Where reviews of new toys are concerned this 2012 release has somehow gone neglected. Now, amidst the flurry of reviews for newer models I’m writing one for this little guy. I’m writing of course about the Safari 2012 Dracorex, one of a stellar lineup of toys released last year and the only one from that lineup that has yet to be reviewed. Dracorex is that famous pachycephalosaur that may or may not be a juvenile Pachycephalosaurus. Whatever your opinion on that debate (is Dracorex a valid genus or not) there is no question that non-Pachycephalosaurus pachycephalosaurs are seldom produced by toy companies and even if Dracorex does end up being lumped into that genus this model is still a great representation of the family.
Where detail is concerned few companies can match the work done by Papo but Safari is coming close with their latest releases, including this Dracorex. No detail is left amiss. Every bony knob and protuberance on the head of this animal is sculpted in meticulous detail and matches very closely the skull of the actual animal. Scales, scutes and wrinkles adorn the entire body and even small details like the tongue, ear opening and yes, even the cloaca are present. The paint is masterfully applied with little or no runoff or sloppy application even on such small features as the eyes, claws and beak. The color is not particularly naturalistic looking but still pleasing. Dark green along the head and back give way to paler green on the sides and yellow underneath. A mostly orange head gives the illusion that this is probably an adult male in breeding condition, which would be odd if this animal were shown to be a juvenile of another genus
I don’t feel presumptuous in saying this may be the best pachycephalosaur currently on the market. Though we have little of the actual Dracorex with which to compare this model (it is mostly known from its skull) by looking at other related animals we can get an idea as to what this animal’s features and bodily proportions were like. Few companies manage to correctly convey the girth of these animals but the Safari Dracorex does just that. It is appropriately rotund in the belly, hip and base of the tail as we know the real animals would have been. This was an animal that evolved to consume plant material and as such would need someplace to house a digestive tract capable of doing so. Add to that the bipedal stance and five fingered neutral hands and you have a model matched by few in its particular family.
There is one glaring feature that could turn off the prospective buyer. That is the large feet that Safari has recently grown fond of. Personally these don’t bother me because it means a stable figure without its tail touching the ground but to some it is off-putting and I can certainly understand why. It does look a little cartoonish. Aside from that though I can see little to complain about and for the price, you’re going to be hard pressed to find a better representative of this obscure genus and family.