Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy
Before this year concludes, I figured it would be best to review the very last large dinosaur model that has been released by Schleich as part of their “First Giants” sub-line made specifically for 2016. Herrerasaurus may not be the most obscure dinosaur they’ve ever made (that honour goes to the Barapasaurus), but it may be a little surprising for us to see that they chose to replicate something that hails from the Triassic for a change. The last three Triassic animals they made were retired at the drop of a hat shortly after their release. Fortunately, this model stands a better chance at lasting longer than those other models because this one has a mouth full of teeth that kids can use to rip other dinosaurs to shreds with.
The Herrerasaurus contains traces of some of the best and worst aspects of Schleich that we’ve come to expect in this day and age. On the one hand, it is nicely detailed, with individual scales sculpted on most of the upper part of the body. Also, the shape of the head is unmistakably that of a Herrerasaurus. On the other hand, Schleich clearly did not care to get the proportions correct at all, as the arms are way too long and the feet are too big. On top of that, they once again committed the ever-popular sin of pronating one of the poor theropod’s hands, making it forever frozen in agony with its newly broken wrist.
Another thing I can see that’s wrong with this figure lies in the teeth. At first glance, it is clear that Schleich did “some” research when reconstructing the head, as the teeth are in their correct positions when compared to the skull of the real animal. But the way they were sculpted makes them look more like the baleen in the mouth of a rorqual whale instead of the teeth in the jaws of a basal theropod. As for the rest of the mouth, there is virtually nothing to talk about. The tongue takes up the entirety of the bottom jaw (save for a little at the end), and it is no nowhere near as detailed as anything made by the likes of Papo. The roof of the mouth is no better, as there’s absolutely no detail whatsoever sculpted there, which I guess is excusable, since most kids are not going to be looking in that region of the body anyway.
Really, the only thing I can praise this model for are the colours, as they are simply appealing. The body is mostly dark blue, and it is washed over with some brown paint. What astonished me, however, is that while the top half of the figure is coloured brown, only the sculpted scales seemed to be painted that way, and upon close inspection, it is clear that the application is virtually flawless, as there is no run off in between the cracks of the details.
When we get to the head, however, things start to fall short, as there is clearly some run off going on with the red. The eyes are also the same colour while the teeth are just plain old white with black in between them. The hands and feet are painted in some type of brown, as though to make it seem like they are dirty, and the bottom jaw is red as well. Shamefully, the claws remain the same blue colour as the rest of the figure.
Overall, this is one of Schleich’s better models for 2016, but it is far from being one of the gems, which means it will never share a space with their Shonisaurus, Kentrosaurus, or even their Dunkleosteus. Since it’s Schleich, finding this toy should be relatively easy, since they infest almost every other store in America in this day and age. If you’re in desperate need of a Herrerasaurus, then this will have to do, until Safari releases a more likely superior sculpt sometime in the future. However, if you are going to use it for Triassic period dioramas, then you might as well get the CollectA version, as this model is way too big to fit in with most Triassic figures.