Category Archives: Schleich

Giganotosaurus (Small)(Schleich)

Giganotosaurus is one of the largest known theropods, exceeding even Tyrannosaurus rex in body length, though not in mass. Its razor-sharp teeth were superbly adapted for slicing through the leathery hides of the rebacchisaurs and titanosaurs that lived alongside it in Cretaceous South America.

Today I’ll be examining the 2017 repaint of the small Schleich Giganotosaurus originally released in 2015. This figure is sculpted in a dynamic pose with its feet planted, its tail swinging to the right, its scrawny arms flailing, its head raised to the sky, and its mouth open in a thundering roar. Or more likely a bellow or a croak or a hiss. This gives the toy a height of just over 11 cm and a length of about 16.5 cm.

Whereas the 2015 version was coloured dark red and metallic silver, this one is beige and very dark brown with black wash. Red is used for the sides of the head and the row of triangular spines running from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail. The eyes are black, the mouth is dirty pink, the teeth are dirty white, and the claws are dark brown. Not what you’d call exciting.

The Giganotosaurus‘ skin texture consists mainly of crisscrossing wrinkles, with thicker ones at the joints and on the throats and underbelly. The feet feature the rows of bird-like scales found on virtually every theropod toy. And then there are the large, grid-like scale patterns on either side of the muzzle and the tiny pebbled scales in the orbits and the temporal fenestrae, which are ringed by osteoderms. Finally, the larger spines on the vertebrae have simple grooves carved in them.

On that note, let’s tackle the many inaccuracies plaguing this toy. First, the muzzle is too short, the teeth are too few, and the nostrils are totally absent. The cranium suffers from major shrink wrapping, with the eyes sunken in by about a millimetre. The arms are too large, the wrists are pronated, and the claws are blunt and the wrong shape. And lastly, the feet are grossly oversized and the tail is too short.

With its many anatomical errors and boring colour scheme, this really isn’t a quality toy. Heck, the only reason I ended up with it is because it came in a two-pack with the new Saichania. If you’re looking to snag a good Giganotosaurus toy, then I strongly recommend going with the new one from Safari. Or tracking down the retired Carnegie Collection version. Or even picking up one of Schleich’s Deluxe versions. As for this one, it’s going to be donated to a dinosaur bin in a kindergarten classroom.

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.