Category Archives: Schleich

Brachiosaurus 1993 ( Replica-Saurus, by Schleich)

To help set the mood, lets take a moment and imagine ourselves walking among the fern covered floodplains in the late Jurassic.  A muddy stream meanders and snakes across the landscape. There are green spreading fronds of tree ferns, along with cycads and gingkoes. There are numerous tall conifers.  Out in the fields and along the stream banks you can hear hoots, honks and sounds of the many animals living in the area.  While standing in the shadows of the Pterosaurs flying overhead, you look over the floodplain and over by a small copse of conifers you see  a rare animal.  At 40-50 feet high (12-16 meters) it dominates the landscape.  It is pulling the branches on the conifers and striping them of their needles.  With its towering long neck along with its long forelegs and sloping back, forcing you to look high into the air to see its head.  The animal is truly majestic. It is the magnificent Brachiosaurus.

Before anyone rips out some hair from their head and scream out, “That toy is not a Brachiosaurus its Giraffatitan brancai!”  Let me say,  I know.  When Schleich  made the Replica-Saurus line, it was done in close cooperation with the Natural History Museum of the Humboldt-University Berlin. Until recently the Brachiosaurid that is mounted at the NHM of Humboldt-University Berlin was known as Brachiosaurus, and it was obviously the  inspiration for this toy.  In 2009 paleontologist Michael Taylor determined that Gregory Paul was correct and that B. brancai should belong to its own genus, reclassifying it as Giraffatitan brancai.   Back in the 90’s when the toy was made it was still considered a Brachiosaurus, so you really can’t fault Schleich.

With all that out of the way lets take a closer look at this 1993 Brachiosaurus behemoth from Schleich.

About the toy:  Due to being made in the 90’s it is proud and standing tall in a classic periscope style pose. At 34 cm high (13 in) this is a tall toy.  It is one of the tallest brachiosaurid toys out there.  It is only 1 cm shorter than the huge Carnegie version and is taller than its Schleich counterparts.  Its Replica-Saurus replacement was only 31 cm tall and the WHO and COE versions are much, much shorter.

If you are familiar with some of the ugly heads that Schleich has put on some of their models in the past, Examples: (Carnotaurus or Baryonyx,) you know what you are in for and will not be surprised when you take a closer look.  Ugh, what were they thinking.  The skull is poorly done, the circle eyes, and the nostrils are placed in the classic sauropod snorkel position on the large bump in front of its eyes.  In reality the nostrils were forward on their snout.  Another example of shrink wrap anatomy.  I don’t know what you think but with that toothy frown, this girl looks unhappy.

As for the rest of the body it is a rather plain pose.  Just standing there like it is holding still for a portrait or on display at a museum.  The legs are rather straight and thin.  The body is big, but I would still say that this figure looks underfed.  The skin texture looks like dried mud all cracked and disjointed.  There are some skin folds along the body that look nice.  The feet are incorrect but typical of the toys made at that time.  The tail is small and rather thin.  The colors are simple.  Brown, with some dark brown shading.  Its nails on the feet are grey.  The eyes are a dull orange and the teeth are white.

Only the thumb should bare a claw.

Overall:  I recently did a dinosaur talk at school with kids that are 4-5 years old.   I brought around twenty dinosaur toys with me for the discussion.  I let the kids hold onto and look at each toy as I talked about the animal.  I brought models of T-Rex, CarnotaurusApatosaurus, and Triceratops among others.  The toy that the kids liked the best was this Brachiosaurus.  Why?    Well both my kids like to play with this toy so I asked them why they like this toy.  There answer was simple.  The size.  I must agree with them.  This figure inspires awe despite the inaccuracies, ugly face, and bland colors.  It towers over most other figures and can dominate the display shelf.

On the positive side, as a collector I appreciate that “in the U.S.A at least” it is a harder figure to find. Makes it stand out from the regular figures.   It is a big figure which I think really makes sauropods look better.  On the negative side its pose is outdated,  there are many inaccuracies, and the colors are bland.  If you like it, this toy does pop up on e-bay from time to time.

Kentrosaurus (Conquering the Earth by Schleich)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

Kentrosaurus is one of those dinosaurs that almost everyone in this community has heard of, as it’s basically a cousin of Stegosaurus with more spikes and spines coming out of its shoulders. It may have been smaller than Stegosaurus, but that did not mean that it was not potentially dangerous, as the animal had enough spikes to take on even the largest of predators. It was found in Africa, at the Tendaguru Formation, where it lived alongside other plant eaters such as Giraffatitan and Dicraeosaurus.

In 2015, Schleich released a Kentrosaurus for their World of History line, and it was one of the company’s most well-received figures. Not only was it one of the best dinosaurs they made that year, but it was also one of their best ones to date. So it may (or may not) come as a surprise to you all that that figure is being retired for 2018 and being replaced with this new one made for the 2017 Conquering the Earth line.

First impressions are decent. The detailing is great, and this time, the model has a good colour scheme to really accent the detail (unlike the 2017 Stegosaurus). A majority of the model is sculpted with individual scales, and the head resembles that of a real stegosaur. The pose is not as dynamic as either the first Kentrosaurus, and I feel that it could use a little tweaking. Now, I’m not exactly sure how to interpret this pose, as the right forelimb is in motion (with only the claw tips touching the ground) and the tail is pointing upwards while curving to the side. Some may interpret this as a threat display, but I also wonder if the model could be in a walking pose as well. If the tail was held more straight, I would have liked it a lot more, as it would deviate it from the poses given to the previous Stegosaurus and Kentrosaurus, but as it is, it’s just giving me a headache to interpret this figure.

As far as accuracy is concerned, there is plenty to talk about. The spikes and plates are paired evenly along the back like they should be. However, the figure is made by Schleich, so there are some faults to be had here. For one, the feet on this figure are incorrect, as only three claws should be present on the front feet, not the whole set of toes. Another issue with this figure is the head. If you take a look at the skeletal drawing by Scott Hartman, you can see that Kentrosaurus had a pretty small head when compared to the body. It is also apparent that the neck is too short. While I was looking at the skeleton, the other issues with the sculpt became even more apparent, as the plates are not spaced correctly and the shoulder spikes are jutting out too much. However, comparing this model to the previous Kentrosaurus shows that the shape of the plates have been corrected in accordance to the skeleton, making this version a little more accurate.

As for the colours on this figure, the model’s base colour is white with a normal tan washed over it. The sculpt is also adorned with maroon stripes, which look fantastic, and make it look a bit more interesting than the Stegosaurus. Other colours include a dark brown for the claws and beak and white on the tips of the spikes.

At around 7 inches from head to tail, the model is most likely around 1:25 scale, which would make it too big to be in scale with anything that’s 1:40. But then again, I feel that the days of scale model dinosaur figures are long gone, as almost every company out there today has abandoned scale in favour of making toys that are big enough for kids to play around with. As a toy, this Kentrosaurus can offer a lot of play value, as it has more than enough spikes to make kids want to impale their theropod figures. As a collectible, I can safely say that the accuracy has improved a bit, so if you were hard-pressed to own only one Kentrosaurus from Schleich, then this would be the one if you are also a stickler for accuracy. Even though it’s not perfect, it is still a lot better than all of the theropods Schleich released this year, and it should go down as one of their better efforts to date.

Saichania (Small)(Schleich)

Saichania, meaning “the beautiful one” in Mongolian, derives its name from the magnificent state of preservation the type specimen was found in. Like Ankylosaurus and Euoplocephalus, it was covered in heavy armour and bore a large club at the end of its tail. But whereas its North American relatives inhabited lush forests and floodplains, Saichania was adapted for the harsh life of the desert. Special air passages in its head cooled the air it breathed in and helped restrict water loss, while a reinforced hard palate enabled it to grind up tough plants.

Schleich has been very fond of Saichania, having released several different versions over the years. This is their newest one, released in 2017. From snout to club tip, it measures a respectable 13 cm long. The main colours are pine green and beige washed over with black and complimented by rust red streaks. The eyes and nostrils are black and the tongue is bright red. I think it looks pretty good. Like most dinosaur toys, this one appears to have been caught in the midst of confronting an enemy. Its head is raised, its mouth is open, and its mighty tail is raised and swinging to the right.

The Saichania‘s back and flanks are covered in small, rounded scales while the underbelly features larger, square-shaped scales. The top of the skull has a knobby texture and the beak, osteoderms, and club are covered in grooves, giving them a rough, worm appearance. Thick wrinkles add realism to the throat and the limb joints. While not in the same league as the sculpting jobs by CollectA, Papo, and Safari, it’s still nothing to sneeze at.

Accuracy is a mixed bag here. The skull is broad with an almost pig-like snout and the correct arrangement of horns jutting from the mandible and behind the orbits. The forelimbs are covered in heavy armour, a distinguishing characteristic that was absent on all of Schleich’s previous attempts. The plates covering the back run in parallel rows with the largest ones at the rear, which is also in keeping with skeletal reconstructions. But there are still a number of major inaccuracies. The head is too big for the body, the armour on the forelimbs should extend further down, the body should be wider, the tail is too short, and the club is too large and too deep. As well, the limbs are too thick and stumpy, and the hind feet should have three toes, not four.

I’m generally not fond of Schleich products, but I’ll give credit where I believe it’s due. This toy has its issues, but it’s a pretty swell rendition of the real deal nevertheless. If all of Schleich’s prehistoric figures were like this, we’d be a lot happier. The Saichania is sold in a two-pack with a repaint of the small 2015 Giganotosaurus, but some online stores like DeJankins sell them separately.