With its distinctive nasal horn and osteoderms, Ceratosaurus is certainly one of the more well-known theropods, making appearances in such films and documentaries as Fantasia, Jurassic Park III, and Jurassic Fight Club. Yet for a dinosaur with such great media exposure, this species does not appear very much in toy form, with figures from Kaiyodo and Safari being the only other plastic versions. Luckily this offering from Battat is more than good enough to satisfy any fans of this peculiar theropod.
Unlike the other Battat theropods, the Ceratosaurus has a calm pose, looking off into the distance with its jaws closed and both feet planted on the ground. Indeed, this lends the figure a sense of elegance that is far too rare amongst theropod figures. Furthermore, the sculpt is very detailed, with well-executed wrinkling and scales covering natural-looking musculature. All this lends the dinosaur a sense of mass and grandness, despite the figure only being 7″ (17 cm) long. Another plus is the fully bipedal stance, which is maddeningly rare among theropod toys. Luckily this figure stands quite well on its two feet. However, like other Battats, the plastic is susceptible to warping, so make sure to avoid placing this figure in areas of high heat.
The Battat line is reknown for its exceptional accuracy despite its age, and this figure is no different. All of Ceratosaurus‘ defining anatomical traits are present: the distinctive nasal horn and lacrimal ridges feature prominently, the row of osteoderms running down the spine is also clear, and the hands have four fingers. The tail is appropriately muscled unlike many other theropod toys with too-skinny posteriors. In particular, the sculpt captures the deep tail this genus had – Ceratosaurus‘ tail was rather crocodilian in appearance, being both heavily muscled and tall.
However there are some small accuracy issues. The painted on teeth seem rather large compared to the skull. While some specimens of Ceratosaurus possess large teeth, these are usually juveniles, not adults like the animal portrayed by the figure. Furthermore, the figure’s left hand is pronated (facing backwards), which would be impossible without the animal breaking its wrist. Finally, the arms and hands are somewhat large in proportion to the rest of the body – though powerful, Ceratosaurus‘ arms were rather short.
The aspect that really sets this figure apart is the color scheme. Unlike many other Battat figures, which feature strongly patterned and somewhat garish paint jobs, this Ceratosaurus features subdued, natural tones. Most of the body is a forest green with maroon striations and a lightly colored underbelly. The head has patches of light green over the antorbital fenestrae and on the nasal horn, suggesting that the head (and horn in particular) had some display purposes, a popular theory amongst paleontologists. The paint application is detailed and well executed, though this figure is prone to paint wear like many other in the Battat line.
With its relatively high accuracy, pleasant stance, and outstanding and natural color scheme, this is definitely a figure worth getting. Traditionally this was one of the rarer and pricier Battats (it took me over 3 years to locate mine), but the recent news of the upcoming Battat line reissues nullifies that problem. Furthermore, it is possible that the sculpt will be slightly tweaked for the reissue, meaning that there is a chance of even greater accuracy for this figure. Whichever version you end up with, this is definitely a piece that deserves a place in your collection.
[…] in 1996, this sculpt has aged fairly well accuracy-wise – as I mentioned in my review of the original version, this Ceratosaurus is mostly true to the genus’ known fossil remains. The distinctive nasal […]
As a huge fan of Battat models, this is one of my least favorites. But it is still a decent model. For my own part, I’d love love love to get a hold of the Kaiyodo Dinotales Ceratosaurus. It is a thing of beauty.
The teeth look the right size to me. Ceratosaurus is know for having big and very long teeth, even as an adult. I agree the arms and hands are too big though.
I had this figure when I was a kid and I’ve always liked how it stood fine on just its feet. There was a second version made where the tail curved to the ground making it a tripod. I hope the reissue is the original non-tripod version! I think using plastic that’s hard enough for the feet and legs should stop bipedal figures falling over. Maybe also hollowing out heavier areas like the chest if necessary. Making oversized feet doesn’t always help, as my 2012 Safari Ceratosaurus still fell over eventually. Bases won’t always solve the problem either. I don’t have any, but I’ve read a lot of the CollectA and Favorite soft model dinosaurs with bases still end up tipping with bent legs.
I’ve lusted after one of these for years, unwilling to pay the $70 or more when they appear on ebay.
Goworld also makes a plastic Ceratosaurus, although not one of their better efforts–more like an animated blueberry, if memory serves. The Safari offering functions at the moment in my theropod rogues gallery, but with clown feet and a dubious pose, I’d like to replace it.
I did see another, unpainted (clear,) version some months ago, but it was also around $60-$70 and I misplaced the link to that site, which had some other wonderful (unpainted) offerings.
I get the sense (after their recent dilophosaurus and carnotaurus models–other “horned” dinosaurs) that Papo is due to try their hand at this baby. Perhaps just wishful thinking.
Good to see you reviewing again. I must admit that this model is not among my favorites, particularly because of the paint choices and application. I’ve seen repaints that make the model look better so hopefully the reissue will be more to my liking.