Review and images by PhilSauria, edited by Suspsy
Tyrannosaurus rex. Now there’s a name that conjures up all sorts of images, but what’s left to say about this iconic animal? Probably not a lot, but in the case of this figure, Schleich seemed to think that they had something different to offer. In terms of the science, here’s a brief recap for those who came in late.
Arguably the best known dinosaur, the one that the average, non-qualified man-in-the-street is more often than not able to put a name to, formally named in 1905 by Henry Fairfield Osborn (derived from the Greek and translated as “tyrant lizard”), the first remains being found by Barnum Brown in 1900 in eastern Wyoming, then in Montana in 1902. Such was the fascination and appeal of this animal that it soon cemented its place in popular culture, appearing early on in such films as The Lost World (1925) and King Kong (1933). Since then many more skeletons have been found in varying states of completeness, but overall providing enough material to show that not only did the various specimens demonstrate a wide range of sizes, but also of stature, with a range of body types being represented.
The subject of this review was released by Schleich in late 2007, #16454, and, according to an article on the Everything Dinosaur website in August 2007, was made as a commemoration of 100 years of research on the animal. Posed in the manner of one of the earliest reconstructions, this individual is very much on the lean side, probably the most emaciated example of this animal in plastic that I can recall. As the motive behind it was more of a thematic and historic depiction, and being based on a reconstruction that occurred very much at the dawn of what we now know about this animal and how would most likely have looked in life, I think it’s pointless to dwell on the science in appraising it. Textbook deficiencies aside, something about it appealed to me enough to have me adding it to my collection, where it has been for quite a few years now.
It’s also quite large, and I’m a sucker for large dinosaur figures. This gangly giant is 21.5 cm high and about 23 cm long from snout to tail tip when measured horizontally and approximately 33 cm long if measured from the nose down the spine to the tail. It also is reasonably heavy; thin though it is (for a Tyrannosaurus), there is still a fair bit of plastic here.
I don’t think that it would have come with much more than a tag when bought new (mine was pre-owned, but in good condition), and being in a tripod pose, it has no need of a base, although it does balance with the tail not actually touching the ground (sometimes). The colour is, in a word, brown. There is a hint of a darker wash here and there, with the claws in a darker brown and slightly lighter grey-brown applied on the neck, chest and underside of the tail. The body is covered with a surprising amount of detail (but we are not talking PNSO’s level here), with scales all over of a variety of sizes and shapes, with some nice fine detail in the face. A row of low profile scutes run down the neck to the tail, and it has a slight but not overt Jurassic Park-style frown above the yellow almond-shaped eyes. The teeth are rounded and mostly individually sculpted with the paint work on my specimen none too cleanly applied. White gums anyone? The inside of the mouth is done in shades of pink.
While not essential to anyone’s T. rex collection, this Schleich toy is a bit of a curiosity that I was pleased to add to mine when the opportunity presented itself, and can still be found listed on eBay and other re-sellers from time to time. A quick search for this toy flushed out more than I expected, with ten listed, three being over-priced (and still unsold after months, not surprisingly) but the rest were under $40 US. So if this odd theropod takes your fancy . . .