Tag Archives: Ceratosaurus

Ceratosaurus (original version)(Wild Safari by, Safari Ltd.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Ceratosaurus (I-Toy)

Review and photos by Paul Carter AKA Carnosaur, edited by Suspsy

I-Toy is a fairly new toy and model maker from China. They have been getting the attention of dinosaur collectors lately with their new Resurrection series.

This new Ceratosaurus is the second figure they released, the first being a Jurassic Park-styled Velociraptor. While the overall presentation of this figure is reminiscent of Rebor’s recent Ceratosaurus model. That’s all the two have in common. I-Toy’s Ceratosaurus is larger, and in my honest opinion, the better-looking and more accurate of the two. It does, however, suffer the pronated hands so common with theropod figures.

The box is covered with English despite being a Chinese product and lined with protective foam a la Rebor. I actually found it somewhat amusing that there is a reference made to the Ceratosaurus that appeared briefly in JPIII on the back of the box. The dinosaur itself is made of PVC like the figures from Papo and Rebor.

The base the dinosaur stands on is a resin piece, and while detailed, it is not as nice as the Rebor base.

This Ceratosaurus stands easily on its own, not requiring its base at all. As far as I know, this figure doesn’t seem to suffer from the warped limb issues that seems to be commonplace with Rebor. And while the Rebor figure has a more interesting color palette, the I-Toy Ceratosaurus is very nicely painted and expertly washed and blended with a pale underbelly that fades into a reddish brown body with darker brown stripes on the body and ashen highlights on the hands, feet, claws, and face. There’s even some red on the head and neck though it’s hard to notice in dim light.

In overall length, it’s on par with Papo’s Running T. rex, but not as tall. There have been some comments on the Dinotoyforum about the tail length, and I am happy to say the tail looks much better in person. Maybe just a bit thin, but the length seems fine. It’s likely the pose made it difficult to be sure. In any case the tail does its job of counterbalancing the model. The skin is beautifully detailed with scales, scutes, wrinkles, and folds around the neck, hips, shoulders, and head. The wash really make the skin pop, and the back is covered by armoured crocodilian-like scutes.

Like Papo and Rebor, the figure features articulated jaws, and the teeth and mouth are nicely painted. Unlike the Rebor figure, however, the head of the I-Toy Ceratosaurus is not shrink-wrapped and may add to what some referred to as a more Tyrannosaurus-like look. The horn and hornlets are very prominent and are painted in paler tan with ash to make them pop.

In total, I give this figure a 9 out of 10, the pronated hands being its only real flaw. I think it’s a beautiful figure, and it’s nice to see Ceratosaurus getting some attention as a fairly well known dinosaur, but one that doesn’t often get the toy treatment. It’s a worthy buy.

Ceratosaurus (AAA)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

A long time ago in the year 2005, I was hospitalized for 103 days due to a serious heart condition that nearly claimed my life at the young age of twelve. As a result of this issue, I was eligible for a wish to be granted by the Make A Wish Foundation of America, and it is thanks to them that the subject of today’s review is a part of my collection. In 2007, I got to stay in a 5-star hotel in what it is perhaps the richest part of London, England, and as we explored the foreign city (looking like your average American tourists), we came across a toy shop with some dinosaurs for sale. Naturally, I had to get one of these dinosaurs, but I was never able to find out who made them until I found the Dinosaur Toy Forum in 2010.

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When people think of Ceratosaurus toys, they usually think of great models like the Safari and Battat models, but there is one model that is never given any recognition despite being a decent rendition of the species, and that model is the AAA Ceratosaurus. It was arguably one of the best models of the animal at the time I purchased it back in 2007. The green colouring may remind most of you of the original Battat model before it got repainted for a new generation, and this is indeed not a coincidence. Some of AAA’s dinosaurs did borrow colors from the original Battats, the most obvious of which would be their Tyrannosaurus rex.

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AAA is known for making very durable toys made to to take the most brutal of beatings by rowdy kids, and they are most famous for their life-sized reptile replicas. When it comes to dinosaurs, they seem to lack the skill to create anything on parr with the likes of Battat, despite borrowing their colour schemes. But the Ceratosaurus is indeed one of their better efforts.

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The skull of the animal is almost spot on, and the only drawback I can see is that the teeth are sculpted too uniformly. The whole model suggests that this is a lean predator, which may not be 100% correct since Ceratosaurus is often seen as a robust animal as depicted in the Dinotales model. Other issues include pronation of both hands and the absence of signature armour on the animal’s back. Instead, there is only a row of spines along the vertebrae. Upon looking at the figure’s feet, I can’t help but notice that it seems to stand on what would appear to be its ankles. Connection between the bottom of the legs and the toes makes the feet look unnatural, but as a result, the model can stand on its own two feet without issue

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In terms of detail, this model is not excellent, but individual scales were clearly sculpted on the model. In some areas, the scales are replaced with wrinkles. The hand claws are sharp, but this is due to a little bit of plastic being left over from the molding process. The teeth are blunted for child safety, as is the dinosaur’s signature horn.

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Overall, this is a fairly decent model. It is certainly better than AAA’s other dinosaurs, but in truth, this is probably due to them taking after Battat. The hands may be pronated, but the number of fingers is spot on. Also the paint work is acceptable with little to no runoff in some places. Unlike the Battat model, this one has its mouth open with a dirty pink tongue at rest.

If you want one, you most likely be able to find it on eBay. As of the time of this writing, there are a couple available from sellers in the UK.