Call me strange, but this is really my favorite new release for 2013. Only Safari Ltd. has the stones to tackle the often-overlooked hadrosaurine (or saurolophine, if you’re keeping up with the times) dinosaurs, with an excellent Edmontosaurus replica being foremost in recent memory. These gentle giants did not have the ostentatious headgear of their lambeosaurine kin, making their presence in a mass-produced figure line all the more impressive.
That being said, I don’t think Gryposaurus should be written off as a boring animal too quickly. It is most readily recognized by its “Roman” nose, making it a sort of Charlton Heston of the Cretaceous. What really grabbed my eye with this model, however, was the color. Not since the days of Barney has anyone dared infuse a dinosaur with such a royal hue, but why not? For me, this color recalls the massive Playskool Parasaurolophus. If you haven’t seen that magnificent toy, try to imagine a ferocious, bipedal eggplant on the prowl. This Gryposaurus is more blueish and pale, which probably keeps the animal looking more natural. Still, we don’t get this color very often, so it’s nice to see.
Safari has been raising the bar on detail, and here again they do not disappoint. The body has plenty of fine textures, and the tail (being quite stiffened by those ossified tendons) sticks straight out. When that Edmontosaurus turned up, many were quick to point out the separation of the digits on the forelimbs, which should have been a padded “hoof”. Fortunately, this has been corrected for Gryposaurus, with only a single separate “pinky” digit in sight. The hands look a tad large, but it’s not too noticeable. The sculptor has even included the ridges running along the back, a real feature of this animal, and a very cool effect that lends more interest to the silhouette.
Collectors might also be pleased with the size of this piece. The model is nearly 22 centimeters long, giving it an approximate scale of 1:35. This means it should play reasonably well with the other models in your collection, even those not produced by Safari, in the event you’ve accidentally purchased a scientifically inferior model from a different manufacturer.
The pose of this model is not quite so animated as the Edmontosaurus, but I actually like this conservative level of liveliness. It suggests an animal moving at a comfortable speed, but not too rigid like some other figures. I fear I must also draw attention to the impressive cloaca of this model, which must be the deepest of any figure I have seen. Make whatever assumptions you like.
Despite its relative obscurity, the replicas representing this species are not as rare as one might be led to believe. There is a lovely model of Gryposaurus available on Shapeways from Angie Rodrigues, and a tiny one by David Krentz. Heck, there were even two separate Kritosaurus kits on the market at the time this review was written. Hopefully, this speaks to the continued desire of collectors to see more hadrosaurs on the market, and Safari appears to be makin’ it happen. Their reconstruction is distinct, and should help more people become familiar with the diversity of the duckbilled dinosaurs.
Available for purchase here.