Review by Marc Vincent (‘Horridus’)
Stegosaurus is one of the dinosaurs most frequently seen in toy form – although often cursed with any number of anatomical errors. Kinto have made a very decent stab at it with this model from their Favorite collection, which is quite possibly the best Stegosaurus toy currently available.
Stegosaurus has an odd status in popular culture. Although one of the best known and most recognised dinosaurs, you won’t catch many people naming it their ‘favourite’. The animal seems to lack the charisma of a certain big, toothy predator or formidable, horned ceratopsian. Often depicted with a drooping tail, ponderous plodding gait and a look of dim-witted disdain on its low-slung, tiny head, it’s had a bit of an image problem over the years – check out the comparative photo with the old Invicta Stegosaurus.
Of course, Stegosaurus did have a very tiny head, and Kinto have got this right, or near enough anyway (Stegosaurus toys are plagued with oversized noggins). However, this model looks a lot sharper than your average stegosaur, with a striking striped pattern on its skin and black-edged crimson red plates that have a certain sheen and are obviously meant to look like they have a keratin-horn sheath (quite likely, and very fetching). Unusually, the trademark ‘thagomizer’ spikes at the end of the tail are the same colour, and more horizontal than vertical.
Fans of detailed dinosaur toys will love this model. This easily stands up to the much vaunted (but less accurate) Papo line. It’s covered in scales, with some larger raised scales along the flanks, and is complete with skin folds, muscle tone and ridged plates. The creature is posed as if calmly walking along with its mouth closed; it looks very relaxed, which is certainly a pleasant change.
Both the head and the tail are suitably held well clear of the ground, and the neck features the well-known but little-replicated ‘throat guard’. The three toes on the feet and five on the ‘hands’ are present and correct, although perhaps only two of the front toes them should have claws. (Mind you, I know a certain person who would probably argue that both bony-cored claws and pure keratin nails could’ve been present…)
The bottom of the model reads “Stegosaurus 1/50 Scale”. If you were to stretch out the slightly curved tail it would be about 20cm long, making the real animal 10 metres. That’s definitely on the large side for a Stegosaurus – this toy could easily pass for a 1:45 or even 1:40 scale replica. If you care about that sort of thing. And I know some of you diorama nutters do.
You may be able to tell that I hold this model in high regard. Palaeontologists and non-scientist paleo-geeks will no doubt be able to find pedantic anatomical fault with it (only 16 plates!), but overall it’s a very nice sculpt, not too expensive and more dapper than your average Stegosaurus toy.