While Barnum Brown is the name associated with the discory of the fossils that should be crowned Tyrannosaurus rex, it was in fact Edward Drinker Cope that dug up the first remains of our all beloved theropod. He described Manospondylus gigas from two fragmentary vertebrae eight years before Brown eventually dug up a partial skeleton. A certain abstract in the ICZN (International Code of Zoological Nomenclature) rules made it possible to keep the awesomebro name we are all used to instead of getting used to call our all mighty meat grinder “Manospondylus” from now on and ever. Despite being somewhat superlative and awe inspiring, this theropod might have never come to the popularity it achieved if it hadn’t kept its name: Tyrannosaurus rex. Tail dragger or flamboyant peacock, hyaena or lion, its fame is unbroken through the decades and so, every toy company frequently comes up with a new rendition of this carnivore. And there we are, viewing Schleich’s new approach. Considering earlier by Schleich the bar wasn’t set really high, so how did they fare this time?
Schleich is rightfully infamous amongst dinosaur toy collectors who give a credit or two about accuracy. While some Schleich dinosaurs certainly have their charme, not few of them were inaccurate to say the least, some crude and ugly to an extent only known from cheap chinasaur figures. This however changed greatly when the 2018 line up was released and an outcry of joyfull expectation was heard amongst the collector community. That appreciation was mostly related to other figures, probably not least because the question stands, if we really need another Tyrannosaurus figure. But we anyway got it, so let’s turn to the figure….
Schleich’s new tyrant measures 31 cm in straight line from the nose to the tip of the tail and stands almost 15 cm tall. The body is held horizontally and the figure stands very stable on two feet. These are certainly larger than in the actual animal, but are not as clownishly exaggerated as in other of Schleich’s tyrants. In addition to the feet, the arms are too long, but at least Schleich got rid of the pronated bunny hands and notably the fingers are of slightly differnt lenght as in the real beast. One last but very important feature that came out to big on this sculpt is the head. It does not look too out of place on the sculpt, but it anyway is too big if you measure it out. Speaking of it, measuring it out brought to light, that Schleich’s sculpt follows actually the same measurements as Safari’s feathered tyrant. With the expection of said features, they basically share the same measurements in the length and height of tail, body, neck, femur, tibia and metatarsals. That surprised me somewhat as the one looks like a rather famished theropod styled by Ely Kish while the other, well, is a fat bully (no offense intended, I like that sculpt a lot).
Schleich’s new tyrant is decked in irregular scales and wrinkles, along the back runs a broad row of larger, crocodile like scales which increase in size from the middle of the neck to the back of the body and dececrease in size again from the hips to the end of the tail. Overall the detailing is nice and especially so on the head. Here you find small, mostly round scale that are enlarged in the cheeks and on top of the snout, above the forward facing eyes the scales are further enlarged to bosses. Despite this love for detail the head is considerably shrink wrapped and so giving away the accurately sculpted features of the skull. The interior of the mouth is sculpted with a big fleshy tongue and a ribbed roof. The individually scuplted and different sized teeth are blunted, probably a concession to safety. The paint job once again is nothing to write home about. A dark bluish green is the main color, highlighted with some mustard yellow on the underside, top of the neck, feet and hands and along the shoulder blades and hip bones. A glossy varnish gives the eyes and nares a lifelike look.
As we are accustomed to, this Schleich figure can withstand some rough play. It is made of a quite rigid plastic, not too light, stands well on even and not so even ground and makes a great toy, not least cause of the articulated jaw. Overall I really like that figure despite my usual reservation against shrink wrapping and bared teeth. It certainly isn’t a figure for every collector as there are more accurate or better detailed tyrants out there, but it has a unique design, does not look like another JP ripp off and has some very nice angles to look at.