Edited by Plesiosauria.
Today’s review is a 2020 Schleich figure that I knew about since 2016. The animal is Plesiosaurus, a long-necked predator that lends its name to a whole Order of marine reptiles that lived from the Early Jurassic all the way up to the Late Cretaceous. The Schleich Plesiosaurus was temporarily listed by name on their website way back in 2016 (and I have a screen cap to prove it), but was taken down for some unknown reason. As the years went by I began to wonder if Schleich had cancelled its release, but fortunately the figure did see the light of day.
The Plesiosaurus that Schleich have created is around 6 inches long with its neck held straight out, is made out of a rubber-like PVC, and even features a bendable neck, with holes at the base at the neck and head. You can pose the neck in different directions (as seen in the photos). However, I’m reluctant to play with it too much, because I fear I may break it at some point in the future. In terms of accuracy, the head of the model isn’t too far off for a generic plesiosaur: it has a triangular skull shape, retracted nostrils, and a set of needle like teeth, which are blunted in this toy for child safety. However, the eyes are positioned too far back, a common error in plesiosaur models. The Schleich Elasmosaurus suffers from the same ailment (someone review it!).
Things go further downhill once we examine the rest of the figure. Plesiosaurus is known to have had a long neck, but the neck on this model is too short for this genus. The animals flippers are too big in proportion to the body, and the torso and tail are too short. To be fair, they at least got the general idea of what the animal looked like correct, unlike their takes on other species in their line (Carnotaurus 2018, Giganotosaurus 2015, Velociraptor 2018, just to name a few). Since the neck is bendable the accuracy of the figure can change depending on the position you pose it in. For instance, you can pose it in a swan-like fashion akin to old depictions of the species, but I prefer to keep it in a more modern straight pose, as I know that’s more accurate.
In terms of detail, the model is completely decked out in large rectangular scales. These get smaller as they go up the neck and onto the head. This rough texture was quite a waste of time for the sculptor because all the scientific evidence points to either tiny mm-long scales or completely smooth skin in plesiosaurs. Either way, at this small scale the texture of the skin would be smooth.
Whoever came up with the paint scheme really took inspiration from the sea – the base color is white, while the majority of the model is painted in ocean blue. There is a series of white speckles on its back, and a bizarre royal blue mask on the face. The teeth are your usual “toy dinosaur” white, and the eyes are black.
Overall, this is undoubtedly the weakest figure out of Schleich’s 2019 lineup. However, I can’t bash it too hard for the lack of scientific research as it was clearly made more to be little kid’s toy than an adult collectible. The bendable neck and the bright blue coloration makes me think that Schleich was more concerned with making a toy that kids can play with in the pool or bathtub, rather than as an educational replica. If you wish to buy it, it is currently still available at most retailers, including small ones such as DeJankins in the USA, Everything Dinosaur In the UK, as well as MiniZoo in Austalia. In the end, I only recommend this for diehard Schleich collectors, young children who can use it as a bath toy, [and plesiosaur nuts like me – Ed.], but not to those who want a replica of Plesiosaurus.
Pretty sure this was released in 2019 not 2020.
Honestly, that Schleich plesiosaurus is not at the same height as his elasmosaurus whose sculpture was far superior to that figure. However, it is an ideal figure for children. Magnificent and fair review of this figure.
It’s certainly not as stunning as the fantastic Plesiosaurus models by Favorite or Safari’s Elasmosaurus but the sculpt has a certain charm to it like WWD’s Cryptoclidus and it’s honestly quite cute.