Now here’s a dinosaur you don’t see every day. In fact, until this model was announced I had never even heard of the “big-legged lizard” and assuming you might not have either we’ll do a short introduction. Barapasaurus is a genus of sauropod that was discovered in India and lived in the early Jurassic. Aside from the skull and some vertebra the skeleton is almost completely known and at 45’ in length it was truly one of the first giants.
It is this designation, as one of the earliest truly large sauropods, that probably lead to Schleich’s decision to include it in their newest line of prehistoric animals. In fact, every release from Scheich this year is a part of this “First Giants” line and if you look at their releases you’ll notice that each of the models represent large or iconic animals from their respective time periods.
Looking at the model itself it is an impressive hunk of rubber, as sauropod toys should be. The Schleich Barapasaurus measures about a foot in length, stands about 5.5” at its tallest point, and weighs a pound. Like many Schleich toys the level of detail work is commendable but the accuracy suffers. This hulking sauropod is reminiscent of the lumbering beasts from “King Kong” (1933 and 2005) as well as other old media depictions of “Brontosaurus” and kin.
The head is a bit of a mixed bag on this toy. While details like the teeth, tongue, palate, and dewlap on the neck are all nicely sculpted the head is a mess overall. Nostrils are placed on top of the head when they should be placed on the snout and while it might be easy enough to look over a mistake like that the gaping fenestra are truly an eye sore. It honestly looks like the face of this thing is melting away and the red paint job only enhances the “Freddy Krueger” look to this sauropod. At least the teeth are correctly sculpted as peg-like and spoon shaped. The only fossils we have from the skull of this genus are a few teeth.
Whenever a sauropod is reviewed we have to look at the feet and while you might expect old school elephantine feet on this sauropod you would be amazed to find a surprising degree of accuracy. The forelimbs are column shaped and encased in flesh save for the thumb claws. The same is true for the feet, with only three visible claws. It’s also worth mentioning that the forelimbs aren’t horseshoe shaped as we’ve come to expect from sauropod toys but this is still a step in the right direction for Schleich overall.
The beast is lurching forward with its left forelimb high in the air and neck swaying to the right with the mouth agape. This dinosaur is not simple theropod fodder but a powerful and formidable adversary on the charge. The tail is sweeping downward to the right and while it does touch the ground I don’t think this is intended to be a tail dragging dinosaur.
As with most Schleich models there is a high degree of stylization here and on this model it works. Running down the back is a series of keratinous spines and osteoderms, à la Saltasaurus. Whether or not Barapasaurus had these features is unknown but I consider it reasonable artistic license that only serves to make this toy more distinctive. Scales are sculpted on the head but the rest of the body is scale-less and wrinkly.
It wouldn’t be a Schleich model without an interesting color palette and this model is no exception. The head and back are painted red with the red fading into brown on the sides and gray on the belly. The osteoderms are painted blue and while the paint job is mostly acceptable there is a distinct difference in paint application on either side of my model. While the osteoderms are delicately painted on the right side those on the left looked like they were just brushed over which gives the illusion that the model has more armor clustered on the left than on the right. It’s only a problem when viewed from above but it’s an inconsistency worth mentioning that might only be unique to my model. The toe claws and eyes are dark brown, teeth white, tongue pink, and the spikes on the back painted light brown. There is some sloppy paint application on the spikes but they would no doubt be hard to paint so I won’t fret over it too much.
Barapasaurus is certainly an obscure genus that we’re not likely to see reproduced any time soon. That alone, coupled with the large size, dynamic posture, color choices, and bodily adornments and I think this is a model worth seeking out. Typical Schleich issues like that gnarly, undead looking skull, might put you off. Really it comes down to your level of tolerance for Schleich’s unique artistic style. I wouldn’t consider myself a collector of Schleich products but found this model sufficiently interesting and eye-catching enough to include it on my shelf, despite its many flaws. I would give this model 4 out of 5 stars but the head sculpt will force me to give it a 3.5 out of 5. The Schleich Barapasaurus is new for 2016 and should be easy to find online or wherever Schleich models are sold.