Guest starring Libraraptor
Indohyus: Hello and welcome to this review! When discussing reviewing this figure, the talk led to the idea of having multiple reviewers giving their opinions on it (for reasons you will see later). So joining me for this review, we have reviewer and Forum legend Libraraptor! Welcome aboard!
Libraraptor: Glad to be here! Been looking forward to talking about this particular model. The “Mesozoic seal” Nothosaurus by Schleich.
I: A little background on the species, Nothosaurus is a semi aquatic reptile from the Mid Triassic, and is found across the globe, from North America to Europe and China. It may have led to latter marine reptiles like plesiosaurs, or at least it’s group, the nothosaurs, may have. There are a small number of models of this animal, and this one by Schleich is the biggest yet, at 8.7″ long and 3.5″ wide. Let’s see how they did!
L: Let’s start with the positives (which won’t take long). The patterns on the body are done nicely, perhaps not to Papo or Safari standards, but not bad. The basic silhouette is there, with the triangular head and flattened tail. The sculpted ribs are also a good touch to this model, though easier to find in person than in pictures of the figure.
I: I also personally like the colouring (though opinions may be divided there). The greys work for a marine reptile, though mine suffered with quality control issues of paint marks that shouldn’t be there, luckily absent on Libraraptor’s model. That’s the positives done. Now the negatives….
L: The head of this figure is awful. It looks like someone squeezed the head and flattened it, which doesn’t help the massive, blunt teeth on it, which really draws the eyes in a bad way. Speaking of eyes, you can barely tell they are there, they are tiny dots on this model. It also suffers from shrink wrapping, common with a lot of Schleich dinosaurs.
I: Moving down to the limbs, we find forelimbs that are way too long, almost comically long, connected to flippers that are likewise slightly oversized for the animal it represents.
L: The hindlimbs suffer from the same issues as the forelimbs, with added problems of the muscles, which are horribly asymmetrical and jute out badly, which is an annoying eyesore. Then there is the right flipper. I tried to find any way that I could bend my hands like that, but it’s impossible, and results in an unnatural pose. If it was meant to be the underside, it should have been painted as such, but no, it isn’t, so it is left looking like it’s broken.
I: Agreed, it’s so weird a choice to make! This brings us onto the worst part of this model: the pose.
L: It seems they wanted to go for a swimming pose, but no animal swims like this! I looked into many gaits, strides and walks to find something that matches it, but there is nothing that works credibly for it.
I: It really is cartoony, like it’s trying to do a doggy paddle! No reptile swims like this, resulting in this horrible mess.
L: It really makes you wonder what manager allowed this to go through, actually looked at this and thought “Yes, this is fine”. It’s a well meant, mass produced figure, but it broke any promise of being good. For a German company making a species found in Germany, it’s really disappointing, and left me angry and frustrated at what could have been, as I really wanted to like this one. It’s like the Spinophorosaurus model I reviewed but with webbed feet! For something worth €15 (£13/$17), you can buy a lot better. Still, the target audience (children) will be quite happy to pick it up, or get it as a gift to play with in the bath, so it does well enough for that.
I: I absolutely agree, it’s definitely a figure for the toy box more than the collectors shelf as, while there aren’t many Nothosaurus models, the others still blow this one out of the water. If you want a model for a kid to play with, it’ll do, but if you want a Nothosaurus to display in your collection, look away from this one.
A big thank you to Libraraptor for joining me for this review (and showing me the correct pronunciation of Schleich). Was an absolute joy to collaborate with you on this review and I hope to do more in the future.
I enjoyed the dialogue in the review, it would be nice to see more of this style of review on the blog. As for the poor Nothosaur, alas another missed opportunity for Schleich. Why can’t their sculptors engage more with palaeontologists? It pays off for Safari etc…
Ah, the figure finally got a review! Poor little one is just so misshapen!
Great collaboration on this review!
It really looks like one of those bendy toys with the wires inside. I know it isn’t so, but my brain still wants to de-contort the limbs to alleviate this animal’s suffering.
I see all its flaws and still, I love it! Been a huge Nothosaurus fan since reading Beverly Halsteads dinosaur book series as a kid, with the Nothosaurus Andrian always being my absolute favourite (Despite the traumatic ending). So Schleich producing an underrepresented Triassic non-dinosaur? Yeah, I’m all for it. And at least it’s not unrecognizably cartoonish. Yeah the pose is horrible and only works as a resting pose when viewed from the side or as a badly hurt animal
The nothosaurus could honestly be better, the good thing is that it is bigger than the one in Safari, hopefully PNSO, Collecta or Safari will make one more detailed in sculpture and painting. I honestly don’t like the teeth and seeing the details of the head in these masterful photos honestly make that figure much less brilliant than its prototype.
That was an entertaining read. It’s a real shame that Schleich continues to drop the ball on their prehistoric life models, especially when they tout themselves as an educational company. Hopefully Nothosaurus will get a better shot from another company in the near future.
I bought this my accident… No, really! My local department store stocks only Schleich figures and I have a standing order for them to put aside anything new that comes in. I had meant to pass on this one, but when I picked up the bag of new dinosaurs, I forgot to remove the Nothosaur… A very odd toy indeed! Even my little Starlux model trumps this. I shall take it out for a drive one night and leave it in a dark lane… Great review though!
Clearly another missed opportunity for Schleich.
Obviously, they are still very much in the business of making toys, not models, much as the Jurassic Park/World franchise is in the business of making schlock monster movies, not “scientific” depictions of possible dinosaur appearances and behaviors.
Terrific review of a terrible product, gentlemen! I too am aghast by the pose and that weirdly contorted right limb. Schleich really has no business being more successful globally than CollectA and Safari, but I guess they really are the McDonald’s of dinosaur toys.