Albertosaurus was a theropod related to Tyrannosaurus which roamed North America during the Late Cretaceous roughly 70 million years ago. Unlike its more famous cousin, Albertosaurus existed earlier and was much smaller, reaching only around 30 feet in length. The name means “Alberta lizard”, pertaining to where the holotype specimen of this animal was discovered in 1884.
This Albertosaurus was a 2003 release by Schleich, and was only in production for three years, from 2003-2006. The only other museum line model of Albertosaurus that I know of is the Carnegie version, released in 2004. This Schleich figure is 7 inches long by about 3 inches tall, and is scaled roughly to 1:40. As with most other Schleich models, this figure has a wrinkly rather than scaly texture, with distinct folds of skin around the joints and especially around the neck. There is some nice detail in the musculature of the tail. The pose is a tripod stance, but as you can tell from the pictures, mine is actually perfectly balanced on just its two feet and the tail does not touch the ground. It’s a sort of prowling pose, with the mouth partially open revealing the teeth.
In my opinion the color scheme of this figure is absolutely one of Schleich’s best and most interesting for a dinosaur. The figure is molded in mint green plastic, and this serves as a base color. There are gray and light brown stripes running laterally down the body, turning vertical on the tail. Pretty cool and natural looking camouflage! The skull is colored gray, as well as the lower part of the hind limbs. The claws are colored light brown, and the teeth are faintly white. Its eyes are painted mint green with black pupils and are ringed in light brown. This whole paint scheme is a nice deviation from the usual Schleich dull brown, green, or gray, and I love it!
This is a decent enough sculpt of a theropod. Until you get to the head. The skull of this figure is just awful. It looks nothing like the skull of Albertosaurus, being way too short, deep, and fat. It doesn’t look like the skull of any real theropod dinosaur, being rather just a generic sculpt undoubtedly dreamed up by someone at Schleich. Ideally it should look like a smaller, trimmer T. rex skull. The eyes sort of bug out like a chameleon’s and look very unrealistic. The mouth looks like it’s open in a silly grin, with big thick lips. The forelimbs are also a bit too chunky, but the wrists are somewhat correctly positioned, and at least they only gave it two digits on each hand, which is accurate. The hind limbs could be a lot worse than they are but the feet are really generic looking. Despite all these flaws I still like this figure because it’s got character. In terms of scientific accuracy the Carnegie Albertosaurus is a lot better.
It’s always too bad to see how glaringly obvious it is when a manufacturer doesn’t do much research when sculpting a new figure, but I think the cool paint scheme on this figure almost makes up for its inaccuracies. It’s a really ugly figure, but I think it’s at least a whole lot better overall than the Schleich Ouranosaurus and I’d recommend it to anyone who can find it for a cheap price. It’s been retired for a while now so ebay is about the only place you’ll find it anymore.