Tag Archives: Styracosaurus

Styracosaurus (Deluxe by CollectA)

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

Styracosaurus, the “spiked lizard,” has long been a popular dinosaur. Thanks to its distinctive arrangement of horns, any depiction of it is easily recognizable. Indeed, it sparked the imagination of filmmakers during the earliest days of motion pictures, which has led to numerous film appearances ever since. Notable among them are The Son of Kong (1933), where a Styracosaurus battles the movie’s heroes; The Valley of Gwangi (1969), where Styracosaurus is pitted against a carnivorous dinosaur; The Land That Time Forgot (1975), where two animals are shelled by a German U-boat; Disney’s CGI film Dinosaur (2000), and Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur (2015). The genus also appeared in the novel of Jurassic Park, and in the list of dinosaurs present in the park, but was not seen in the film adaptation.

In 2017, CollectA released a 1:40 scale Deluxe Styracosaurus, and it is easily one of their best ceratopsian models to date. The figure’s length is approximately 23.5cm and its maximum height is around 14 cm thanks to its frill horns. This makes it one very large and impressive figure! The tan hide, with its rust-coloured highlights, is nicely detailed with small scales and larger scutes that run the length of the animal’s body. Its underbelly is nicely blended, fading into a cream colour.

The horns, spikes and beak are a bone colour highlighted with black tips, which is reminiscent of some bovine horns. The figure has the correct number of grey-painted toes on its feet, and there is no “shrink wrapping” present. Indeed, it appears quite robust. The mouth is open and features a visible tongue. But the eyes are particularly arresting, as they are painted red with solid black pupils which gives them a bloodshot appearance seen in some large herbivores today. Both the eyes and the nostrils have a glossy coat that make them look even more lifelike.

The figure is nicely posed with both its head and tail turned towards the right and the legs spread out in a very stable position. Although there is no supporting evidence for the row of filaments seen on this Styracosaurus‘ rump, they are known on its older, more primitive relative Psittacosaurus, and they do not detract from this figure at all. And with the recent reordering of the clades Ornithischia and Saurischia, it may be even more likely that Styracosaurus had this feature.

If you are a fan of Styracosaurus, or ceratopsians in general, then this is a figure you shouldn’t pass up. It looks great amongst my other Styracosaurus figures, and I highly recommend it.

Styracosaurus (Tyco)

Review and photos by Lanthanotus, edited by Suspsy

Months ago, there was a call for completing the Tyco page of the DTB and I replied that I’d add a review. I intended to have a look for the Pteranodon, a figure I just then had acquired, but couldn’t manage to write down a review in time and eventually this was done by Gwangi. Then there was a second call more recently, and this time, I managed to review the last Tyco figure I can, because it’s the only one left in my puny collection that hasn’t already been reviewed . . .

. . . although technically, perhaps it is. Six years ago, Griffin reviewed Tyco’s Monoclonius and stated that “a Styracosaurus was also made by Tyco that is exactly the same as this toy except for its spiky frill and different colour scheme.” That pretty much sums it up, and not much more would need to be said, but since you worked yourself through that lengthy introduction, you’ll get a proper review.

Styracosaurus is a Late Cretaceous centrosaurine that inhabited a seasonal flood plain environment. The first specimen was found in the famous Dinosaur Park Formation in Alberta, Canada, by Charles Sternberg and was scientifically named and described by Lawrence Lambe in 1913. There may be several species within the genus, but in the past, some that were counted towards Styracosaurus were already given their own genus. For this review, that does not matter anyway, as no species name is assigned to the toy.

Tyco’s Styracosaurus was released for the first wave of Dino-Riders back in 1988 and served as a beast of war for the heroic Valorians. The figure was also later released for the Smithsonian line with the only mould difference being the lack of lateral square gaps for attaching a harness. The toy is made of a light olive-green plastic that’s very rigid and breaks rather than bends, as can be seen in the left horn of that little fellow. Unlike most of its Tyco brethren, the Styracosaurus makes relatively minor use of its base colour. The figure is almost completely coloured in maroon-red and yellowish white, with just two stripes along its spine. The outsides of the legs reveal the odd green colour the figure is made from, but one can hardly recognize that pattern.

As noted earlier, the Styracosaurus shares its whole postcranial body with the Monoclonius. It stands on four short, sturdy, and straight legs with four toes on the hind legs and five on the front ones. The tail is short and slightly elevated off the ground. It provides the action feature of this figure where moving the tail from side to side results into the head bashing from one side to the other, opposite to the tail. The head of the Styracosaurus is nicely sculpted and fairly detailed in the front. The frill’s horns are too straight and placed in weird angles, and there’s one less pair of horns than the real deal. With the exception of this inaccuracy, the whole body morphology is not exactly false but far outdated. Back in the late 80s’, however, this ceratopsian was quite a fair reconstruction and the beady eyes so typical for Tyco’s dinosaurs add a lot of charm and liveliness.

This Styracosaurus should appeal to many people besides Dino-Riders collectors. It is indeed a very nice toy with a neat and robust play feature. Having been discontinued for decades, the obvious way to obtain this model is through eBay. Without any armour or weapons, it can frequently be found for just a few bucks.

Styracosaurus (Tsukuda Hobby Collection)

Review and photos by Bokisaurus, edited by Suspsy

These days, the race to produce the latest, most scientifically accurate dinosaur figures is all the rage. Each year, toy manufacturing companies and the collector communities are so focused on which of these new models will be the most accurate, those figures that are deemed not accurate are quickly tossed to the side or worse, bombarded with enough criticism to fill an entire encyclopedia! In a way, this is a natural evolution of how dinosaur figures are no longer just toys, but scientific replicas of the animals they represent. We have arrived at a new level of standards that in many ways, is so hard to keep up with, that it becomes exhausting at times. With that in mind, it’s nice to get a break and to look back at a time when toy figures were subjected to much less vetting and enjoyed purely for what they are: toys.

It’s so easy to overlook prehistoric figures from long ago. A friend and fellow collector once asked me why do I even bother collecting “vintage” dinosaurs when there are so many accurate figure out there to choose from. My answer was simple: these so-called vintage figures may not reflect the latest scientific research, or have the high production qualities of the newer figures, but they are a part of dinosaur toy history. They are figures that pull you back to a much simpler time, and often to childhood memories that are often full of wonder. So join me as we journey back and take a look at one of most obscure and fascinating line of prehistoric figures: the Tsukuda Hobby Collection line of prehistoric animals.

img_9495

The Tsukuda Hobby Dinosaur Series was first released in the late 1980s’. The figures that made up the series included 13 species of prehistoric animal that came individually boxed and are scaled at 1:30. The Tsukuda figures share some similarities with another 80s’ line of prehistoric figures, Tyco’s Dino-Riders. Just like Dino-Riders, the eyes on the Tsukuda figures are made of small glass beads and not just sculpted or painted on. These add a different realism to the figures and give each one a unique expressive quality.

img_9494

These critters included most of the famous dinosaurs, but also some species that were once popular but has now gone largely ignored. Today, we will look at one species that continues to be popular: the ceratopsian Styracosaurus. While not as famous as Triceratops, it has remained a consistent presence in each of the the succeeding lines of toy companies throughout the decades. I will skip the whole introduction about Styracosaurus‘ history since it’s a well known and much studied species.

img_9497

The Tsukuda Styracosaurus is a charming little figure, one of my favourites from the set. The figure is posed in a neutral stance. The articulation on the legs give you a little bit of flexibility as to how you want to pose the figure. With a little bit of adjusting of the legs, the figure can be posed as if it’s about to charge (the raised front left leg helps support this pose) or in a running pose. The back legs are much taller than the front ones, which gives the figure a hunchbacked appearance. The head, beautifully sculpted, is held lower to the ground, and if you look closely, you will notice it tilted slightly to the side. The shield spikes are coloured cream as well as the single nose horn and the beak. The shield itself is coloured plain brown, although I have seen photos of some variant showing some purple on the shield.

img_9496

The Styracosaurus has lots of different skin texture going on all over its body. There are skin folds and bumps of varying size on the body as well as on the legs. There are prominent osteoderms on the back, arranged in five rows. Starting at the base of the neck, these osteoderms vary in size, with the largest ones being the three rows in the middle part of the back. The middle row also continues down the tail, while the others terminate just around the point where it reaches the base of the tail. The tail is hefty and is pointed directly downward. There are no curves on this one, making it look super stiff and heavy.

img_9498

The overall colouration on my figure is a uniform brown. There is not much variation in colour, although there is a subtle shade of lighter brown here and there (most noticeable on the face and belly). Again, I have seen a variant that shows some purple on the face, as well as the body and legs.

img_9499

Overall, this is a nice figure that heralds back to a different, much simpler time. The simplicity of the figure is one of its great appeals, and those glass eyes add so much more life to it as it stares and follow you around. The Tsukuda Styracosaurus is not the rarest figure in the series, although it is still not easy to find. If you are lucky to have a chance to acquire it, I highly recommend getting it. It may not be the most accurate or flashy ceratopsian around, but its beady little eyes are sure to charm you and it will make a wonderful addition to your ceratopsian herd. Hope you enjoyed this review. Cheers!