Dimetrodon (The First Giants by Schleich)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

Over the years, Schleich made many different creatures for their prehistoric line, but not once had they ever made something hailing from the Paleozoic era, not even a Dimetrodon. However, in 2016, they rectified this by not only releasing a Dimetrodon, but also a Dunkleosteus as well, making them the first Paleozoic models for the company. When the Dimetrodon was first revealed, a lot of scrutiny was given to it because it seemed like it was ripping off the figure from Papo. First off, I do not own the Papo version, but I have seen enough photos of it to make me think that the Schleich version is different enough to avoid being called a ripoff. From what I saw in the photos, the Papo model is sculpted in a standing position, but the Schleich model is taking a big stride forwards. I think the one thing that makes people compare the two is the fact that the heads are in the same position, looking up while turned to the side.

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The Schleich Dimetrodon is the cheapest of the five large World of History models released this year, and costs less than the Papo version, which I think is close to the same size. The Schleich version is immensely detailed with tiny scales sculpted all over the body, making it look a lot more realistic than most of the other models in the entire line.

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Of course, if you’re up to date with the times, you would know that a scaly Dimetrodon might be as outdated as a scaly Velociraptor, because studies done on the skin impressions of Estemmenosuchus have shown that synapsids like Dimetrodon may have been covered in bare skin similar to that of an elephant, a rhino, or even a naked mole rat. Another possible inaccuracy with this model would be the posture. For the longest time. Dimetrodon was thought to have walked around like a large lizard with its legs sprawled out to the side. But recent evidence has shown that it was more likely to have been a high walker with its legs held straight beneath it.

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As for the positives on this figure, it is clear that they did do some research. The skull is unmistakably that of a Dimetrodon, and it has the right dentation in the teeth. The jaw is articulated and the larger teeth fit into the tooth notch perfectly. Another thing they seemed to get right with this figure is the number of toes on the feet. Each foot has five toes, unlike the Papo version which has only four toes on its hind feet. If there’s two things I have to question about this figure, it would be the fact that the tail might be too short and the feet could be oversized. Honestly, I’m not much of a synapsid expert to clearly state these as downright flaws, so if you agree or disagree with these two issues, please say so in the comments.

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The colours on this Dimetrodon are perhaps the most fiery ones ever given to a Schleich figure. Most of the figure is a mixture of oranges and browns with red highlights. The teeth are dirty grey while the claws are bright white. The sail has a black pattern all over it that looks different on either side and the eyes are blue as opposed to the black ones you see on most of Schleich’s other prehistoric products.

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Overall, this is not a bad model, just a little outdated. Honestly, it’s about time Schleich made a Dimetrodon, and for what it is, it is pretty darn good. If you want one, you can easily find it wherever Schleich products are sold (I got mine at a Farm and Home Store in Keokuk, Iowa).

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6 Responses to Dimetrodon (The First Giants by Schleich)

  1. Its overall a very descent Dimetrodon. I very much dispute that Dimetrodon’s skin was smooth like a modern elephant. How is it even possible for anyone to know that? And it’s NOT a compy of the Papo brand. I even think its better than Papo’s.

  2. You mentioned you think the one thing that makes people compare the Papo and Schleich Dimetrodon is both of their heads being in the same position. A similar pose might be a reason, as well as both of them having an articulated jaw. I think the main reason people have compared them a lot and thought Schleich might have ripped off Papo’s Dimetrodon is due to both having a similar colour scheme.

    Maybe Schleich’s Dimetrodon was inspired by Papo’s to some degree. Despite the similarities in their colour schemes, it seems the Dimetrodon by Schleich and Papo are each ‘inspired’ by someone else’s Dimetrodon. I covered this in Reply #481 here: http://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3947.msg132400#msg132400

    So at least the colouration on the Schleich Dimetrodon’s sail seems to be inspired by that Dimetrodon artwork. Papo’s Dimetrodon seems to be almost entirely based on that Creative Beast Dimetrodon painted by Steve Riojas.

    As you mentioned in the review, the Schleich Dimetrodon correctly has five toes, while the Papo Dimetrodon is missing a toe on each foot. That makes me think Schleich didn’t base their Dimetrodon on Papo’s, since that mistake on Papo’s wasn’t replicated in the Schleich figure. The missing toes on the Papo Dimetrodon however looks like further support for it being based on that Creative Beast Dimetrodon whose fifth toe can’t be seen in the photo of it.

    In any case, the Schleich Dimetrodon has the grotesque style typical of Schleich prehistoric animals which I greatly dislike. Its skin appears to be inspired by that of the cane toad. Schleich’s Giganotosaurus and Barapasaurus also have skin detail that reminds me of a cane toad. The lumpy areas of skin on the Schleich Dimetrodon make it look like it has a skin problem, especially on the areas that are also coloured red.

  3. Pingback: Dimetrodon (Recur) | Dinosaur Toy Blog

  4. Actually, if you were up to date with the times you’d know that a skin impression attributable to Dimetrodon or a close relative has been found and is scaly:
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10420940.2012.702549
    And that the Estemmenosuchus “skin impression” is dubious, as no one seems to have provided any evidence for it outside of one obscure mention in an old Russian paper.

  5. That said, the dimetrodon Schleich is a bad plagiarism of dimetrodon Papo.

    Congratulations to Takama by the correctness of the criticism of the figure. I stay with the fact that the dimetrodon must have a very skin of a hippopotamus that of a reptile, of course, having been a semi-aquatic animal.

  6. BionicleSaurus

    Yet another reptilian monstrosity passed off as a Permian Synapsid. I’m not asking for some furry All Yesterdays depiction, but something that doesn’t look like a big lizard would be nice.

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