Styracosaurus (Tyco)

Review and photos by Lanthanotus, edited by Suspsy

Months ago, there was a call for completing the Tyco page of the DTB and I replied that I’d add a review. I intended to have a look for the Pteranodon, a figure I just then had acquired, but couldn’t manage to write down a review in time and eventually this was done by Gwangi. Then there was a second call more recently, and this time, I managed to review the last Tyco figure I can, because it’s the only one left in my puny collection that hasn’t already been reviewed . . .

. . . although technically, perhaps it is. Six years ago, Griffin reviewed Tyco’s Monoclonius and stated that “a Styracosaurus was also made by Tyco that is exactly the same as this toy except for its spiky frill and different colour scheme.” That pretty much sums it up, and not much more would need to be said, but since you worked yourself through that lengthy introduction, you’ll get a proper review.

Styracosaurus is a Late Cretaceous centrosaurine that inhabited a seasonal flood plain environment. The first specimen was found in the famous Dinosaur Park Formation in Alberta, Canada, by Charles Sternberg and was scientifically named and described by Lawrence Lambe in 1913. There may be several species within the genus, but in the past, some that were counted towards Styracosaurus were already given their own genus. For this review, that does not matter anyway, as no species name is assigned to the toy.

Tyco’s Styracosaurus was released for the first wave of Dino-Riders back in 1988 and served as a beast of war for the heroic Valorians. The figure was also later released for the Smithsonian line with the only mould difference being the lack of lateral square gaps for attaching a harness. The toy is made of a light olive-green plastic that’s very rigid and breaks rather than bends, as can be seen in the left horn of that little fellow. Unlike most of its Tyco brethren, the Styracosaurus makes relatively minor use of its base colour. The figure is almost completely coloured in maroon-red and yellowish white, with just two stripes along its spine. The outsides of the legs reveal the odd green colour the figure is made from, but one can hardly recognize that pattern.

As noted earlier, the Styracosaurus shares its whole postcranial body with the Monoclonius. It stands on four short, sturdy, and straight legs with four toes on the hind legs and five on the front ones. The tail is short and slightly elevated off the ground. It provides the action feature of this figure where moving the tail from side to side results into the head bashing from one side to the other, opposite to the tail. The head of the Styracosaurus is nicely sculpted and fairly detailed in the front. The frill’s horns are too straight and placed in weird angles, and there’s one less pair of horns than the real deal. With the exception of this inaccuracy, the whole body morphology is not exactly false but far outdated. Back in the late 80s’, however, this ceratopsian was quite a fair reconstruction and the beady eyes so typical for Tyco’s dinosaurs add a lot of charm and liveliness.

This Styracosaurus should appeal to many people besides Dino-Riders collectors. It is indeed a very nice toy with a neat and robust play feature. Having been discontinued for decades, the obvious way to obtain this model is through eBay. Without any armour or weapons, it can frequently be found for just a few bucks.

2 Responses to Styracosaurus (Tyco)

  1. That looks like a styracosaur that’s been well-loved!

    Strangely, as outdated and inaccurate as the rest of it may be, the scales aren’t too far off what are known for ceratopsians, via Triceratops.

  2. This Styracosaurus was always my favorite when I was a kid. Used to carry it around with me everywhere.

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