In the last two decades many new and exciting discoveries have been made that added an impressive number of new ceratopsians. It seems as if each of the new species discovered and named are trying to outdo the other with each new one looking more exotic than the last.Names such as Medusaceratops, Diabloceratops, Regaliceratops and so on, all have that catchy ring to them that conures up exotic looks.As outlandish as these new ones are they still have a lot of catching up to do in the popularity department especially mainstream recognition.And when it comes to ceratopsians, two icons stand out over the rest both in popularity and recognition: Triceratops and Styracosaurus.
Both of these icons are perennial favorites that dates way back, in fact these two were the first ceratopsians to be features in a toy line making their appearance in the classic Marx prehistoric set. Since then, both have become a staple in the toy model industry with almost all of the major brands releasing a figure of this iconic dinosaur. Styracosaurus also happens to be the second ceratopsian, next only to you guess it Triceratops, to have the most figure in toy form.Today we will take a look at the newest addition, the exquisite Styracosaurus from the powerhouse PNSO new for 2022.
For decades, the Battat Styracosaurus has been my favorite model of this dinosaur despite multiple options from other brands. I just love how this figure looks and felt that despite many figures that would follow through the years, it remained the one that for me captured the essence of this dinosaur which happens to be my personal favorite despite the influx of new and often exotic looking ceratopsians the last few years.So, would this new PNSO figure replace it? Let’s find out.
Styracosaurus is a medium size ceratopsian, what it lacks in size, it makes up in the head ornamentation department easily being the most recognizable of them all.Like all Ceratopsian, Styracosaurus is easily distinguished from others by its head, more specifically its shield ornamentation and horns. While most Ceratopsians have frill spikes these are often small, in Styracosaurus these parietal spikes are long giving them the most spiky looking of the bunch that make them easily identified.
When a list of rumored new modes from PNSO surfaced Styracosaurus was one of four ceratopsian on the list. It didn’t take long before PNSO delivered, and what a beauty this model is. Released as part of their standard series, this model is packed with the usual high standards we have come to expect from PNSO, and like all of them it, too, is given a name: Anthony and he is number 59 in the series.
Styracosaurus is a big animal that is estimated to reach 18′ feet long and stood at around 5-6′ tall, not the largest but also not the smallest, falling at the medium range. PNSO advertise this figure as 1:35 like most of their figures but it appears that it is closer to the 1:33 scale if you used the 18′ feet size estimate. The model measures 7.5″ inches long and 3″ inches high at the shoulders (4″ inches at the tip of the longest spike). This size, while appreciated, is rather unfortunate since it does not scale well with the new Museum Line Triceratops which I’m sure many would like to see. But it’s a minor thing for me after all I can always consider it as an extremely large individual.
The head is where all the action is as with all ceratopsians, so we will start here and move to the rest of the body. I am happy that PNSO decided to pose this model with its head slightly down. In this pose all of its impressive shield spikes are in full display. These spike are beautifully arranged as they radiate away from the head and is made with a softer material that easily bends. Styracosaurus’s frill spikes show great variation between individuals so there may be some that you may not have been used to seeing, its great that PNSO has incorporated some of these subtle differences in their model to make it a little more unique.
As you move down you see so many details on the shield until you reach the single nasal horn that rises up in a spectacular fashion. At the base of this nasal horn you see plenty of texturing in the form of growth rings and scratches especially at the base that really add a sense of realism. Above the eyes you see the brow ridge covered in thick knobs which is a nice touch.
Moving further down the head you see the eyes beautifully sculpted and painted a rich golden color. The beak and nostrils are all nicely sculpted and surrounded by lots of detailed skin fold, scales, and wrinkles. Those of you may have strong opinions or preference for cheeks will be delighted to know that this model has one. I personally don’t have preference, I find that as long as there is a valid possibility, its nice to have a representation for both versions.
Now, let’s circle back to those fabulous parietal spikes since this is surely one of the areas where there is an obvious shortcoming. As they are, these spikes are beautiful… and if photos of the prototype are not printed on the box it came with, you would’t know something is amiss.But there it is, and when you look at the difference you can see what we missed. In the prototype, these spike show a lot of textures in the form of groves as well as growth rings, there is even one spike that show what appears to be a damaged area.
Unfortunately, the final mass-produced version almost lost all of these details. Why this happened I have not a single clue, but it could be that at the last minute PNSO switched to a softer material maybe to pass some safety standards and didn’t have time to fully re-sculpt these spike to resemble the original.What we got instead are spikes that are smooth with hardly any texture in them , not bad, but if you know the PNSO standards you can tell right away.
The smoother spikes caused an abrupt edges between the skin and the horn and lost the seamless transition we see in the prototype. Oddly the nasal horn managed to retain its original textures and details so at least we get an idea of what these could have looked and intended to look like. In the end, it’s not really distracting, far from it, but surely something to wish we could have had.
Now that’s out of the way, the rest of the figure is beautifully crafted with all the attention to details that we expect from PNSO models. The body is typical Ceratopsian and is rich in details all the way down to the toes. Scales and skin textures are all typical PNSO standards we have come to love, I find it always a treat to examine each of these details despite having been used to this quality level from them.
PNSO use a standard color palette that consist of brown, orange, black, red, gold, green, and white. These colors form the basic tones we often see in most of their models. This model uses these same colors which may start to seem repetitive. But PNSO has mastered the art of color blending and mixing that even with these standard palette, they manage to produce colors that still show variations in tones. In the the model the dominant colors that one would notice first are the green and browns which covers the flank and legs. Mixed in are hues of orange and tints of red to highlight areas of lighter tones in the body such as the belly, underarm, and neck.
Dark brown stripes run down the entire length of the back all the way down the tail before breaking into smaller spots on the flank. On the tail, these stripes slowly form short bands as it reaches the tips.The head and frill are given a darker brown color that follows the contours of the snout, eyes, and the edges of the shield. These darker color is then punctuated by a burst of gold, green, and yellow that highlights the cheeks and brings out some of the details. The frill (fenestrae) itself is given generous splash of orange at the center which is nice, I always like it when ceratopsian frills are given some striking colors. Black stripes breaks up these patch of orange creating a nice design.
The spikes are given a light brown/gold color which starts off darker at the base, transitioning to a lighter shades as it moves up until the last quarter of the horns turns almost a light greenish tone.Despite losing some of the brighter yellows, gold, and orange that we saw in the prototype, the final mass-produced model still managed to retails most of these colors and is pretty close to what we saw, something that can’t be said about the Centrosaurus’s final colors. It may not be the brightest colored of PNSO’s ceratopsians, but it all works well and visually pleasing.
Styracosaurus was a member of the diverse fauna of the famous Dinosaur Park Formation in Alberta, Canada. The rich dinosaur community here is well documented and includes some of the most iconic and famous dinosaurs such as fellow ceratopsians Centrosaurus and Chasmosaurus, the hadrosaurs Lambeosaurus, Corythosaurus, and Parasaurolophus, as well as the tyrannosaur Gorgosaurus and Daspletosaurus. It is also worth noting that the herbivorous dinosaur fauna of Dinosaur Park Formation is well represented in the PNSO line , all that is missing now are the top predators which I’m sure will make an appearance very soon. Until then, these group of herbivorous beauties can relax in peace and they do make a stunning display all together.
In closing, this is definitely one of the most beautiful figure of this amazing ceratopsian. The details are rich and beautifully executed, plus it has enough characteristics that makes it unique.Its been long overdue, but finally I have a Styracosaurus that I’m very happy about. So, did it push my long time favorite Battat figure of the pedestal? Yes and no, The Battat figure will always have a special place and significance in my collection that will never change, after all its been with me for more than two decades now and has withstood the test of time in many ways.
The Battat model is a good representation of the beauty and fond memories of the past, while this new model from PNSO best represents the glossy times of our high tech modern world of today and where we are headed. In a way, these two model fits nicely as bookends to the history of this hobby.
Well, that concludes another PNSO review. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. Scat enjoyed his time on the blog and hopefully I can get them back to fill in for me. Until the next review, stay safe and healthy, cheers!