Dacentrurus (Terra Series by Battat)

As I started writing this review I realized that I am an anomaly. During the 90’s when I was buying my first Carnegie dinosaurs, I never heard of or saw Battat dinosaurs. Throughout the mid 2000’s I wasn’t really collecting dinosaurs, other than grabbing the occasional interesting ones that I would find in a store. I have no attachment to the Battat line, and even now, I have never really felt the need to spend $60 plus on one. This makes the new Battat Terra series so much fun for me, since they are all new.  As a Stegosuria fan, I knew I wanted to check out the Battat version of Dacentrurus Armartus. The only other Dacentrurus toy I have seen was a version by CollectA.

Battat Terra Dacentrurus

150 million years ago, walking around the woodlands of Western Europe, there was a 6-8 meter, two tons, of plant munching awesome named Dacentrurus. Even though the animal looks more like Kentrosaurus, it was bigger than its African cousin, more closely related to Miragia, and amazingly enough, Hesperosaurus from North America. I would also like to point out that it was the first Stegosaur to be described, and that was done by Richard Owen in 1875.

Battat Terra Dacentrurus

The Dacentrurus sculpt has the head and tail pointed in the same direction. The head is slightly cocked to one side and has small ear holes on the back of the skull and two prominent nostrils in the front. The neck is short and has small plates running down it. The triangular plates become bigger and longer along the back, and reach their tallest over the hips. Along the tail, the plates become thin spikes. The tail also is raised up in a way that it could be using its tail for display or defense. There are also two shoulder spikes, one on each side. The legs are all firmly planted on the ground with some definite bend on its front two legs. There are five splayed toes on the front feet and three on the back feet.

Battat Terra Dacentrurus

The colors are conservative, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. The top half is dark green, and the bottom half is light green. The plates and spikes are colored in a light bluish green that really stands out. The edges of the plates and the tops of the spikes are black. The eye is yellow with a black middle. The toes and beak are brown. The skin texture is basically all skin folds and lines and it feels very fleshy. There is also a wattle of skin under the skull and has loose skin running down the neck. There are some texture lines on the plates as well.

Battat Terra Dacentrurus

So here are my nit- picks on this model. Though it may be speculative, the modern reconstructions and ideas that I have seen have the highest point of the animal over the wide, robust hips, or when its vertebrae reaches its zenith at the midpoint of its back, and then generally plateau’s till it passes the hips. Sometimes with a slight concave line. Instead on this model it is over the mid-section and has a upward and downward slope to its back, that looks like a small hill. I ma not saying that it is cut and dry fact, but the higher and straighter look is the prevailing assumption at this time.

The other thing that bothers me personally is the eyes. I am not a fan of the paint job, (that is a personal thing as it looks to similar to a chinasaur) and on my particular model, one eye is sunk inwards, and doesn’t look right. It has come to my attention that it might not be like this on each model, so you may want to take a closer look before purchasing.   On the topic of the skull, the head also feels too big compared to the size of the rest of the body, but I could be wrong.

As for playability, it has spikes on its tail. What’s not to love? The spikes are bendy, so it shouldn’t hurt any kids playing with it. I am not sure what the breakage rate is with the spikes, but it seems to be strong enough to stand up to kid play. Also, with a high tail, it enhances a kid’s ability to use it during play, so that is another plus.

Battat Terra Dacentrurus

Overall, this is a nice, but average model. I would not say it the best stegosauridae out there, but it holds it own. The paint could have been applied a little better, but for the price, it was a steal. For kids, I think they would enjoy it, and for school projects, due to the lack of Dacentrurus out there, it could come in handy. I just have to mention that I enjoyed the box that it came in, very cool.

You can find the Battat Terra Series at Target and Dan’s Dinosaurs

9 Responses to Dacentrurus (Terra Series by Battat)

  1. Ok, lets say we agree that the Dacentrurus has very few remains and there can be speculation on its anatomy. 🙂 There is plenty of reason to go with the less sloped back idea. Robert Bakker and Ken Carpenter champion the idea and there is good bio mechanical reason to why, but it is still speculative. If you want to use Wikipedia, check out the reconstructions on the Dacentrurus, they echo what I am stating. Of course, it is wikipedia, so you really can’t trust anything on it anyways. Another thing you can check out is Sophie at the NHM in London, she is positioned in a higher back, less sloped pose, which is the popular modern idea on how they should look. http://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/revealing-stegosaurus-secrets.html

    My reasoning and opinion does have some validity, but I agree that it is based off of speculation that as far as I have read, is not entirely proven correct or incorrect.

  2. Thanks for the explanations.

    There are several images of modern reconstructions that show even more rounded backs than the Battat Dacentrurus’s (over the hips included). E.g. on the Stegosaurus Wikipedia page ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stegosaurus ), the first image on the page of a Stegosaurus ungulatus skeleton, and two other life restoratons on the page. As far as I’ve seen there’s no evidence or studies that show this kind of back is incorrect/unlikely for a stegosaurian. Has there been any? It seems to me there is still some speculation when it comes to anatomy and skeletal placement, as you said.

    Scott Hartman’s Kentrosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus and Stegosaurus ( http://www.skeletaldrawing.com/ornithiscians/stegosaurus ) skeletals all have different looking backs so it does seem like they can be different in different stegosaurian species.

    The Battat Dacentrurus’s back is only slightly different from most of the examples I’ve mentioned in this and two other comments I’ve made on this review. Dacentrurus is known from quite incomplete remains and much of it’s appearance, including how its back looked, isn’t known. Given the apparent variety in stegosaurian backs between different species and that there are modern reconstructions that show a rounded back, I think the Battat Dacentrurus’s back is plausible. With different stegosaurians apparently having different looking backs, there’s no reason to expect its back to look the same as that of any other species and no Dacentrurus reconstruction can accurately show what its back looks like because of the incompleteness of Dacentrurus fossils.

    I’ve had another look at my Dacentrurus and both its eyes look the same. Neither looks pushed in, sunken or just not right. Maybe only some copies of this figure are affected?

  3. I see the review has been updated a bit!

    Regarding the backs of stegosaurs, it seems they can look different in different species. I posted Scott Hartman’s Tuojiangosaurus previously. Here’s Scott Hartman’s 2015 Kentrosaurus: http://www.skeletaldrawing.com/ornithiscians/kentrosaurus That kind of back isn’t new, this Kentrosaurus skeleton photo is from 2009: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fossil_Kentrosaurus_aethiopicus_in_Museum_f%C3%BCr_Naturkunde_Berlin_001.JPG

    Neither of my Battat Dacentrurus’s eyes look sunken to me. Maybe yours looks that way because the paint was applied sloppily?

    • Ah, but look closely. In 2015 Scott Hartman’s Kentrosaurus, were as the zenith is before the hips, look at what happens at the hips. The slope changes and becomes flatter. On this lovely model, it remains a rounded mound, which is more like the reconstructions of old. Maybe I didn’t convey my thought clearly in my review. There is still plenty of speculation when it comes to anatomy and skeletal placement, maybe I am being too nit picky. 🙂

      As for the eyes. The right eye, our left if looking straight on, is pushed in, maybe it is only on mine. In my eyes it just doesn’t look right. I’ll take a closer look, and maybe I didn’t describe it well enough in the review.

  4. I haven’t been able to find anywhere which says what the highest point of a stegosaur’s body is. Maybe it could have even been different for different species? I’ve seen a lot of recent stegosaur reconstructions that show the middle of the back as the highest point. One of these is Scott Hartman’s 2013 skeletal reconstruction of Tuojiangosaurus: http://www.skeletaldrawing.com/ornithiscians/tuojiangosaurus Dacentrurus’s remains are incomplete and it isn’t known what the highest point on it was. Looking at other stegosaurs, the highest point of Dacentrurus being the middle of its back, as it is on the Battat Dacentrurus, seems plausible, if not likely. I definitely don’t think that’s an inaccuracy. In the review it says, “The one eye has an undeveloped look to it.” I’ve looked at my Battat Dacentrurus and the eyes both look normal.

    I really like the Battat Dacentrurus. I don’t find the stance boring, but maybe the reviewer felt that way because they thought all 4 of the figure’s legs are firmly planted on the ground as they mentioned in the review. Looking at my Battat Dacentrurus, the back of its right foot is definitely raised off the ground. I like this figure’s pose as it works very well with the imagination. It could be looking at its surroundings, or at another animal, or it could be about to start feeding on a plant. However, if you look at it from behind it looks like it’s swinging its tail at a predator! I really like the colour scheme of this figure. It looks natural and interesting.

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