Category Archives: thyreophoran

Stegosaurus (Mini)(Skeleflex by Wild Planet)

Despite its immense fame and popularity, there are not very many complete specimens of Stegosaurus. Most of the skeletons you see in museums are actually composites of multiple animals. The most intact one is currently “Sophie,” a young adult that resides in the Natural History Museum in London, U.K. It is about 85% complete and looks magnificent. But as you’ll see, the subject of today’s review is quite the antithesis of “Sophie.”

The Skeleflex Mini Stegosaurus kit is made up of fourteen army green pieces. The main part of the skeleton is rubberized plastic; the rest are hard plastic. They all snap together via ball joints save for the peg-on thagomizer.

Once assembled, the Stegosaurus measures 16.5 cm long and stands 10 cm tall due to the large plates on its back. It holds together quite well and is articulated at the head, jaw, shoulders, hips, wrists, ankles, and tail. The sculpting is reasonably good and the plates in particular have an interesting bumpy texture to them.

But as you can clearly see from these photos, this Stegosaurus makes the T. rex I reviewed last time look like the very pinnacle of scientific accuracy by comparison. This is a hideous monster, plain and simple. Its head is oversized and equipped with sharp, triangular teeth. It has too few vertebrae. It has a single row of skinny, dagger-shaped plates. And most noticeably of all, it has ridiculously humongous feet. It’s anyone’s guess how a freak like this would be able to lift its feet high enough to walk.

Like all Skeleflex kits, the Stegosaurus‘ pieces can be swapped out to create any number of monstrous creatures. Although honestly, I find its default form plenty frightening already!

So that’s the Skeleflex Mini Stegosaurus for you. If you’re in the market for painstakingly detailed and accurate prehistoric renditions, then for goodness sakes, skip this kit and buy yourself a nice CollectA or Safari toy. But if you enjoy a little bit of weird fun now and then, look no further!

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!