I'm not exactly sure how this Kragensaurier (Triceratops) got into my toy stash, let alone three of them. My guess is my mom was buying Smurf houses and I saw them nearby, as Schleich - best known today for higher-end dinosaur and animal models - kicked off with smaller rubber animals and a huge licensed Smurfs line which continues to this day. They've even added DC comics to their portfolio - they're doing very well! The older dinosaur designs were often quite cute, and redecorated a few times. This one is just plain blue.
The blue guy - appropriately Smurf-like - is 3-inches long and 1 1/2-inches tall. His only paint can be found on the eyes, the mouth is a deep cut which just happens to benefit from the shadows providing mouth detail. It's not very realistic, but it does borrow a detail from the Marx line in that his name is sculpted on his tail in all capital letters and "W. Germany" on the back of the front left leg. For those of you who aren't old, Germany used to be split in two countries - and all the cool toys came from West Germany. A Schleich symbol in a circle is located on the left side of his neck, which is his only real markings to figure out what this thing is.
The ridiculous realism with bumpy skin and articulated parts is more or less a recent innovation - most dinosaur toys until Kenner's Jurassic Park and Tyco's Dino-Riders lines were solid figures like this one. One color, little or no paint, and often cute for some reason or another. Articulation and widespread success (and TV advertising) were not in the cards for most, but some companies would make a name for themselves over time. Multiple companies make this kind of figure today, and it's available at most American big box stores instead of just specialty stores. I'm pretty sure my Schleich toys came from Toys By Roy but that's just a hunch based on various fuzzy memories. I can barely remember this guy not being in my toy box.
Given the quality of various Tyco, Kenner, and other offerings - including Scheich's own - I have to assume the interest in a figure like this is limited to people with warm, fuzzy feelings that make it a priceless artifact. None seem to be on American eBay, but there are an endless supply of them for a couple of bucks in Europe. The bony spiny, lightly sculpted frill, and oddly serene face aren't likely to set any hearts a-twitter in 2014 nor is there anything particularly impressive about this tail-dragging lizard but it is decidedly old-school. It's going to be a long time before the world of dinosaur toys catches up with the science, so odds are you'll see lots more toys somewhat like this for decades to come in varying levels of quality.
In all honesty this kind of figure has no real place in a column like this but I feel like writing about old dinosaur toys for some reason. They make me happy - you probably have a few toys like this around, too, and I hope that you do.
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