Stegouros (Wild Safari by Safari Ltd.)

4.5 (37 votes)

Stegouros (roofed tail) is a genus of late Cretaceous ankylosaur from Chile’s Dorotea Formation. It was described in 2021and has already proven to be a fairly popular dinosaur with three mass produced toys to its name. One from CollectA, another from Mattel, and this one from Safari Ltd. Its popularity can no doubt be attributed to its unique tail weaponry, often likened to an Aztec macuahuitl. I would say it also resembles the Polynesian shark-toothed club, known as a leiomano. Stegouros is also unique due to its small size of about 6’ (1.8 meters), and its short tail.

The Safari Stegouros measures 6.5” (16.51 cm) when measured along the curve of its tail. It stands about 2.5” (6.35 cm) at the shoulder. This puts it at about 1/12 in scale. It is presented in a striding posture with the tail swaying rightward and the head looking leftward. The head is lifted high and the mouth open, as if the animal were startled. The figure is sculpted by Safari’s premier sculptor, Doug Watson. That name alone should convince you that this is a quality product.  

Stegouros is known only from a single specimen, but that specimen is relatively complete and partially articulated. Despite its small size the specimen represents an adult animal. It is a member of the parankylosauria clade, and its close relatives include Antarctopelta and Kunbarrasaurus.

Safari’s figure has a proportionally large head, which is correct for the genus, and it is detailed with pebbly scales and armored plating on top of the head and over the orbits. The skull roof is mostly missing from the actual specimen and no osteoderms are known for the head.

Uniformly aligned pebbly scales of Safari’s usual size and shape decorate the rest of the body. Some will consider the scales too large and the figure too heavily textured, but it doesn’t bother me and it’s something I find appropriate looking on ankylosaur toys.

Rows of keeled osteoderms run from the neck to the base of the tail. Some are also present on the limbs. These scutes match the oval shaped keeled osteoderms associated with the specimen but their placement would have to be speculative. The detail on them is splendid.

The accurately slender forelimbs are correctly oriented with three clawed digits and two clawless digits on each. The equally slender hindlimbs have four clawed digits on each with three being weight bearing. All bodily orifices are accounted for.  

The tail possesses seven pairs of enlarged osteoderms running along the sides, the trademark feature of Stegouros. In life, Stegouros had only 26 tail vertebrae, the lowest of any known thyreophoran. The last several vertebrae would have been encased within the osteoderms, which were fused together (like this). Safari’s figure does not accurately reflect this, with only the osteoderms on the tail tip fused together and scales running down nearly the entire length of the tail. This is the only real flaw I see in this model, but it still isn’t enough to put me off to it. That said, CollectA’s and even Mattel’s Stegouros toys do a better job of illustrating this feature.

With the Mattel Stegouros.

The Safari Stegouros is mostly orange in color with a gray underside. The osteoderms on the tail are blood red colored and there’s a red wash over most of the tail too. I like to think that the tail is stained with the blood of its foes.  The beak and toenails are gray, and the inside of the mouth is pink. The glossy eyes are brown with black pupils. Black and white bands are painted running down the back. I would have liked it if the smaller osteoderms were painted but if that were the case I’m sure I would have been complaining about the application of said paint, so this is fine.

With other ankylosaur toys. The PNSO Ankylosaurus, CollectA Borealopelta, and Safari Ltd. Sauropelta.
With other Safari Ltd 2023 releases. The Majungasaurus and Estemmenosuchus.

Some collectors will be put off by the incorrect osteoderms on the tail or oversized scales but I consider this to be the best Stegouros on the market. CollectA’s is excellent too, but it is enormous, so for scale conscious collectors this is the better option. Whatever your preference, you have options when it comes to this neat little dinosaur. The Safari Stegouros is new for 2023, easily available in the United States, and slowly showing up in other countries.

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Comments 3

  • Is a 10 star rating possible! One of the absolute highlights for me for 2024. When CollectA released theirs, I was like, awesome but too big for my tastes. I flipped when Safari announced theirs!!!! Wonderful review (as always)

    • Thanks! I agree, one of the best of the year. I felt the same about CollectA’s, so many of their best figures are just too big for me.

  • I have the collecta stegouros and it’s Amazing. The sculpt, the pose the paint job, it’s just perfection! But as you said, it’s to big. Still, it’s a great figurine and I recommend it

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