The Safari Ltd Kentrosaurus Points to the Future of Dinosaur Toys
The Safari Ltd Kentrosaurus Makes Others Green with Envy
The year 2010 has seen the addition of many great Dinosaur Toys and the Safari Ltd Kentrosaur fits right into the mix.
(Picture Courtesy M. Shiraishi c. 1998)
The Kentrosaurus (Pointed Lizard) is a member of the Stegosaurus family, combining the archetypal plates along the spine and the spiky-ended tail for defense. In addition the "Kent" has rear-facing spikes on its shoulders and the 'plates' morph into 'spikes' above the hips as they run down the tail.
Weighing in at one ounce (1oz, 29gms) and five and a quarter inches (5.25". 13.3cms) in length this replica of the fifteen foot (15', 4.5 meter) and perhaps half-ton creature, is in ~1/34 scale.
Painted in a variety of greens, olive, forest and dark, with a pinkish cast to the belly this is very nicely detailed and quite realistic looking in both coloration and general physical appearance.
Seen above traveling with a pair of 2007 Safari Stegosaurus. They work well together, but scalewise the Safari Stegosaur is a bit small.
We believe that these traveled and lived in small herds, meandering over the late Jurassic countryside.
The Kentrosaurus simply ate its way across the landscape.
(From here to here. A Kentro-Oddysey.)
As the climate changes areas that once were amicable to the Kentrosaurus become parched, forcing our Little Green Dinosaurs to seek green(er) pastures.
Migrating isn't always safe and sanguine. There are dangers....
(They say if you don't move he won't notice you.)
"Say what? Have you stopped migrating?"
The Safari Ltd Kentrosaurus' head is really quite small but with an unexpected amount of detail; showing the small mouth, jaw muscles and cheeks, nostrils and yellow eyes with black pupils clearly. The head melds into the neck very naturally. The head and the neck creases can be clearly seen in the pictures above and below.
---and my current favorite, the Safari Ltd Stegosaurus (below).
The Safari Ltd Kentrosaurus herd stops to sample the local faux-flora (flauxra?). The sculpt is quite amenable to a variety of poses.
In fact, this little fella is pretty much an 'all over the place' Dinosaur toy.
The detail on this figure is excellent and the sculpt is very close to the current paleontological view (see M Shiraishi illustration at top of page).
With the short front legs and the much larger, longer rear legs this Dinosaur was capable of swinging that porcupine-like tail (of course the Kentrosaurus spikes didn't come off, we think) at high speed, making it a fearsome weapon.
A close look at the Safari Ltd's tail shows the detail in this figure even as it emphasizes the weapon-like characteristics.
The close-up of the Kentrosaurus' torso provides a very nice view of the plates, shoulder and hip spikes as well as the muscularity of those little legs, hips and shoulders. The 'skin' of this 'pointed lizard' is not presented as scaly but rather as creased and pachydermal.
The Kentro-herd heads into a lush section of their Jurassic yard.
Of course sometimes older predators will confront our contemporary Kentrosaurs.
Which only goes to show the 'playability' of these figures.
Looking at this figure from the front and the rear provide excellent views of this beautifully done Dinosaur toy. Showing both the very active appearance from the front and the very dynamically posed tail, swinging to and fro.
(Below) Kentrosaurus blends in with the high grass.
The Pterosaur's view shows both the leanness of the Kentrosaurus and the flow of the sculpture, along with the array of plates and spikes running along the spine and the unique shoulder spikes port and starboard.
The underside is done in a faintly pinkish beige and actually is reminiscent of many of the snakes I have seen. The use of a flash has brightened the belly in this picture. Because these are all individually hand painted (they are made in China where there are 50 million myopic toy-painters waiting for work) they are each ever so slightly different from all their little plastic brothers and sisters.
The belly also has the manufacturer's imprint showing not only the manufacturer's name (Safari Ltd) and date of introduction (2010) but also country of manufacture (guess) and the now ubiquitous European Union "CE" emblem of toxic neutrality (that means it is safe to play with and eat when times are really, really tough.
The Kentrosaurus face is always pointed towards something good to eat. Here we see our mini-herd having completed their migration and made it to their own little flower laden Eden. Of course the original, real Kentrosaurus, lived before there were flowering plants. A tasty advantage our current Kentrosaurus crop has over the originals.
In fact our current crop have a number of advantages given that they are toys and the advantages are all ours. Made of a sturdy plastic/rubber like material and hand painted in an exotic land these promise to last as long as the Kentrosaurus wandered the Earth (Tanzania, specifically and for five million years - 156 to 151 million years ago) and potentially to outlast us. The permanence of the paint-job.... How long the varieties of green paint will last on the overall olive-green plastic base... is impossible to determine at this time. These figures are too new and we won't know for many years. Older Safari figures have stood up very well for more than a decade.
My guess is that these will last, and last well and long. I suspect that as individuals these will last a long time. As Dinosaur figures nobody is going to be producing a better Kentrosaurus in the foreseeable future at the price-point that these are at.
You can pick one (or more) of these up at any brick & mortar store that carries Safari Ltd figures or online at the Safari site (opens new window) or any of dozens of other online retailers. Prices range from $3.98 to $6.95 plus shipping and/or tax.
The toxicity of these is a non-issue. They are subject to damage from teeth but not from digestion. They have passed all the toxicity tests the United States CPSC bureaucrats can imagine as well as those of the European Union. Grilling will result in melting, burning and lots of (non-toxic!?!) fumes but not an increase in edibility. Don't try to cook 'em. Don't try to eat 'em. Just play with 'em.
Will they become collectibles? I don't know. Are they collect-able and desirable in any serious Dinosaur toys collection? Oh yes. They are part of the recent Safari Ltd Dinosaur collection that has been producing the very best and as good as the best collectible Dinosaur toys figures for the past five years. Go buy one right now.
Below we have two pictures of the Safari Ltd Kentrosaurus alongside the PAPO Stegosaurus. These are actually in near scale, the thirty-foot long Stegosaurus and fifteen-foot Kentrosaur would look very much like these:
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