Review and photos by Takama, edited by Plesiosauria
A lot of new figures have come out in 2017 [vote for your favourites here – Ed], but perhaps none have become more controversial than the Acrocanthosaurus that Schleich have created for their ‘Conquering the Earth’ dinosaurs collection. Sure, other Schleich models made for this year (like the Allosaurus) have their issues, but this one seems to bear the brunt of the scrutiny when it comes to the reception from dinosaur toy critics. The ‘Conquering the Earth’ Acrocanthosaurus is the first Acrocanthosaurus that Schleich has ever made, and I assume it was created to compete with versions of this dinosaur by the likes of CollectA, Rebor, and the recently released Papo model. However, one glance at the model should be enough to tell you that this is not one of Schleich’s finest pieces.
I calculate it is around 1:35 scale, and to start things off with the pros, the arms are supinated in a palm-to-palm pose, not pronated into ‘bunny paws’ like those on the Allosaurus released in the same year. The characteristic high spine is also present on this model. However, the cons greatly outweigh the pros, although personally I think this model is not as bad as some of the other figures made by Schleich in the past.
One of the criticisms some people were quick to jump on is the tripodal stance. While it’s true that the model is made in a tripodal stance, the model can still balance on its own two feet, with the tail held just an inch or less off the ground. That does not excuse the fact that this model has oversized feet, and that it is missing dewclaws. One can only speculate why this model is missing this anatomical feature, and it’s not the only feature missing from the model. Other problems with it include: the lack of an enlarged claw on the hands, a tail too short, and lack of binocular vision. If you challenged this model to a staring contest, you’d win by a landslide because there’s no way the animal could see you without turning its head to the side.
Speaking of the head, the fenestrae of the skull are visible through the skin, which definitely means that they shrink-wrapped it just like some of their other models (although thankfully this one is not as ugly as the Schleich Barapasaurus). The model features an articulated jaw, that could be used for playability among other dinosaur toys, but it doesn’t open very wide. In terms of detail, there is nothing to write home about on this model. A majority of the figure’s skin is sculpted with wrinkles, and the way the bottom half of the figure is sculpted makes me almost certain that they digitally sculpted this model. The long rows of creases remind me an awful lot of those on the Brachiosaurus and Barapasaurus from the same line, and it shows a certain level of laziness that I just can’t help but notice.
The colors of this figure almost harken back to Schleich’s ‘Replicasaurus’ days, with a majority of the model painted in two shades of brown (both a light and a dark brown), with black highlights on the skull. The animal’s characteristic high spine is painted in a bright blue, that extends all along the animal’s back. Other colors include black for the claws, white for the teeth, orange for the eyes, and blue for the tongue.
Overall, this is sure to divide tastes in our community. It is not Schleich’s finest work, but at the same time, it’s not the worst thing they’ve ever made in my opinion. Do I recommend this to anyone looking for an accurate or good looking Acrocanthosaurus toy? Absolutely not! But it would make for a decent kids toy. It is certainly made out of a durable material that can probably withstand the most abusive children, and Schleich clearly did not make this with collectors in mine, because the paint quality on this model is poor – the simple act of handling the model is enough to cause the paint to flake off. If you still wish to purchase oneof these things, then you can find it on Amazon here and Ebay.