Review and photos by Rajvinder “IrritatorRaji” Phull
With its spike in popularity over the years, and with much help from well known franchises such as Jurassic Park, the Ceratosaurus is starting to appeal more to mainstream audiences, especially as more and more toy companies begin to release their takes on this fascinating animal. It was only a matter of time before Papo tried their hand at recreating the “Horned Lizard”.
Measuring in at approximately 20cm (7.8 inches) long and 8cm (3.1 inches) tall, this definitely isn’t one of Papo’s largest figures, but don’t let that dissuade you. The pose is fantastic. With some of Papo’s other prehistoric releases, namely their Acrocanthosaurus and Cryolophosaurus, boasting such dynamic poses it’s actually nice to see a figure with a more subdued stance. There’s not a lot happening here and, truth be told, that’s far from a bad thing. It’s incredibly likely that this is what Ceratosaurus would have been doing in its natural life, not striking extravagant poses, but simply drifting from one place to another. This more simple pose actually offers some versatility as to what this animal is up to, it could be wandering around its environment but, at the flick of its articulated jaw, it’s announcing its presence to a foe.
Speaking of how great the pose is, you’d be delighted to know that it’s not a tripod dinosaur. After seeing promotional images of this Ceratosaurus and seeing how Papo’s Acrocanthosaurus did the same thing, I fully expected the figure to rest on one of its hands. To my shock, it stands well and sturdy on its own two feet. Well, it stands on one foot and rests on the claws of the other. I’m personally very impressed, especially one of its feet is slightly lifted off the ground. The figure doesn’t have much issue with balance either. It’s very easy to stand and doesn’t tend to fall over unless it’s disturbed or placed on an uneven surface.
The detail on the sculpt is really nothing short of spectacular, and this surprised me considering how small the figure is. There really isn’t a single area on this dinosaurs body that isn’t covered in beautifully sculpted scales and musculature, from the head crest to the individually sculpted teeth all the way down to the beautifully textured tail. It’s details that you’d expect to see on a much larger model, but seeing it all here on something so small really makes this figure pack quite a hefty punch. Without a shadow of a doubt, it will easily stand out among all other figures its size (or larger).
The face of the figure is covered in very finely sculpted scales which all give way to Ceratosaurus‘s beautiful signature head crests, sculpted with much larger scales which make them stand out. Much like Papo’s Acrocanthosaurus model, which was also released this year, the body is covered with some osteoderms which contour the animals face, neck, shoulders, back and tail. Very fine scales are also found along spine of the Ceratosaurus. The body is a mix of smooth wrinkled areas (mainly around the ribs) and medium sized scales. The belly features some larger, almost crocodilian like, scales and the hands and feet are covered in scales like that of bird feet. The combination of various types of scales give the figure a very appealing texture and, as such, makes the figure a delight to handle.
The paint job is also very visually appealing. Unlike Papo’s other 2017 releases, the colour palette chosen features more natural tones. With shades of green, white, gold and a few black dots on the lower mandible, the colour scheme is a far cry from bright blues, purples, oranges and greys we’ve been seeing with Papo’s other dinosaurs this year.
A vibrant, but not over saturated, green colours the upper jaw, neck, torso, legs and tail. A smart choice, in my opinion, showcasing bright colours that might appeal to children while at the same time not being bright enough to turn away collectors. A slightly darker shade of green engulfs the orbit and runs along the spine before breaking up into stripes along the tail. The lower mandible, arms and underbelly are coloured with an off white. Gold osteoderms line the body with some gold also being airbrushed along the upper leg, and some black dots are present along the mouth of the animal. The eye is an intense yellow, giving this Ceratosaurus a piercing gaze.
When it comes to scientific accuracy, there’s not really much I can say about it. The animal isn’t shrink wrapped, the tail is fairly rigid, the feet aren’t too big, the dewclaw is present, the hands aren’t pronated, the correct number of fingers are present, the animal stands horizontally, the skull isn’t too wide, the feet have pads on them… You get the idea, scientifically speaking it’s a pretty solid figure. The only one problem I can see is that the arms look a little bit too large, but that’s not all too noticeable.
My figure did come with a few flaws though. On the left side, many of the teeth on the upper jaw were only partly painted, leaving them white near the top and pink near the bottom. Also, where the head connects to the body there is a minuscule gap between the head and the body that can actually be looked through. You can only see it at certain angles, so it’s not the biggest problem thankfully. Paint application on the bottom of the feet also could have been a lot better. The gold foot pads seem rather sloppily painted as the paint is rather thick and not blended in with the body at all. While it’s present on both feet, it’s more obvious on the right foot, the one planted on the ground.
While I do like the sculpt a lot, the one thing I dislike is how the Ceratosaurus seems to constantly be snarling. The jaw doesn’t shut all the way, so both the upper and lower teeth are always showing. It’s not that much of an issue at all, but I would have liked to be able to shut the mouth completely.
One more thing that isn’t really a flaw or an issue but I feel that anyone buying this for a child should take note of is that the crests are very hard and slightly sharp. While the teeth, fingers and toes all have some give to them, the crests don’t in the slightest and would probably be very painful to step on, so just be wary of that.
To conclude, I absolutely love this figure. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close. Children will love the fierce look and realistic feeling skin and collectors may appreciate this figures scientific accuracy and realistic paint scheme.