Before we begin the review, I would like to thank Happy Hen Toys for sending this figure along as a review sample. Happy Hen Toys is a U.S. distributor of animal figures, including some that are otherwise hard to come by in the United States. I highly recommend that you check out their selection.
Stegosaurus is a genus for which there are two well described species, S. stenops and S. ungulatus, and a more questionable one, S. sulcatus. Other Stegosaurus species have been described over the years, but all were ultimately deemed invalid. One of them was S. armatus. Stegosaurus armatus was the original type species of Stegosaurus, named by O.C. Marsh in 1877, but the actual type specimen was so fragmentary that it is now considered nomen dubium. S. stenops is now considered the type species for Stegosaurus. Knowing that, it seems odd that Rebor would specifically assign the S. armatus designation to their 2019 Stegosaurus figure, nicknamed “Garden”.
Rebor as a company has generated great interest in our community as of late. In years prior they mostly focused on stylized, monstrous dinosaur depictions, capitalizing on their appeal as movie monsters. But recently Rebor has also begun producing more scientifically accurate figures that tend to carry more favor within our little niche of the dinosaur collectable hobby. You could say that trend began around the same time this Stegosaurus was released, although it could be regarded as an intermediate between the two aesthetics. Let’s take a closer look.
Rebor advertises Garden as being 1/35 in scale. It is not. Garden measures 11” (27.94 cm) long and stands 5.75” (14.6 cm) tall to the highest plate along its back. This puts the figure at 1/25 in scale when scaled down from the maximum 23’ (7 meter) length for S. ungulatus. [EDIT] Online sources give a length of 30′ (9 meters) for S. armatus. I don’t know where that estimate comes from but when scaled down from that length Garden is 1/32 in scale. Still not 1/35, but close.
Garden comes packed in a black box with a foam insert that protects the figure. The outside of the box has a Stegosaurus skeleton, the scientific name and nickname, scale, and company logo. The back of the box has a selection of other Rebor products. Also included is a base for Garden to stand on and a facts card. The card discusses the validity of S. armatus but does not mention why Rebor chose that particular species. The figure comes with the tail unattached, but assembly is not complicated. Once attached the seam between the tail and body is barely visible. There are also seams around the base of the neck and across the face. These are obvious up close but not too noticeable from afar.
The neck and tail are made of a rubbery material with a wire inside so that you can bend and pose these body parts. Since I’ve heard many horror stories about Rebor’s Titanoboa cracking I have no interest in even testing out this feature. Because of this, the thagomizer spikes are quite soft, and the plates on the tail and neck are softer than those on the body.
Looking briefly at the base, it’s quite nice. Rebor produced three variants of this figure, each for a different biome: mountain, woodland, and plain, and they all have different bases to match those biomes. My figure is the plain variant and the base is textured and painted to look like dirt with some small green ferns and gray rocks sprinkled across it. The underside of the base has the same information as the box. Overall, the base works great and provides a sturdy support for the figure, but the figure can also stand just fine without it.
In terms of accuracy the figure is a mostly generic Stegosaurus, looking much like how you would classically envision the animal without possessing the traits unique to any one species. Thanks to the specimen dubbed “Sofie” we now know that S. stenops had a back that was less arched than was previously believed, with hindlimbs closer in length to the forelimbs. Additionally, the tail and neck are now longer with wider spacing between the plates which would also be more rounded than what we see here. Safari’s recent Stegosaurus figure is the only one that effectively illustrates these features.
S. ungulatus, on the other hand, has a more classic look to it with longer hindlimbs and an arched back. Rebor’s Stegosaurus fits that description, but the plates are wrong for that species, which should be proportionately smaller with narrower tips and spike-like plates at the end of the tail. Maybe all of this is why Rebor decided to designate their figure as S. armatus, so that they could get away with some artistic license without being beholden to the features of a valid species.
As a classic 90’s era Stegosaurus the Rebor figure works fantastically. And it does well in terms of accuracy when we look at Stegosaurus more broadly. The figure has 17 plates, within the 17-22 plate range for the genus. The bony throat armor under the neck is also there. The correct number of 5 digits are present on the forelimbs, although digits 4 and 5 should be clawless, and three digits are present on the hindlimbs. The orientation of the thagomizer spikes is also correct, being placed more horizontally than vertically. The figure could be wider though, especially in the hip region.
Detail work is as you would expect from Rebor…plentiful. Some might even say excessive, but not me, not this time. Although the scales match skin impression for Stegosaurus pretty well they are too large here. The body is definitely over-textured. On thyreophoran figures this doesn’t bother me, as it adds to the tough armored look we associate with the group.
Some bits of underlying anatomy are slightly visible under the skin, including the shoulder blades, hips, and ribs. Muscles are well defined and skin folds and creases are sculpted where appropriate. The skin is a bit shrink wrapped around the face but the head itself is so small that it doesn’t register as anything more than a nitpick. There appears to be a sculpted cloaca, but it is difficult to make out.
There are some odd clusters of osteoderms sculpted on the limbs that look like fungus growing on trees, these are purely artistic license, and I can take them or leave them. By far the most appealing detail on this figure are the layers of keratin sculpted on the plates, which are also detailed with deep grooves and striations. The plates look fantastic and are further enhanced by the shiny coating of paint applied to them, which gives them a keratinous shine.
As mentioned, the figure comes in three color variants. The woodland variant is in those classic Stegosaurus colors, green with orange plates. The mountain variant is a bit more unorthodox, being dark red with white patterning across the flanks and black and white plates. This variant is the plain variant, and it’s somewhat, well, plain. It is a blend of dull green, gray, and yellow. It reminds me of the Stegosaurus from The Lost World: Jurassic Park and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was intentional, it’s also one of the reasons I like it.
The figure is dull dark green dorsally and fades to pale green along the flanks and gray on the underside. Some dark green triangular bands are painted on the tail, which is otherwise a dull yellow that continues down the thighs. The plates are gray with black edges and yellow along the edges of the keratin layers. The beak, nails, and leg osteoderms are gray and the miniscule eyes are yellow with black pupils.
The color scheme of the plain variant might be somewhat boring to some, but I find it naturalistic and subtle in its efficiency. I often gravitate towards bold colors and sharp contrasts but it’s nice to have a few more subdued figures in the collection too. Honestly though, all 3 color variants are excellent, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.
The Rebor Stegosaurus has a few accuracy issues, but it isn’t guilty of anything you wouldn’t find on most other Stegosaurus figures that are available. It more than makes up for its shortcomings with size, shelf presence, quality, and craftmanship. It is a classic, traditional take on an old favorite, and for me personally this is my absolute favorite Stegosaurus figure. The Rebor Stegosaurus is currently available and for those that live in the U.S. it can be found on Happy Hen Toys, here.