With a long wiggly tail, nasal horn, preorbital horns, bony scutes along the back, and large blade like teeth, Ceratosaurus was a spectacular animal. This medieval dragon was not the biggest predator during the late Jurassic epoch, but with jaws designed for slicing, it was an active predator that struck fear into the Jurassic herbivores.
Despite its unique look with its impressive head gear, Ceratosaurus is still overshadowed by its Jurassic contemporaries. With popular animals such as Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, and Brachiosaurus, it easy to see why it gets lost in the shuffle. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t seen any love, as it has graced many film’s since the silent era. Though I am not a fan of the film, Ceratosaurus taking on Triceratops in 1 Million Years BC, is quite fun to watch. In toy form, it has been made by most of the major companies to varying degrees of accuracy and appeal. The Schleich Ceratosaurus is particularly bad. Interestingly, Safari Ltd. never released a Ceratosaurus for their Carnegie line. The first one made by Safari was done for their Wild Safari line and is now retired and replaced. Its this original toy that we will be looking at today.
About the toy: The figure is sculpted in a rather relaxed walking pose. This happy go lucky figure appears to be looking for somebody to play with, or heading to the local watering hole for a quick dip. It certainly doesn’t look very menacing. Depending on the figure, it may be able to stand on two legs, or it will literally fall back into the “classic” tripod. At 6 in (15.24 cm) long and and a little over 3 in (7.80 cm) high, it is smaller than its 2012 replacement.
On the head, the nasal horn is barley bigger than the preorbital horns but they are in the right location. The skull is the right shape and there is no shrink wrapping. The teeth unfortunately are very small and uniform. Inside the mouth is a barely sculpted tongue. The arms are on the short side and the hands are sculpted with the primitive four digits, with the forth finger reduced which would be accurate. Along the spine is a very small ridge of bumps, I am not sure if it is the row of bony scutes that should be running along its back. The feet are small and proportion to the body, but the legs are soft and bendy, so warping can happen.
When looking at the head you will notice that there are some very faint circular scales that have been sculpted onto it. The rest of the body doesn’t have any bumps or scales on it. Instead there are etched lines of skin throughout the body and there not bad, as they look rather natural. The muscles on the legs don’t stand out too much but they are present.
The paint job is base green with a deep red across the back and neck. Along the side of the neck, flanks, and the side of the tail, the red is in irregular splotches. The horns, teeth and claws are all white, and inside the mouth is salmon. The eyes have a little flourish to them. The eye itself is black with a white highlight underneath it along with a white reflection dot on the eye. The ear is a black dot. The overall paint application is ok, but the teeth are a uniform blob of white.
Play ability: As a toy it is ok. It is a predator and has horns which are things kids like. Due to the heavy paint and the softer plastic on the legs hands and tail, it can take a pounding during playtime. Even though the mouth is open, its really is not wide enough for a kid to place much inside.
Overall: When you compare it to its 2012 replacement, I would agree that this older figure is inferior. The pose, color, and texture of the newer Safari model are very nice. That doesn’t mean that this is a bad figure. Sure, its not as fierce looking, but the eyes are expressive, and it has a personality. In my opinion, a little character can be a be a good thing. It is also a rather accurate toy. The paint job on the other hand, some people will like it, others, not so much. This is one of the best of the original Wild Safari toys. Even though their are better Ceratosaurus toys out there, I would still recommend this figure to collectors, educators, and even for kids for the playtime adventures.