Category Archives: stegosaur

Stegosaurus (HG Toys)

Here is an interesting rendition of the popular, plate covered, thagomizer wielding stegosaurus.  HG toys made some interesting looking dinosaurs during the 80’s.   For inspiration on this stegosaur they must have looked at turn of the century paleoart.  They certainly didn’t reference any dinosaur renaissance ideas into this stegosaurus, as this toy looks squat and sluggish.  This guy could have leapt from the canvas of Heinrich Harder. The last time someone would have considered this toy scientific accurate, it would have been the 1920’s. Despite being outdated lets take a closer look at it and see what redeeming features it might have.

About the Toy:  It is a decent size toy at 11.50 in (29.21cm) long and 4.6 in (11.68 cm) high over the hips.  It is made of hollow plastic and despite being relatively light, it is a rather sturdy fellow.  The pose is straight and low.  The suspension on the guy is low with a clearance of just 0.25 in (3.9 cm).  A true low rider.  The legs are short with big feet, with three toes per foot.   Along the back there are twenty two plates arranged in parallel lines of eleven.  The body is rotund and well fed.  The tail is rather short and is slung low to the ground ending with four spikes.  There is some texturing with the skin folds rippling along the body and etched lines on the plates  The main paint job is sweet potato orange with a secondary color of dark brown along the back, plates, the underside, and brushed along the legs.

This toy does have some articulation.  The front legs do not move backward, but when pushed forward to the front they can move to about 100 degrees. The back legs  are the opposite as they do not move forward, but they do move backwards to about 95 degrees.  Due to the low body, the fact the legs move is sort of pointless unless you want it to slide on its belly like Frosty the Snowman.  There is also an action feature, push the button on the head and the mouth opens.  The mouth does not open very wide though.  The head can twist all the way around exorcist style.  The tail by the spikes can also turn all the way around so you can get those pesky predators.

Overall:  It is a “Classic” sand box toy.  Yes it does have some retro styling which might give it some curb appeal but this toy is not heading to most peoples shelves.  In fact, most people would find it a rather unattractive fellow.  Obviously it has very little use as an educational tool.  Unless you love Stegosaurus (which I do), into retro styling, or have a sandbox and in need of a toy for a family member, I would pass on this toy.  If you are interested in this toy, it has been out of circulation since the 80’s, but does show up occasionally in neighborhood garage sales, thrift stores, and on E-Bay.

 

Wuerhosaurus (Age of the Dinosaurs by PNSO)

A wide variety of stegosaurs once inhabited North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, but Wuerhosaurus is the only one currently known to have survived all the way into the Early Cretaceous period. Unfortunately, few fossils of this intriguing Chinese animal have been uncovered to date.

Xana the Wuerhosaurus measures just over 8 cm long. Like many of her fellow PNSO miniatures, she is sculpted in a relaxed walking pose, her head turned to the left and her tail held high and swinging to the right. Looks like she’s just out taking a peaceful morning stroll. Her main colour is mustard yellow with a faded underbelly, dark red spots, dark brown on her plates and spikes, and black and white eyes. Not as vibrant as the Kentrosaurus or the Tuojiangosaurus, but decent enough.

Xana’s skin has a wrinkly texture all over. Most of the wrinkles are small, but there are thicker ones lining her belly and the underside of her tail. The muscles in her neck, limbs, and tail are visible beneath the skin and her plates and spikes are covered in fine grooves. There certainly can be no question that these PNSO figures are among the best sculpted miniature dinosaurs.

The plates on Xana’s back are short and rectangular, which is unlike all other known stegosaurs. Her thagomizer is comprised of four stout spikes. Her head and neck look to be of reasonable proportion, and her feet have the correct number of toes for a stegosaur. All this is in keeping with most artistic depictions of Wuerhosaurus, as any Google image search will promptly demonstrate. However, the truth is that we really don’t have a good idea of what this animal looked like. Even the shape of the plates is in question, as it has been demonstrated that what was thought to be a rectangular plate was actually a broken one.

Until more fossils are found (and that could well be never), we can say that Xana is a fine rendition of what we think Wuerhosaurus might have looked like. I’m really enjoying this line so far. Keep up the good work, PNSO!

Kentrosaurus (Age of the Dinosaurs by PNSO)

As a hungry allosaur appears from the brush, Sethi abandons his breakfast and adopts a fighting stance. The predator moves in quickly, but Sethi responds by swinging his great tail in a full arc. The swooshing sound and flashing spikes give the allosaur pause, but then it resumes its advance. Sethi swings his tail again and this time, one of his spikes narrowly misses the theropod’s eye. Dissuaded, the allosaur slinks off in search of easier prey and Sethi quietly resumes grazing.

Kentrosaurus needs little introduction, as it is probably the second most popular stegosaur after mighty Stegosaurus itself. PNSO’s miniature rendition of this prickly customer, affectionately named Sethi, measures about 7.5 cm long. He is sculpted in an alert stance with his head turned sharply to the left, his left front leg raised, and his tail pulled back to the right, cocked and ready to deal a swift and painful blow.

The colour on Sethi’s body goes from olive green to sandy yellow, with grey spots. A white stripe runs horizontally from his neck to about halfway down his tail on both his sides. His eyes are orange and black. Finally, the plates on his back are purple while the spikes on his tail go from olive green to pale orange at the tips. Purple is a colour that’s seldom employed on “serious” dinosaur figures, so I think it’s very welcome here.

Sethi’s skin is covered in folds and wrinkles as well as small, oval-shaped osteoderms. Many creases are to be found on his plates and spikes. But while he is instantly recognizable as a Kentrosaurus, litte Sethi does have a number of anatomical errors. His front feet appear to have only three toes each. The spikes jutting out from his shoulders should be as long as the ones on his tail. The pair of spikes at the end of his tail should be angled further down, almost parallel to the tail tip. And finally, while this isn’t an inaccuracy per se, I would have liked it more if both the plates and the spikes were the same colour.

Overall, Sethi the Kentrosaurus is yet another impressive and endearing PNSO miniature, albeit with some minor scientific flaws. Thanks go out to PNSO for this figure!