressive than the real animal. Strap yourselves in ladies and gents, because this is going to be ugly!

The Replica-Saurus line by the German toy company Schleich was first released in 1994, and this Ceratosaurus was among the original releases. It was finally retired in 2005. It was refreshing and exciting to see another new line of dinosaurs hit the market when I was a kid, however “distinctive” the older Schleichs may look (and that is VERY distinct, but I’ll get to that in a second). They all tended to have a similar feel about them.

This figure is 7.5 in (18 cm) long and 3.5 in (9 cm) tall, at the arch of the back. It’s a bit too large (1:35) to be in scale with the 1:40 human figure , which is silly because he came with the Ceratosaurus to show the scale! The dinosaur is molded in dark tan plastic which has been painted a mixture of dark brown and dark forest green everywhere but the underside. Schleich hit the ground running with their sickly brown color schemes, but I believe this one is the absolute worst. It looks like vomit! The claws and the horns on its skull are painted dark tan, the eyes are orange with black pupils, its teeth are creamy yellow, and the tongue is pink. The pose is incredibly awkward for a bipedal predator like Ceratosaurus, and a lot of the animal’s anatomy had to be completely ruined by the sculptor to get it to work in this pose. It’s posed quadrupedally, with the neck bent back and the mouth open in a snarl, as if facing a rival.

This is just abysmal

This guy takes the cake for Schleich’s worst, ugliest ever dinosaur figure in my opinion (although their Ouranosaurus is a close competitor). This is just bad, bad, bad mixed with more bad. To start, the whole thing is entirely too fat. This is a dino with a weight problem, maybe too many Stegosaurus meals! The whole sculpt lacks any respectable muscle detail, and the limbs are very crudely done, but the pose can be blamed for much of that. The hind limbs are too short. If this figure were posed bipedally with these proportions, it would have incredibly fat, stubby legs. There is also no hallux on either foot. In contrast, the fore limbs are too long, but not only that, they are pronated and awkwardly resting on the ground. There also only three digits on the hands, when in life there would have been a fourth smaller digit. The tail, which should be more muscled and about half the animal’s total body length, is a shriveled little nub with way too much curve to it. I haven’t even gotten to the skull yet…

The skull is where Schleich has always stumbled most with dinosaurs right from the beginning, and this one is the worst example. Firstly, the neck would have to be broken in order for it to have such a ridiculous curve to it like it does here. Aside from the small brow and nasal horns (which are really crudely done, big surprise!) there is nothing else which suggests that this is the skull of Ceratosaurus. It’s just a generic Schleich theropod sculpt with horns tacked on. The eyes are too low on the skull, and the jaws look more like Pac-Man than a real animal. The mandible is incredibly too deep and the whole skull is too fat. The teeth…are shockingly bad. They are little more than a ridge of plastic inside the mouth with a few creamy yellow dots painted on. I know the old Carnegies were like this too, but I think it’s worse here. Ceratosaurus had incredibly long teeth in its upper jaw, but here they’re all the same generic size.

It always amuses me to think of how the original moniker attached to these figures by Schleich was something to the effect of “Sculpted in close cooperation with the Humboldt Museum” but I highly doubt that any respectable paleontologist was involved with sculpting this monstrosity. However, it also astounds me that the row of dermal scutes along Ceratosaurus‘ spine are actually present in this figure, although still crudely sculpted. How was Schleich able to remember such an obscure accurate detail and then totally ruin everything else??? Baffles me. Maybe they just got lucky and guessed.

In short, this is an awful, awful figure. I can see why a kid would like it as a big scary meat-eater toy, but it is hardly educational in terms of how these animals really appeared in life. Only those who like collecting Schleich should be interested in this one. It’s been far too long since Battat and Safari’s nice Ceratosaurs were retired because no one has made a good one since. It’s worth it to track either of those two down over this one if you must have a Ceratosaurus and can’t wait for a new release.


21 Responses to Ceratosaurus (Replica-Saurus by Schleich)

  1. Pingback: Ceratosaurus (original version)(Wild Safari by, Safari Ltd.) | Dinosaur Toy Blog

  2. Pingback: Dilophosaurus (The First Giants by Schleich) | Dinosaur Toy Blog

  3. Pingback: Ceratosaurus (Wild Safari by Safari Ltd.) « The Dinosaur Toy Blog

  4. I wish more people would write sites like this that are actually helpful to read. With all the garbage floating around on the web, it is a great change of pace to read a site like yours instead.

  5. This is one figure im proud to not own.

  6. Manuel, ¿a ti el “Valle de Gwangi” te parece una película de dinosaurios de las malas?

    No sé qué tienes en contra de las películas antiguas, pero a mi entender, una película antigua no significa necesariamente que sea mala.

    El problema de este Ceratosaurus de Schleich no es que sea “retro” o que hoy día sea anatómicamente inexacto. El problema es que la escultura de es malísima calidad. Hay montones de figuras de estilo “retro” que imitan las reconstrucciones de principios del siglo XX realizadas con muchísimo detalle y calidad, por ejemplo la colección de Invicta. ¿No crees que tachar a algo de malo, sólo por ser antiguo, es un tanto ingenuo?

    “El Valle de Gwangi” es cien millones de veces mejor película de dinosaurios que multitud de películas hechas hoy día con fx infográficos de tres al cuarto.

  7. orrible!scary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. itstwentybelow

    Oh believe me clearup I understand 🙂 I tend to stay away from buying figures like this anymore in favor of the most accurate ones. He’s just an oldie from the 90’s which I’ve had lying around here forever.

  9. Marc (Horridus)

    @itstwentybelow: You’re absolutely right. We need the good and the bad on here. The problem is that, as we mostly have to review figures from our own collections, the reviews tend to be positive (since we obviously only buy figures we like the look of). Now if only manufacturers would send us more free samples… 😉

  10. Parece sacada de una película de ciencia ficción sobre dinosaurios de las malas, no sé si alguien ha visto la película de hace un millón de años de los años 40, o el valle de Gwangy. Es para salir corriendo. Como digo que haga Safari o Papo una réplica un poco más decente.

  11. itstwentybelow

    @clearup: It got a review because like it or not, Schleich are currently among the few largest manufacturers of dinosaur toys, right up there with Safari, Papo, Bullyland, and CollectA. We don’t only review the absolute best figures here. This blog is a resource for everyone interested in paleo toys from all over the world, of varying qualities, and I’m simply filling in the gaps in our index. Whether it’s an ugly or beautiful figure, I put a lot of work into these reviews and get a lot of satisfaction from it.

  12. I can´t help but loving him, sorry… It´s not real love in terms of falling in love, it´s rather some kind of mercy, though…

  13. Pingback: Ceratosaurus (Replica-Saurus by Schleich) | Family Fun Blog

  14. Foo, it’s a given that there’s Chinasaurs better than it, but I’ve seen things floating in the toilet bowl that look better than this abomination!

  15. this thing really is an unholy abomination, i’ve seen china-saur ceratosaurs that look better and are more accurate than this.

  16. I kinda like it. It has an old-timey Waterhouse Hawkins feel to it, if he were a sewer mutant working with the only materials available to him.

  17. Evidentemente se nota el paso del tiempo en esta réplica.Es una versión muy antigua.El Ceratosaurus no es un dinosaurio demasiado representado en las réplicas.Esta versión en concreto parece sacada de una película japonesa de dinosaurios de los años ’70, o peor aún,de un bazar chino de todo a 100.Afortunadamente las últimas creaciones de esta marca están muy por encima de este “engendro” (vease Brachiosaurus o Saichania).

  18. En su momento me gustó por ser una figura novedosa,pero hay que reconocer hoy por hoy que no es ninguna joya desde el punto de vista de la recreación del Ceratosaurus, parece como ya he repetido en otras ocasiones con otros dinosaurios que no están bien hechos a una figura del Cristal Palace de Londres, es decir bastante anticuada y lo que es peor mal hecha. Espero que se alguna empresa, por ejemplo Safari, Papo o incluso Procom haga una recreación decente sobre este animal.

  19. Marc (Horridus)

    One of the worst figures to ever appear in a ‘museum’ line – it might be a tie with the equally horrific Schleich Baryonyx. No less than an affront to all remotely serious dinosaur toys everywhere.

  20. itstwentybelow

    LOL love your comments guys 🙂

  21. Fat? Ugly? Misshapen? Broken neck? Obviously this guy is just waking up from a rough night. His neck and wrists are going to hurt a lot from being twisted so awkwardly, and he’s probably filled with self-loathing from the other dinosaurs making fun of him for his fat, stubby legs and peg-shaped plant-eater’s teeth. He’s probably not having the best time of things, and your words just make the hurting worse.

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