Since getting into this hobby over a decade ago I’ve been patiently waiting for a model of one of my favorite ceratopsians, Centrosaurus. It has been a long wait, one that with every passing year has ended in disappointment. Look, I get it, Centrosaurus seems kind of boring compared to the likes of Styracosaurus, Triceratops, Kosmoceratops or the myriad other ceratopsians with their impressive headgear. But the thing about Centrosaurus is that it is one of the all-time most well-known dinosaurs, with fossilized remains from thousands upon thousands of individuals of all ages. We all have our own criteria in picking our favorite prehistoric critters but for me, an extensive knowledge bank of a genus adds a lot of appeal. So yeah, when year-after-year we get a toy of a dinosaur known from a single maxilla or whatever instead of an animal known from thousands of specimens, it kind of frustrates me.
My love for Centrosaurus is multifaceted, nostalgia comes into play too. Growing up I was a huge fan of Phil Tippett’s Prehistoric Beast, a short stop-motion film from 1985 that featured a Monoclonius fighting a Tyrannosaurus. Monoclonius of course being a dubious genus for which some specimens are undoubtedly Centrosaurus. Centrosaurus also features in some of my favorite paleo-art, artwork by the likes of Gregory Paul and Douglas Henderson that depict massive herds of these dinosaurs crossing rivers like modern wildebeest, artwork that would capture the imagination of the young kid looking at them. Those pieces of paleo-art were directly influenced by the massive bonebeds of Centrosaurus that exist.
Now that I’ve professed my love for Centrosaurus maybe you’ll understand and appreciate why, for me, the 2021 PNSO Centrosaurus was one of the most exciting releases from any company over the last decade. Finally, this ceratopsian for which the entire Centrosaurinae clade was named was getting its due. That said, this Centrosaurus is not the only one we got this past year, Beasts of the Mesozoic treated us with 2 Centrosaurus figures, and a Monoclonius too. But if you’re like me, and prefer small scale models over large articulated figures, the PNSO Centrosaurus was the one to get excited about.
The PNSO Centrosaurus is part of their Prehistoric Animal Models line. Named Jennie, she measures 6.2” (16cm) long and stands 2.9” (7.5cm) tall. The actual Centrosaurus measured about 18’ (5.5 meters) which puts the figure in the 1/35 scale range.
Jennie is presented is a static pose with her head positioned high and alert and her four limbs planted on the ground, her right forelimb is positioned forward of the left and her left hindlimb forward of the right. The tail sweeps towards the left. It’s nothing dramatic or dynamic but serves well in showcasing the figure.
The name Centrosaurus is Greek for “pointed lizard”. This is not in reference to the single nasal horn but rather to the smaller hornlets on the frill. On Jennie these horns are represented by the two forward hooking horns on the top of the frill, adjacent to two other horns pointing inward towards each other. Jennie also has a forward curved nasal horn and small brow horns above the eyes. Much variation exists between known Centrosaurus specimens, and studies point out a distinct ontogenetic progression in the facial anatomy of Centrosaurus. Keeping it simple, Jennie appears to represent a mature individual and the forward curved nasal horn is an indication of this.
In contrast to some of PNSO’s other ceratopsians, like the Sinoceratops and Pachyrhinosaurus, the scale texturing has been really dialed down here. This is a good thing, as it allows for a greater appreciation of the other fine details, like musculature and skin folds. It also appears far more naturalistic and lifelike.
Jennie does possess a full covering of scales, they’re just small. Variation among the scales is evident as well, with those along the underside of the jaw, neck, and body being larger than those elsewhere on the body. Large, rounded scales are interspersed across the body as well. Jennie is every bit as lifelike and well detailed as you would expect from PNSO at this point.
Jennie’s mouth lacks cheeks and although a seam is visible, completely separating her cranium from her body, it is nicely integrated into the sculpt and not at all distracting. The jaw is not articulated. Where accuracy is concerned, I can’t find anything worth quibbling about.
Where Jennie is likely to receive the most criticism is with her paintjob, which is a sharp deviation from her promotional images. I’m not one to complain much about the difference between PNSO’s promotional images and the final product, at this point it is expected that you aren’t going to get what’s advertised. That said, I think people would complain about the end-product less if PNSO were more upfront about what they were actually selling. Jennie’s paintjob is far less intricate and refined than the promotional image.
Jennie is painted in dark brown color tones, it’s so dark in places that it makes it difficult to appreciate the finer details that are definitely there. There is an attempt at patterning with darker brown along the back sort of bleeding down the sides but it’s difficult to discern between the two different color tones. The result is, frankly, kind of a muddy mess.
Blue eyespots are painted over the frill’s fenestra, with purple rings bordering them. Although the purple is nicely displayed in the promotional images it is mostly lost in the final product when displayed in low-light conditions. The horns and nails are painted pale brown, the nasal openings pink, and the eyes orange, and the paint application looks great on all these smaller bits. Overall though, this is one of the weakest paintjobs of any PNSO figure. Dark, drab, and boring.
Thankfully paintjobs seldom make or break a figure for me, and if the paint is well applied, I’m usually still happy with the product. Jennie is in fact my favorite ceratopsian from PNSO thus far, her strengths far outweigh her weaknesses. Jennie is a fantastic Centrosaurus, which is a good thing because she’s the only Centrosaurus model of this kind available. Even if we get other Centrosaurus figures from other companies they’ll be hard pressed to surpass Jennie on virtually every front, expect maybe the paint.
Jennie the Centrosaurus is new for 2021 and retails for $34.99. The price is on the high end but not unreasonable, especially in today’s economy. If you’re patient you can get Jennie for cheaper and thanks to free shipping and a 20% off sale, I was able to get Jennie for $27.99. Either way, it’s hard to put a price on a Centrosaurus when you’ve been waiting over a decade for one, and I’m thrilled to finally have this magnificent yet neglected ceratopsian in my collection.