Review and photographs by Jose Carlos Salas (Jose_S.M.), edited by Suspsy
Safari Ltd has a history of delivering great ceratopsid sculpts almost every year, so much so that it’s kind of an annual tradition and 2019 is no exception. This time, they’ve made one of the better known ones for the general public: Styracosaurus. This genus has been nicely represented by other brands like Papo, CollectA, Battat, and Favorite, plus there was a previous Safari version made back in 1997. That one is now retired and outdated so this new release is a great way to reintroduce Styracosaurus to the brand and update it to match its more recent ceratopsid companions.
Styracosaurus was a medium-sized dinosaur, about 5.5 meters (18 feet) in length and 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) tall that lived during the Cretaceous period in North America. Its more striking features were its very large nose horn that reached lengths of 60 cm (2 feet) and its frill ornamentation, consisting of six long spikes. This Styracosaurus is sculpted in a calm walking pose, with its head looking slightly to the right and its tail curved to the left, giving it a slight S-shape. It measures 18.5 cm (7.2 inches) long in a straight line, making it about 1:25 scale. It looks bigger compared with other Safari ceratopsids, especially with their Pachyrhinosaurus, which is, at 1:40 scale, dwarfed by this Styracosaurus.
Safari ceratopsids generally come in nice but simple color schemes, mostly with two colors: grey and orange for Regaliceratops, black and cream for Diabloceratops, grey and yellow for Nasutoceratops. This one has a more elaborate coloration: the torso and front limbs are brown with dark green stripes, the green takes over for most part of the legs and the tail, and the underside is white and extends into stripes in the back of the legs and the tail. The head is a mixture of the browns and greens present in the body with two large red “eye spots” on the frill. All the horns and spikes are light brown and the nails are chocolate brown.
This toy has the distinctive look of Safari ceratopsids expertly sculpted by Doug Watson. The skin is covered in small pebbly scales alternating with larger ones, as fossil skin impressions for this group of dinosaurs indicate. There’s skin folds in the lower part of the torso, the tail, and neck, and a row of rounded scutes along the spine.
Accuracy-wise, it’s pretty much spot on, as is to be expected with Safari products. The front feet are correctly placed and have the right numbers of toes and claws. The animal looks well fed with no obvious signs of shrink-wrapping. Instead, it represents a bulky animal just like Styracosaurus probably was in real life. According to Doug Watson, the head is based on a 2007 revision of the holotype skull. The only flaw that one can point out is that the frill spikes are apparently easily warped, so they are more backwards curving than they should be. The original sculptor has said that they were supposed to curve more gently. Some people fix this kind of defect by heating the warped part with hot water or a hair dryer to soften the plastic, then manipulating the part to its correct position, and letting it cool it in cold water. I’ve never tried this method but it could work to make the spikes less curved.
Like most of the previous ceratopsids released by Safari, this Styracosaurus is one of the best representations of its kind. My only complaints are the issue with the frill spikes and that the coloration on its eyes, beak, and spikes is too similar to the body. I would have liked more contrast, maybe in the eyes. Overall, however, this is a great figure, I would recommend it to anyone, especially ceratopsid fans like me.
Great review of a terrific figure. Doug and the team at Safari really are the go-to for Ceratopsians these days. My only niggle with this one is just how rounded the horn and spikes are – granted there are safety issues to be considered in regard to the target audience – children – but it does seem excessive, especially when compared to these features on CollectA’s Styracosaurus from last year.
Won’t stop me buying this one and adding it to the lineup of other Safari Ceratopsians on my shelf.
Well aside from the fact both of the Styracosaurus figures I received have suffered some tiny scuffs on the horns (and there is the warping on the horns of course too), I really am glad there is a new accurate Styracosaurus model. I really love the sculpt and coloration on this one too. I think this is definitely one of the highlight’s of the 2019 figures. Of course it is also nice to have a model of one of my favorite prehistoric species out there too.
Nicely done review, I ‘m glad you decided to review this figure.
I agree on the colors on the spikes and beak looking the same with the body.
You should definitely do more review!
The detailing on this sculpt is outstanding, typical of the paleo-artist, of course. Having said this, I display mine with the other Safari ceratopsians where they can catch the early morning sunshine for an hour or so – this makes the already superb detail really pop, absolutely amazing. Thanks for this review.
Displaying your figures in the sun consistently over a long period of time is probably gonna’ fade the paint, just so you know.
They do look purdy in natural light though.
No worry, I replace my figures in that display area with others frequently enough to prevent this from happening. But thanks anyways for the advice. P.S. – I too enjoy rereading older reviews and their comments. Gives a sense of historical perspective.
Hey there, I am probably expecting Safari Ltd to do the ceratopsian Centrosaurus in the future.
A Centrosaurus would be awesome!
Further, I would be glad to see/have an Achelousaurus, Xenoceratops, Kosmosaurus, Sinoceratops and Chasmosaurus made by Safari Ltd.!
More ceratopsians! 🙂
You mean Kosmoceratops. Also, CollectA have done all of those except for Sinoceratops.
Nice review. Also nice to see Safari going with some more vibrant colours for their ceratopsians.
For me it is the best styracosaurus ever made by a toy dinosaur company. Safari exceeds all my expectations in relation to this species is from my point of view a paleoartística work imprescincible for every collector.
Finally the analis of this figure is outstanding on the part of Jose. Magnificent article