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!
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.
Review and Photographs by Quentin Brendel (aka Pachyrhinosaurus), edited by Suspsy
The Deluxe Stegosaurus was the first of the few CollectA dinosaurs to enter my collection and it’s still one of my favourite. It originally attracted my attention since it was the only figure out at the time that had exactly seventeen plates, laterally-pointed thagomizer spikes, and throat armour. Ironically it appears as though the former two are no longer considered correct now, but I was impressed at the time.
In length, this figure measures 9.5″ long straight from snout to tail. Without doing the math, this looks like 1:40 scale to me (since 1 inch = approx. 1 metre), which is the standard scale for most dinosaur figures. The Stegosaurus is in a slow walking pose with its head tilted to the right and its mouth open, perhaps calling to another dinosaur or letting out a passive bellow. The angle of the head and curvature of the neck work well with the dermal armor, almost as though it’s showing off to the other figures which lack this feature. The tail is slung high and stiffly held so that the dorsal surface is nearly level with the body. As noted earlier, this figure’s back is adorned with no less than seventeen bony plates from neck to tail. These are amber in colour with black airbrushing. The body is gray, with the high areas leaning towards blue-green. This darkens at the top to the colour of the lower areas. The underside is white, once again airbrushed. The white continues down the interior of the legs where the claws appear to be the same colour as the darker parts of the body. The mouth interior is a solid light pink and the eyes have a touch of the amber colour of the plates.
The skin is textured with individual scales defined in the model as well as a series of small bumps on the darker areas near the plates. There are markings on the thagomizer spikes which look like they were meant to be scales, though in four years of owning this figure it took me until now to notice them. In addition, there are very reptilian-looking ripples on the underside of the body and tail, as well as the legs.
The CollectA Stegosaurus was put out a few years before the “Sophie” specimen was published and so doesn’t reflect the most recent understanding of the animal. According to the new fossils, Stegosaurus should have a longer neck and a lower-hung tail than in the figure. It’s thought that the very end of the tail where the thagomizer is should be pointed downwards. The torso of this figure has a longer relative length, which is more of a trend in newer models. Also due to recent finds, it is now known that Stegosaurus had nineteen dorsal plates instead of the more traditional seventeen. The hands have five digits, each with a claw. If I remember correctly, only the innermost two digits should have claws. I believe the feet are correct with three on each.
Overall, this could very well be the best Stegosaurus on the market for accuracy. There tends to be a lack of accurate figures of more popular species since most companies put them out first, and don’t often replace them once they’ve improved. The CollectA Stegosaurus is stamped 2009 and is still in production, as well as a smaller version and even a carcass which are painted to match this one. You can easily find it on eBay here and Amazon here .