Author Archives: Guest Reviews

Allosaurus (Conquering the Earth by Schleich)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

Back when I reviewed the 2015 Schleich Spinosaurus, I openly stated how annoyed I was over the fact that the company keeps repeating the same species instead of releasing brand new ones. But when the 2017 models came along, I was sort of relieved, as the models had something about them that suggested that the line was starting over, making any future repeat releases from years prior to 2016 warranted. What made me change my stance was the fact that Schleich now gives each of the new models a display tag providing info about the animal. This is why I bought the Brachiosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Allosaurus when I already had the previous versions from 2012 in my possession. It’s these display tags that remind me of the old Replicasaurus models that I never had a chance to collect, and I think it’s the perfect reason to release repeats of species previously released from 2012 to 2015. So with that out of the way, it’s time to move on to my review of this new Allosaurus.

When this model was first revealed, people were quick to judge it based the stock photo, which showed it at a bad angle. Now that the final product is in my hands, I can say that their pessimism was warranted. It repeats the same mistakes that Schleich still refuses to correct on their theropods to this day. These mistakes should be obvious to veteran readers of the DTB, but for those of you who are new to the community, these mistakes are as follows. First, the feet are oversized and the arms are pronated, making the hands look like slappers instead of clappers. The reason this is wrong is because the anatomy of a theropod’s wrists prevent them from being twisted in this fashion without breaking the poor animal’s bones. Another issue I can see with this model is one that is pretty common among Allosaurus toys and models alike: the lack of a large claw on each hand. Now I will admit, when I reviewed Allosaurus toys in the past, I tended to forget about this important feature. This is because when I think of enlarged foreclaws on theropods, I think of spinosaurs and megaraptorids. But Allosaurus is known to have possessed large killings claw as well, and this model lacks them entirely. Perhaps this feature is often omitted for safety reasons, but with the claws being blunted on this figure, I don’t see that as a viable excuse. Other issues with this figure include the fact that the torso is too short, which situates the arms a lot closer to the legs then they should be. Also, the body needs more muscle, as do the legs. The legs are just too skinny and almost poorly sculpted as well. By contrast, the previous version had some beefy legs that look like they had muscle to them.

In terms of detail, the Allosaurus is covered in scales that actually look like scales as opposed to the multi-shaped scales on the World of History version. Each scale is individually sculpted on this new one, and the only parts that don’t have them are the neck and the bottom half of the figure. In those areas, there are just wrinkles. However, the wrinkles on the old version look a lot more realistic and were more apparent, which made it look more like a living, breathing animal as opposed to just a lump of plastic made in the vague shape of a dinosaur. The head on this new Allosaurus shows a lot more improvement over the head sculpted on the World Of History version, but they still managed to get things wrong. When the mouth is opened, the jaw still looks unnatural, although it’s nowhere near as bad as the previous version. The skull looks like an Allosaurus more than the previous version, but it’s too wide when viewed from the front, and is too short when viewed from the side. When the jaw is opened, you can see that Schleich once again gave the figure a tongue that takes up the entirety of the lower jaw. At least this time the tongue looks a lot more natural than the old version’s, and the teeth look a lot more realistic.

Colour-wise, this figure is not as drab as the original Replicasaurus model, but it is still another brown figure in their lineup. This time, the back of the toy is adorned with red lines that subtly fit in with the brown. It also has a dark tan tint to it, which further accents the colour scheme. The claws are a light black, and the teeth are white.

If you plan on buying this figure, one thing that I must point out is that the paint quality is pure garbage, because it rubs off very easily. The tip of the tail was completely rubbed off when I first received it, which exposed the white plastic that the toy is made out of. On top of that, you can’t open the mouth without rubbing even more paint off. And so my Allosaurus now has a white goatee thanks to the poor quality of the paint Schleich decided to use. I think the main problem with this model is the fact that is made out of a waxy material, which does not allow paint to adhere too very well to it.

In case anyone is wondering, the toy is 10 inches long, so it’s somewhere in the 1:30 scale range. All I know is that it’s certainly too big to be in 1:40 Scale, and the proportions don’t make it a very realistic replica of a theropod. It certainly does not feel alive like many of Papo’s models, and I feel there’s a certain artificial touch to the sculpt that diminishes its realism greatly. In my honest opinion, the World of History version was a lot more believable as a real animal than this one, which means I cannot recommend this new one to anyone who is not a diehard Schleich collector.

Anomalocaris (Yowie)

Review and photos by Faelrin, edited by Suspsy

For my first review, I will be reviewing the Yowie Anomalocaris. Anomalocaris was one of the largest creatures of its time, growing up to around 1 meter long (or 3.2 feet), and is one of the many species preserved in the Burgess Shale. It lived during the Cambrian Period, and some of its contemporaries included creatures like trilobites, worms, Opabinia, Hallucigenia, and Wiwaxia. Its name means “abnormal shrimp”, as for a while, its remains were thought to be different creatures until more complete fossils were found.

Now on to the figure itself. Like other Yowie figures, its many pieces need to be assembled together to create the figure. It pretty much resembles what is known of Anomalocaris. All key components of its anatomy are present: the eyestalks, the arms which would have been able to grasp in life, the radial mouth parts, the many lobes along its sides, and the fan-like tail. For how small this figure is, at only a little over 5cm (or 2″), the painting is pretty detailed.

The base colour is a red or red orange. Its eyes are painted black, while the stalks are painted white. The tips of its tail lobes are painted white, or maybe a pale pink, as well as the belly. Many tiny white specks are painted on its backside and the back of its head, as well as on the ridges on the undersides of its arms. The lobes are painted more of a yellow colour with tiny red specks, closest to the body, on both the top and bottom of this figure. The outside of the mouth is painted white, and the inside is painted black. The figure’s head can also rotate around and the tail is a bit loose (though these things may be due to letting my mother assemble it upon its arrival).

If you are a fan of Anomalocaris, Cambrian creatures, Paleozoic creatures, or the Yowie figures in general, then this might be the figure for you. Like other Yowie figures, it may be hard to track down though, being an older figure, and originally only available in Australia.

Spinosaurus (Jurassic World Hybrids by Hasbro)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

If I’m going to be truly honest, I kind of regretted buying this figure at first, but it kind of grew on me after a while. What we have here is a repaint of the 2015 Bashers and Biters Spinosaurus, which I reviewed here on the blog last year. And to cut to the chase, nothing about this figure is an improvement over the previous version, except for the colours.

The packaging is everything we come to expect from this toy line. The model is tied onto a display platform without a window, so that shoppers can test (or break) the toy if they so desire before buying it. The back of the box shows a lovely graphic of the dinosaur in question that bears little to no resemblance to the actual product due to the fact that it’s essentially a Photoshop painting.

Once the model is out of the packaging, it becomes apparent that all of the issues that plagued the first version are still present with this one. The head looks like that of a Spinosaurus, complete with a tooth notch, but it is still too wide when viewed from above, just like the JP3 model. The arms are pronated as usual, and still lack the signature fish hook claw that should be present on all spinosaur toys. But perhaps the biggest thing Hasbro failed to correct with this figure are the feet. They did not change the design flaw at all, so when the feet are evenly aligned, the three toes on the left foot are still raised up.

Since this is exactly the same sculpt as the 2015 figure, its gimmick operates the exact same way. You pull down the tail to make the head go up, and pull it to the side to make it open its mouth.

The only difference between this model and the old one is pretty obvious, and that would be the colour scheme. In all honesty, they looks a whole lot better then the awful ensemble of the original. The base colours are bright blue while the bottom parts of the body are a light metallic brown. The back is painted red, with some purple being visible in between the red and the blue, and the the model is also complimented by some black stripes. The claws on this figure are white like the teeth, and the eyes are the same shade of red as the one used for the back. Since this model is painted in brighter colors, it does not look as zombie-like as the original, with its open flesh wound. And while the original had an unpainted tail, this figure’s tail features a pattern that matches those on the torso and neck.

Overall, this is another step closer to completing the Jurassic World page. And I will say that, out of all the Hybrid figures, this one is actually my favourite. The colours, while not realistic, are still very attractive and an improvement over the original version. Despite being poorly made, I find myself playing with this toy a little more each time I am at my desk. If you can find enjoyment like that in them, then this Spinosaurus is worth every penny. Otherwise, it’s best to just save your money on something more detailed and accurate then this.