It’s no secret that the stegosauria were an odd bunch of dinosaurs, one that we perhaps take for granted given the popularity of one genus in particular; Stegosaurus. But Stegosaurus is but one of many, and for whatever reason the other genera of this unique clade have never gained in popularity like the admittedly charismatic Stegosaurus.
In typical CollectA fashion we’ve recently been introduced to many of the other interesting genera in the stegosauria. The most recently introduced of these obscure dinosaurs is the appropriately named Gigantspinosaurus. No, it’s not a new hybrid for “Jurassic World”, nor is in a super-ultra-mega version of Spinosaurus. It’s a stegosaur from late Jurassic China and with its unique combo of plates and spikes and the perfect choice for expanding your stegosaur collection.
Gigantspinosaurus is not a genus I was too familiar with before acquiring the CollectA toy. Superficially it looks a lot like Kentrosaurus, that other popular stegosaur. A new dinosaur by scientific standards the Gigantspinosaurus wasn’t described until 1992 and generally ignored until a 2006 paper on the genus.
Gigantspinosaurus possessed a number of characteristics that make it quite distinctive, not least of which are the enormous spikes coming out from its shoulders. These spikes protrude upwards and point back, unlike the similar spikes on Kentrosaurus. CollectA faithfully recreates this feature as well as the other anatomical features of this animal. Like most stegosaurs (aside from Stegosaurus) the plates on Gigantspinosaurus were fairly small and triangular. The thagomizer at the end of the tail possesses four spikes. Skin impressions from this animal show a series of raised scutes that are also reproduced here. Basically, CollectA did their homework on this one, and it shows. The slightly enlarged head (for a stegosaur) is also in keeping with what we know about this dinosaur.
Although the model only measures a mere 5.4” it is packed with a high level of detail. Three clawed and two vestigial digits can be seen clearly on the robust forelimbs. The hind limbs possess three forward facing toes and one small dewclaw on each foot. Folds of skin run down the flanks and tail along a muscular and athletic looking body. The toy is sculpted in an alert posture with the right forelimb stepping forward and the head looking towards the right. The tail is swinging slightly upwards and towards the left.
The paint scheme is particularly nice on this one, and a far cry from the war-paint that CollectA used to be so fond of. This dinosaur is painted in soft, mottled earth tones. It’s both eye-catching and believable without being gaudy. The plates and shoulder spikes are gray with red tips highlighting the spikes. The thagomizer spikes are painted brown. Although the nails are clearly sculpted on this toy they are still painted in the same sandy color as the toy’s base color. The scutes on the body are painted in a variety of colors but I think they’re all supposed to be gray like the plates. But those on the brown portions of the animal are brown and there are a few on mine that aren’t painted at all. Given the small size there are also quite a few mistakes in the paint application. It’s barely noticeable though and shouldn’t put you off from an otherwise fantastic little piece.
Overall this is a really interesting, well made, and affordable little toy and a must have in any collection. Being new for 2017 it shouldn’t be hard to track one down. In closing I would like to thank Suspsy, a fellow reviewer, for donating this model to me for review.