Author Archives: Laticauda

Kentrosaurus(Mini, by Schleich)

Schleich has changed their typical toy dinosaurs lineup over the past two years.  They have added new playsets and sizes for their prehistoric line of toys.  The mini sized dinosaurs were introduced in 2015 with eight figures.  Due to their low cost, different sculpts, and new paint jobs that differ from their bigger brethren, the minis were quite popular.  In 2016 Schleich expanded the line to sixteen mini toys.  Some of the minis are sold separately, while others are exclusive and come in a set of four mini figures and a 24 piece puzzle.  Today we will look at the Kentrosaurus mini which can be found separately or in the marshland puzzle set.

About the toy:  The Kentrosaurus mini figure is sculpted in a different pose than the rather cool  2015 Schleich Kentrosaurus.  Often mini figures are sculpted as a mini version of the full size animal toy, so I am glad they decided to use a different sculpt for this mini.   When compared to the larger version, the mini is in a straighter pose with the tail and head only slightly veering off to its left.  At 3.3 in long (8.4 cm) it size is what you would expect from a mini figure.  Despite its small size, there is actually a fair amount of detail on this toy.  The plates and spikes are not smooth but have texture lines and grooves on them.  The skin on this toy is bumpy.  It is actually sculpted with small scales and what would appear to be scutes embedded into the skin.  The ribs clearly show up on the sides and there are many little skin folds throughout the body.  As with the larger version, the hind feet are sculpted with three toes and the front feet have five visible toes.

The colors are a simple tan with a darker (depends on the lighting) greenish brown brushed over the top.  The plates and spikes are red.  On the tops of some of the plates and spikes the tan color is showing through.  The eyes are a glossy black dot and the inside of the mouth is black.

Playability:  It is a good toy.   Due to its size it can be used in almost any setting for playtime.  For people who have kids and like to travel it can be a nice toy while on the road.  Its small size makes it easy to play with during a long car ride.  It is a safe toy as well.   The spikes are not sharp.  It is durable as well.  The plastic has some bend in the tail and plates, but overall it maintains its shape.  The paint is rather robust so it can handle normal playtime use.

Front: 2016 mini Schleich Kentrosaurus. Back: 2015 standard size Schleich Kentrosarurus.

Overall:  This toy will not appeal to everyone who collects prehistoric toys.  Though the sculpt isn’t bad it does lack the finesse and style of  the larger toys and other minis like Kaiyodo.  On the other hand, due to its low cost and small size, it can be great for people on a tight budget or have a lack of shelf space.  For Younger kids, this is a durable toy that can be played with safely without worries of it breaking.  Overall this is a great little toy for the younger dinosaur enthusiasts.  As for the adults, it is definitely not a must have toy but it if your a fan of the species, it can easily find a home on your desk or shelf.

 

Compsognathus longipes(Sentry, by Rebor)

To get in the right state of mind for this model lets take a quick stroll down memory lane.  While vacationing on the beach of Isla Sorna a young girl makes a startling discovery.  Out of the foliage and onto the beach hops a cute, small, chirping, green dinosaur.  She feeds the little fellow but suddenly many more arrive and surround her.  The pack goes after her and you hear her scream.  A rather tense beginning to the movie the Lost World Jurassic Park.  It also makes a great Public Service Announcement on why you do not feed wildlife.  While that scene was a interesting start to the film, one of the best scenes from the movie is when a pack of Compies stalk and pursue the hunter Stark.  After answering natures call, he becomes lost in the woods and falls down a slope. A pack of Compies approach and attack him.  He gets away from the initial attack but they ultimately wear him down in a creek and succeed in killing him.

Why does this model of Compsognathus longipes looks familiar?  That’s because it is practically an exact copy of the Stan Winston’s Compspognathus maquettes for the movie the Lost World Jurassic Park.  Rebor went retro on this model and is appealing to the sentimental feelings that many people have for the JP franchise.  This might bring up some bile or nostalgic feelings  depending on how you feel about the Jurassic Park movies and the stylization of the animals portrayed on film.  But that’s not all you get with this model.  It also comes with an accessory animal that represents Protolindenia which is an ancient dragonfly.

About the Toy:  The toy is in 1:6 scale.  It is around 6 3/4 in(17 cm) long and 3 in(8 cm) high.    The tail is 4 in long.  That makes the tail more than half of the total length of the figure.  The look of Compspognathus as stated above is a direct homage to the Lost World Jurassic Park.  The base color is a glossy yellow green.  The back is a darker green, and the underbelly is more yellowish.  There is dark striping on the neck, torso, legs, and on the tail.  The claws are black, and the entire skin has been subject to a dark wash to bring out the skin texture.

The mouth is articulated.  If you open up the mouth it gums and tongue are painted glossy pink.  The teeth are very small, and are hard to see from a distance as they blend into the mouth.  The eye is also glossy giving it a wet look.

It is in a neutral pose and resting on three points.  Due to it being in a tripod, it does not have stability issues.   It rests on its really long tail.  The legs are directly under the hips and the head is staring straight ahead.  There are three fingers on the hand with a reduced 1st digit.  The hands are pronated and hanging down.  The neck, arms, legs, and tail are all thin and are made of a bendy plastic.  The figure looks underfed as it thin and rather lithe.

What about the Dragonfly.  It has a small swamp rock base with moss on it.  A small metal rod fits into the base and into the bottom of the dragonfly.  This gives it the appearance of flying.  The colorization of the dragonfly is yellow green and black stripes on its thorax and the eyes are red.  The dragonfly has two sets of wings — one behind the other. The wings are long with a mosaic of veins running throughout them.  It is amazing how real the dragonfly looks, especially from a distance.

Overall:  Scientifically there are some issues with this model other than the pronated hands. If you look at a reconstruction of Compsognsthus, the neck and arms would be a little shorter than they are on this toy.  You might wonder why there are no feathers?   Since it is meant to mimic the movie the Lost World JP, there are no feathers on it.  It is in this capacity were the toy shines.  If you compare it to the movie it matches up really well. The lack of feathers might turn some people away from this model, but this toy is not meant to be accurate to science, just accurate to the movie.  In that respect Rebor nailed it.  This looks like a Stan Winston creation.   The food item for the Compsognsthus is the really well done dragonfly.   It complements the main figure and is a nice accessory for the shelf or diorama.

Despite the boring pose, I personally  find the Jurassic Park Compsognsthus to be rather cute.  When I look at it, they way the head is raised on the figure, it looks like a pet that is begging for some food.   If you are fan of Stan Winston or Jurassic Park, you might want to give this figure a try.  If you only want accuracy, then I would pass on this figure.

Kentrosaurus (the Lost Kingdoms series C, by Yowie)

Background: Wild Safari Kentrosaurus Foreground: Yowie Kentrosaurus

Despite it being smaller and less grandeur in size when compared to its contemporaries Stegosaurus and TuojiangosaurusKentrosaurus’s look is snazzy enough for the major dinosaur toy brands to show it some love from time to time.  As with many of its fellow sterosaurids it had a small yet narrow skull that ended with a beak which would have been useful while sniping off plant stems and leaves.   It also had a double row of small plates running down its back which transformed into spikes on the hips and continued down the tail. Along with the tail spikes there was a long spine on each shoulder.

If you don’t know and you are wondering, what is the Yowie toy brand?   Well, they are a confectionery and publishing brand that originated from Australia and teamed up with  confectionery giant Cadbury to make foil-wrapped character-shaped milk chocolate that came in a plastic egg. Within the capsule there was a multi-part collectable model which included animals from Australia and around the world. The Kentrosaurus is from 2002 series C, which had 30 figures and 6 limited edition dinosaurs.

About the toy:  It is hard to follow up the ever impressive, spectacular, Arnold Schwarzenegger in feathers, Wild Safari Tyrannosaurus Rex review that proceeds this one. That figure is the epitiomy of  grandeur and majesty of dinosaurs in toy form. Due to its size, the Yowie Kentrosaurus is not quite as majestic, and is easy to overlook, but lets not underestimate it.  At a height of 1.1 in (2.79 cm) and a length of 3 in (7.62 cm) it is a small figure on par with the Kaiyodo figures.  In the pictures for this review, I posed it with the Wild Safari Kentrosaurus (which is really small) just to show how small the figure really is.   The figure comes in four parts, head/neck, tail, body and legs right and left sides.  When put together, it leaves a little articulation in the head and tail, to be able to move them up and down slightly.

The head on this figure is really small and the neck is at an appropriate length.  The body has a gut that sags and looks well fed.  The legs are slightly bent which makes it look like it is ambling along at a slow pace, most likely foraging on nearby vegetation.  The tail is raised with two spikes at its tail.  The figure only has three colors on it.  a light green for the body, legs, and head, creamy white for the underbelly, and an orange streak that runs from the head all the way to the tail.  There is a small dot of black for the eyes.  There is not a lot of texture on this toy, just some bumpy skin and lines on the plates.

As for the scientific accuracy, it is not perfect.  The good news is, it does have a  squat body with a small head, and a combination of plates and spikes along the back. Unfortunately it is missing the shoulder spike, the spikes on the back look like pegs, and the tail is way too short, but what do you expect from such a small figure that came with chocolate.

Playability: For kids in the 3-6 range it can be fun toy to play with. Older kids might like it as well if they are dinosaur fans.  It is made from four separate  pieces that snap together, which can fall apart if played with roughly. This  might lead some parents to super glue it together to keep it from falling apart. The plastic is not super brittle but it can break if treated too roughly.

Overall:  I personally like this little guy.  I find this diminutive toy a fun, cute, little gem of a figure.  Yes it lacks perfect accuracy, and the seam lines are visible, but that doesn’t mean it can’t find a place in your collection.  Of course if you place on the shelf next to the Tyco Kentrosaurus, this little guy would look newly hatched.  If you are interested to find this small, but wonderful figure (in my opinion), off to places like ebay you must go, as this figure has been retired for quite some time.