A relative of Triceratops, Styracosaurus lived roughly 10 million years earlier and was much smaller, maxing out at around 20 feet in length. Perhaps the most easily distinguishable characteristic of this genus is the arrangement of six large spikes around the edge of its neck frill, giving it a fearsome appearance which has granted Styracosaurus entry into many toy lines over the years. It also sported a long horn above its nostrils. The animal was aptly named, because its name is translated as “spiked lizard”. The first fossils of the type species, S. albertensis, were recovered from the Dinosaur Park Formation in Alberta, Canada during the 1910s.
Schleich’s Styracosaurus was introduced in 2002 and retired in 2005, making it one of the shorter-lived of the Replica-Saurus line. The figure is just over 6 inches long at the tip of its nose horn and 2.5 inches tall at the top of its frill spikes, making it 1:40 scale. The skin texture is a bit more accurate than on other Schleich dinosaurs, having a more scaly than wrinkly look to it. Unfortunately the color scheme is another take on drab brown. The base coat of brown is overlain with darker brown that gives it an almost burnt look, which is actually kind of cool. The figure’s underside is tan, the spikes are light gray, the muzzle and beak are dark brown, and the eyes are black. The pose is pretty static and uninteresting.
This figure is another example of Schleich combining outdated reconstructions with sloppy sculpting. Unfortunately, this is not a very accurate or impressive reproduction of Styracosaurus. The figure is altogether very stocky and fat, but as is true with most Schleich dinosaurs, the real problems are in the skull. The animal’s head is pointed downward, but the frill is sculpted in such a way that it appears to jut out directly from the back of the skull. The frill should be angled roughly 45 degrees in relation to the skull. It looks incredibly awkward, and you can see what I mean when you look at the figure in profile. The horrors of the skull do not end there…
The characteristic frill ornamentation of Styracosaurus is sculpted terribly on this figure. The 3 pairs of large spikes on the frill are too wavy and sculpted in an arrangement which isn’t accurate to any specimen of Styracosaurus. The 5 pairs of smaller spikes lower down on the frill are completely erroneous and should not be present. This is something that simply referring to paleo art depictions of Styracosaurus could have easily cleared up. The frill is also way too broad for Styracosaurus and looks ridiculous. In addition, there is no special coloration of the frill, and it is instead the same color as the body, which I think was highly unlikely in the living animal.
If you look at this figure, you’ll immediately be able to tell that it’s a Styracosaurus, but if you look at it with any degree of scrutiny you will come away very underwhelmed. I can only recommend this figure to someone interested in collecting the Replica-Saurus line because if you want a nice, accurate Styracosaurus, you’re better off tracking down the retired offerings from Carnegie or Battat.