Hidden by vines streaming down the rock face, there can be found multiple fractures in the otherwise solid rock face. One opening was wide, big, and served as entrance to the cave. There was also a small hole further up on the wall that could let in a dim beam of light during the mid afternoon sun. Once inside the threshold, the cave is cool, musty, and the smell of decay, and rotting flesh permeate the dark space. The jagged gap that served as an entrance is just big enough for a fairly large theropod to enter, provided it kept its head down.
Inside and hidden away from view in a dark corner of the cave is a nest. Around this nest are two t-rex babies. The nest is warm and cozy for the younglings but curiosity takes hold and one of the little t-rex’s begins to explore its surroundings. The room is dark and the stone floor is cold but in the distance there is a bright light streaming into the cave from between the vines. Slowly the creature heads toward the entrance and it steps into the beam of light. It is an abrupt contradiction from the cold world inside as the air is dry and warm. A sensation of joy and warmth spreads throughout its tiny frame.
It inches closer to the entrance and suddenly it is hit by a breeze that is carrying a multitude of strange scents and all these strange smells engulfs the little fellow. It stands there for a moment in the warmth, enjoying all the strange scents that are carried by the wind. Its curiosity grows and it steps fully out of the cave. A shadow pass overhead and the little animal looks up. A huge creature is circling overhead, above the cave, and the tops of the trees. After a few moments it notice something on the ground moving towards it. It smells different than mom, what could it be? The baby freezes unsure what to do…….what happens next, I’ll leave that up to you, but this is a possible scenario facing kids when they open the Schleich dinosaur cave playset.
I suppose a cave is a good place for newly hatched dinosaurs to hide from large predators, however with this play set there a number of animals waiting for the babies to venture outside the cave. I do not think Tyrannosaurus Rex would use a cave this small, I would imagine that if it did use a cave, it would be a little scarier of a look, a lot like the lion cave that Lt. Col. John Patterson described in Tsavo, with bones strewn all about.
If you think this dinosaur cave playset looks familiar, well that’s because there is a wild life play set made by Schleich, that comes with the same exact cave, just different plants, and a lion. The reason why I choose to review this play set is due to the number of dinosaurs that come with the set, and four of them are exclusive with this set. So without further ado, hit play on the Ghost and the Darkness soundtrack, for nice adventure back ground music, and lets take a closer look.
About the playset: The cave base is made of hard plastic that is inflexible. The sandy base snaps together and the two pieces of the cave fit together with pegs. There are two openings, the large one in the front and a small hole on the side. It has many different ledges sticking out which allows you to place figures in many different places. The plants are made of flexible plastic and have a peg that fit into the multitude of holes that are spread out around the cave. *A quick note, the vines on this play set did not fit into the holes, I had to whittle them down to make them fit. Once assembled it is approx. 6 in (15cm) high, 12 in (30 cm) deep, and 10 in (25 cm) wide.
The animals that comes with the play set are: Carnotaurus, Quetzalcoatlus, Quetzalcoatlus baby, Tyrannosaurus Rex baby, Microraptor, and Archaeopteryx. If you want to know more about the Carnotaurus and Quetzalcoatlus toys, just click on their names for links to the reviews that were done previously on these figures.
This Tyrannosaurus Rex baby is small coming in at 1 in (2.5 cm) tall. It is posed sitting on its haunches, tail wrapped around the body, arms folded in front, featherless, looking curiously upwards. It is colored light green and tan, and it has sculpted skin wrinkles all over. It is a strange looking little baby. In my imagination it looks like a mutant frog that is begging for food. The material the toy is made out of is soft and bendy. The figure comes with a plastic egg that it can fit in.
The Quetzalcoatlus baby is slightly taller than the Baby t-rex. It is a nice match to the full size version as the colors and style match up closely. The pose is static as it is standing still with the wings folded up. There are pycnofibres on the body, and on the head there is a small but not fully formed crest. Regarding the colors on this figure, the torso is brown with dry brushed beige and the beak is beige. The antorbital fenestra is colored in turquoise along with the wings. I guess that matches the green and blue wing colors on the adult toy. Just like the baby t-rex the material that it is made with is bendy and soft. The figure comes with a plastic egg that it can fit in.
The Archaeopteryx is made of a harder plastic than the babies. More like the plastic you would find on a bargain bin dinosaur toy. Still bendy but if you bend it too much it’ll break. It is posed in a tripod stance with the tail feathers touching the ground. The wings are positioned forward as if it was giving a big hug, the feet are close together, and the head looking slightly to its left. The feathering begins at the neck and the feathers get larger as they head toward the back. The feathers end with long spectacular plumage on the wings and tail. The primary feathers are attached starting at the second finger. The skull looks a little a generic reptile head and is featherless. Ear holes are present behind the head. On the feet the toes are uniformly spread out and almost flat to the ground. The colors of this toy make it looked like a deranged parrot. While bright and vibrant, in reality as I am sure you know, it has been shown that the feathering would have been black and white.
Microraptor is one of the smallest known dinosaurs, being only around the size of a crow This figure is about the same size as the Archaeopteryx and is made of the same hard plastic. This toy is resting on four points, the feathers on the front limbs, and the toes on each foot, with only the inside toes raised off the ground. Its full plumage begins with some untidy feathers on the back of the head and then covers the rest of the body, except the muzzle, fingers, and toes. The feathers are arranged in multiple layers and are present on the limbs. The tail features a large fan. The head is generic and has small, sharp, uniform teeth inside its mouth. The colors are flat black and white with some sloppy red applied to the edge of its feathers. The fingers and toes are grey, claws are black, eye is yellow, and the inside of the mouth is red. The colors are close to accurate as a living Microraptor would have had dark, iridescent plumage
Playability: This is a great playset for kids. It is safe, tough, and comes with options. The material is sturdy and can stand rough play. Due to the amount of animals that come with the playset, no other dinosaurs are needed for play. Of course, more the merrier and this playset can accommodate them. When my son opened up the box to this playset he had a look of pure joy. He had one word for this playset, “awesome”. Since then the cave has been the setting for many adventures, with or without dinosaurs.
Overall: Is this playset worth it? It depends on who you are. The exclusive figures are neither exciting or accurate. If you are a collector, there is no point getting the playset just for them unless your a Schleich completest. The cave itself can be a nice way to add some flare to your display, as it looks nice and can accommodate multiple figures. The larger figures are a nice addition if you do not have them and like them. If you are looking for a gift for the young dinosaur enthusiast then this is where the playset really shines. It is a great set for kids to play with. Available from Amazon.com here.
Hope you enjoyed the review, may this new year bring joy and fortune upon you, and have a Happy New Year.