Review and photographs by Tallin, edited by Plesiosauria.
Kentrosaurus aethiopicus, the ‘sharp point’ or ‘prickle’ lizard, is one of the better known members of the stegosaur family, and though vastly overshadowed by its American cousin – Stegosaurus stenops – it has still managed to have several representations in toy form. Perhaps one of the tiniest of these is the CollectA Kentrosaurus from 2010, a figure that seems to seldom get much praise or attention. At a petite four inches, it’s a very similar size to the Safari Ltd Kentrosaurus from the same year, and thus they make good diorama buddies.
Given that the real animal was roughly 4.5 metres long, this means that this CollectA model belongs approximately in the 1:40 scale range. The original view of this animal was that it was a primitive member of the stegosaur family, but it has recently been argued that Kentrosaurus may well be more closely related to Stegosaurus than previously thought. Unlike its American cousin, its plates were arranged in pairs rather than staggered along the creature’s back, and these plates also gave way to long spikes. Some scientists hypothesised that Kentrosaurus may have charged backwards into attackers like a modern day porcupine, which whilst interesting to imagine, is currently impossible to prove.
This little fellow is posed in a simple position, with both feet parallel and flat on the ground. The head is turned slightly to the side in a curious, endearing fashion that really has quite a lot of charm to it for such a small model. The little black eyes have a lot of character and soul behind them. The tail sweeps ever so slightly to one side as well, and the pose is fairly upright. The model is covered from head to toe in tiny minuscule nodules and bumps, supposedly scales and osteoderms. I can’t help but feel these should not be visible on such a small model, but that is a nit-pick so not too much of a bother. The model is painted dark green all over, with brown and purple-ish patches here and there. The spines and plates are the same colour as the body.
In terms of this little figure, it is hard to determine the accuracy of all of the anatomy as it is just so tiny! The head is a touch larger than the tiny head on the Safari Ltd Kentrosaurus model, and maybe a little too large. Looking at several fossil reconstructions, the tail could also be rather on the short side, but at least it isn’t dragging on the ground. The long shoulder spikes protrude almost vertically, but since no-one knows for sure the placement of these spikes, one can’t really comment on the accuracy of these on the model. Given that this model comes from the early days of CollectA, I am pleasantly surprised to say that the feet aren’t all that bad, especially given how small this model is. It has the correct three toes on the back feet, and five on the front. It is true that only the inner two front toes should be hooved, but the toes are unpainted in this model and it’s so small it’s almost impossible to tell whether they are all hooved or not!
This charming little model would no doubt go down well with some children, and moreover even better with their hungry therapods! It may be on the diminutive side, but it has plenty of character, and though it may lack some of the detail of the similar Safari Ltd offering, I feel this particular Kentrosaurus has more personality. Couple this with the fact that it’s not too bad in terms of accuracy compared with other CollectA dinosaurs from the same year, and you have a very pleasing model. There’s also no need to worry about any of those long spike snapping, as the model is made from some very flexible plastic which can move about quite a lot before being put under any serious stress. I would recommend this model to any stegosaur fan, particularly if you like slightly more exotic species, or models with a bit of personality.
Available from Amazon.com here.