Category Archives: thyreophoran

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.

Euoplocephalus (Jurassic Hunters by Geoworld)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

Up today is the first ankylosaur that Geoworld ever released for their line. Euoplocephalus was once the go-to ankylosaur for toy companies in the 90s’ due to the fact that it was a better known species then its family’s namesake. However, over the years, it seems to have been phased out in favour of Ankylosaurus, even if the toy still ends up looking like a Euoplocephalus anyway.

​The Jurassic Hunters toy made by Geoworld is definitely one of the worst versions of the species ever made, but when one looks at the toy, it is easy to see that they were trying to replicate a Euoplocephalus and not some other type of ankylosaur, as the spike patterns match up with the known fossils at the time of the toy’s release. However, anyone who’s well-versed in dinosaurs can tell where the problems lie in this model. The head is way too big and not even the correct shape. Club-tailed ankylosaurs like Euoplocephalus are known for their relatively short skulls, but the one on this toy is triangular in shape. Now, I do know that Euoplocephalus‘ skull does sort of have a triangular shape, but it’s a lot rounder than what was sculpted on this toy. Another error lies with the mouth. The mouth was sculpted open, but it lacks any indication that it is hinged like a real mouth would be. It’s as if the sculptor made the head and cut out a piece of clay from it to create the opening for the mouth, giving it an unnatural appearance. Another issue is that the hips are definitely not wide enough. For a model that gets it right, Simply take a look at the Battat Euoplocephalus, which is an almost perfect representation of the species that looks like it had a lot of care put into it. To be fair, like the Battat, the Geoworld version has only one cervical half ring, which is not accurate for the species (it should really have two).

In terms of detail, there’s not much to write about, as the majority of the toy is sculpted with irregular shapes that I assume are supposed to be scales. The caputegulae (head armour) does not match up with that of the real animal, but then, neither does a majority of the toy, so no surprises there. And the feet are crudely made with minimal detail sculpted to make the toes. And in terms of colour, all I have to say is that this model reminds me of a corncob. The base colour is yellow, which takes up the head, neck, and entirety of the bottom half of the figure, and the back is green. The claws are painted black, the mouth is painted dark red, and the little bits of teeth present in the mouth are white.

Now that the figure is out of the way, it’s time to look at the fact card that comes with it. First off, the image used on the card is also the same exact image used on the card for the Ankylosaurus which I plan on reviewing in the future. The only difference is that there are a couple of spikes jutting out of the back of the neck. It should be noted that the card has terrible grammar, and there are contradictions on both sides. For instance, on the image side, it says that Euoplocephalus‘ head was without armour, but on the flipside, it states that it was protected by bony plates. Obviously it’s easy to tell which side of the card is wrong, as anyone with a good knowledge of dinosaurs would know that the head of this animal was indeed armoured, but it’s still apparent that the people who crafted this card did not proofread anything before sending it out to be mass produced. The card states that there are forty complete specimens of this animal known to science, however, it should be noted that this card was made before the genus was split into different genera, with the text referencing the holotype specimen of Scolosaurus as being the most well preserved of Euoplocephalus. As with the Spinosaurus card, I cannot say where the image was taken from, so once again, if you know, please say so in the comments.

​And it is, the Geoworld Euoplocephalus. It is one of only four thyreophorans in the entire line, despite the fact that the line spans over 96 figures. Honestly, I can’t say I recommend this figure to anyone, as it is a poor product that was made without much thought put into it, and clearly not worthy of a dinosaur enthusiast’s collection. If you need a Euoplocephalus that badly, then seek out the Battat model, which is still available under the Terra brand.