We haven’t talked about Chinese company Wenno (see their website) here before, so, let’s take a look. Wenno seem to sell their figures only in sets, not individually. They produce several modern animal sets representing different geographical regions (continents and oceans); a couple of endangered animal sets; and four prehistoric sets: Jurassic, Cretaceous, Herbivore and Carnivore. However, although currently unavailable individually, today I’m restricting my review to just one model, the Lambeosaurus, which is part of Wenno’s ‘Cretaceous Dinosaurs’ set.
Wenno’s prehistoric figures range from the unremarkable to the bizarre. They are all rather inaccurate so I don’t anticipate collectors clamouring to put these on their shelves. However, they do have some interesting species choices, and one particular figure grabbed my attention as I unboxed this set on Youtube. For a single reason: its crest.
The Wenno Lambeosaurus lacks the backwards-pointing prong – the thumb of the mitten as I like to think of it – which is present in adults of the type species L. lambei, and present in most other Lambeosaurus toys for that matter. The crest in the Wenno toy also arcs forward into an overhanging bulbous plate. It clearly represents Lambeosaurus magnicristatus, a species rarely portrayed as a toy, which is why it captured my attention so. The crest has a rim running around its circumference, this is superfluous artistic licence. The crest is highlighted in a dusty red, which is a bit of a trope for Lambeosaurus toys (as per Stegosaurus‘ plates).
The bipedal pose the Wenno Lambeosaurus is outdated. The upright posture and wide-legged stance reminds me of the UKRD figures I grew up with in the 1980s, and they were already on their way to becoming out of date at the time. The Lambeosaurus is also a little reminiscnent of the early (and maligned) ‘Procon’ days of CollectA. But, there’s something pleasing about it in a retro kind of way. The tail touches the ground although it would be unfair to call it a tail-tragger. This ensures the figure stands confidently with no risk of toppling over. The feet have three toes, which is correct. Early ornithopods had a fourth toe (digit I) on the inside of the foot, but this toe was absent in hadrosaurs and other later ornithopods. The hands are noteworthy. Instead of gracile hooves, its ‘bunny hands’ have four beefy fingers that appear well suited for playing the piano but not bearing weight. The latter was a necessity since Lambeosaurus walked on all fours, while the former was less important since Lambeosaurus did not play the piano (at least, there is no fossil evidence for it).
The mouth is correctly expanded slightly into the duck-like bill that gives hadrosaurs such as Lambeosaurus their nickname. The figure has a true-to-life knobbly texture all over, and a frilly row of keratinous scales running along the length of its humped back, which I’m fond of. The body is olive green all over.
There is no brand name or animal name printed on the figure, it just reads “MADE IN CHINA”. So, expect Wenno figures to turn up every now and again in the Dinosaur Toy Forum’s ever-active figure identification thread. On the topic of the DTF, we recently welcomed a Wenno representative to our midst: https://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=7133.msg211758 so we look forward to finding out more areout this curious company and what the future holds for them. Wenno figures are made of high quality non-phthalate PVC (Hexamoll® DINCH®), which is robust and safe for play.
Overall, this is a curious figure with several inaccuracies, but retains enough charm to have earned a place on my display shelves. I bought both the Cretaceous and Jurassic Wenno sets on Ebay and intend to review a few other choice Wennos in the future.
Lastly, I’ve been trying to make sense of Wenno’s tagline: “more than just animals”. Since their line apparently does consist only of animals (including dinosaurs, of course), this statement is not to be taken literally! Perhaps it means Wenno toys are more than just animals in the sense that they’re also a tool for education and creativity. Or, maybe it alludes to the QR codes that accompany the figures on a poster that comes with each set. I just wanted to note that the Wenno logo is curious as well: three elephants’ arses. A large elephant arse flanked by two small elephant arses, to be precise! Wonderful stuff.