Review and photos by Nathan ‘Takama’ Morris, edited by amargasaurus cazaui and Suspsy
Before I begin this review, I want to get something off my chest. In case it wasn’t already apparent, I like Schleich’s World Of History dinosaur figures. I think they are very distinctive from other brands, and I think each model has a certain charm to it. However, one of the things I dislike about this line is the fact that Schleich is unwilling to release different species and instead releases second versions of species they have already made. The first instance of this was in 2014 when Schleich released another T. rex and Velociraptor despite the fact that they already had those two animals in their collection. The T. rex did not bother me too much because I like it a lot better than the original version released in 2012, and I think it could make for a decent female for the line. Its color is a different tone from the original’s. You can read Alice’s(Raptoress) review of that figure here on the blog. But the Velociraptor released in 2014 was a missed opportunity. Instead of calling it Velociraptor, they could have gotten away with calling it a Deinonychus or Utahraptor. I know that these figures are made for kids, but the ones buying the models are usually the parents, who may not give a hoot about which model they’re getting. They may not even know the difference between the creatures, and may have simply grabbed the figure because it looks like another raptor. If the model was similar in color scheme to the original back in 2012 (or if that one was retired), I would not be ranting as much in this review. That being said, I’m sure you’re all here to read about the anatomical accuracy of a model, and not just some rant about a line of kids toys, so allow me to cut to the chase.
For 2015, Schleich released several new figures, most of which were for new lines other than the World Of History series. Two of them could be considered unnecessary additions to the WOH line because again, they are species that were released before, and Schleich did not choose to retire their forerunners. The model I am reviewing today is the new violet Spinosaurus, and in all honesty, it’s an improvement over the original knuckle-dragger released back in 2012. According to Schleich’s 2016 catalog, the original model is being retired now, as this one takes its place. This model is in a quadrupedal stance, but the back legs are way too long to be in keeping with the 2014 Spinosaurus discovery.
When I first recieved this model from a parcel from overseas, my initial thought was “Wow!!!” This model is one of Schleich’s more lively replicas, and believe it or not, it had potential to be a really great model of the species, but thanks to recent discoveries, I’m afraid its potential has been quashed.
This figure is posed in a similar fashion to the Kentrosaurus, however, instead of trying to fend off a predator, I interpret it as leaning over a river bed just waiting to clench its jaws on a fishy supper…
In terms of detail, this model is a vast improvement over its predecessor. The entire body is decked out with scales and the curvature of the sail makes it come to life with an image of motion. There are sets of quill-like structures running down the length of the neck, and additional spines are sculpted along the middle of the tail. One of the things that I forgot to mention in my previous Schleich WOH reviews is that most of the theropod models Schleich makes are usually sculpted in a waxy material giving them a rubbery feel rather than the solid PVC that they used back in the Replicasaurus days. For some reason, both of the WOH Spinosaurus models were sculpted in the traditional material, while all the other theropods were sculpted in the more rubbery type. I don’t mind any line of dinosaurs made in two different kinds of materials. It is the rubbery material that helps me distinguish the WOH line from all the other dinosaur toy lines out there.
Back to the figure. It is time to point out the inaccuracies that we have come to expect from this brand. The most obvious inaccuracy I can detect is the size of the back legs. By now, we are all aware of Spinosaurus‘ big makeover, so what was once a so-called “badass” carnivore is reduced to a more interesting, short-legged creature (that was replicated nicely by CollectA). The sculptors at Schleich clearly did not get the memo in time before this model’s release. One could argue that they did get the memo, but they thought the shorter legs would make it a poor seller. One must keep in mind that the 2015 products were likely finalized earlier then that Internet-shattering paper, making this model’s posture a pure coincidence. The body is curved to the side with the front limbs touching the ground like its predecessor, however, instead of dragging its knuckles, its hands are planted firmly on the ground. In order to make it work, Schleich had to pronate one of the hands so the model could be in its quadruped stance. Unfortunately, the other hand is also pronated, but at least they gave the animal its signature fish hook-like claws.
Other inaccuracies include a short tail and extra large teeth. The only good thing I can say about this figure is that they did give it a tooth notch in its upper jaw, unlike its predecessor. However, there are teeth sculpted on the bottom jaw that block the notch when the mouth is closed, thus making the notch’s purpose quite pointless if this were an actual living creature.
The colors on this figure are not as light as the original WOH model and not as drab as the Replicasaurus model. Schleich lists this model in their catalog as Spinosaurus Violet, so obviously the main color is going to be violet. The sail is orange, along with the top of the head and the quills on the neck. The belly of the figure is colored in a dull greyish white with more orange mixed in, and the bottom length of the tail is colored in more orange. The eyes are black with orange slits for pupils. The teeth are your usual white, and the tongue is colored red.
Overall, there’s not much else to say about this figure, other than it’s one of the resculpts in the line that actually improve upon the original despite being a children’s toy. I imagine that the playability would be limited due to its fixed posture. At least it’s better than the original knuckle-dragger in terms of accuracy and aesthetics, and I’m glad I did not buy the original before this figure was announced back in October of 2014. Hopefully, we won’t get more repeats from them for a while.