1996 saw three Theropod Dinosaur toys introduced by Safari Ltd., a great bright yellow Allosaurus, a terrific green T-Rex and the best Ceratosaurus of all the Dinosaur toys I have found to date. Unfortunately only the T-Rex is still in production.
Weighing In at one and one-half ounces (1.5 oz, 42 grams) and measuring seven inches (7", 18 cm) in length this comes out to being in 1/34 scale, basically fitting right in with most other Dinosaur toys available today. Unfortunately being "out of production" is comparable to being extinct, or more accurately an "endangered species." These may still be found in retail stores at $3-5.00 or more likely at flea markets, garage sales and online auction sites such as eBay. My opinion is if you can get one (or more)- Go Get 'em, Tiger!!
Despite the Ceratosaurus popularity in the movies it is simply an underdone figure among Dinosaur toys. There is only one other (quite large and expensive at nineteen inches [19", 48 cm] and ~$20.00) I have found online and in my opinion it looks terrible and is way out of scale for all the other great Dinosaur toys. The only other Ceratosaurus worthy of comment is the other out-of-production Battat (1994) Ceratosaurus.
The Ceratosaurus, a carnivorous (meat eating) Theropod Dinosaur lived during the Late Jurassic Period. He shared his world with the larger Allosaurus and numerous potential menu items such as Amargasaurus, Brachiosaurus, Camarasaurus and Diplodocus, all of whom were significantly larger than our protagonist. Among the features that make the Ceratosaurus unique in the Theropod Dinosaur family are the four claws on each "hand" whereas all the other family members have three (or two in the case of the Tyrannosaurs). It is also the only Theropod Dinosaur to have a horn on its snout, in addition to bony ridges above the eyes and bony plates running down its spine.
Given its smallish size of approximately twenty-feet (6.1 meters) and weight of half a ton (1000 lbs, 450-500 kg) it most likely hunted in packs when going after the "blue plate specials." Smaller Dinosaurs and the young would always be prey targets of opportunity.
The following series of pictures shows our brave little hunter confronting an adult, Brachiosaurus, a young one and lastly, a baby Brach, which is really much more its speed.
Other Sauropod adults which were far too big for a single Ceratosaurus to make a meal of were the Diplodocus
and the Camarasaurus. The former ninety-feet long with a fifty-foot, whip-like tail. The latter a 60 foot (18 meters) long, 20 ton giant.
Both of whom lived in herds making themselves even more inaccessible to a hungry Ceratosaurus. Here we see our friend calculating how many of his friends he will have to call to get one of those Sauropods onto a platter. (Of note here is the thin, black line down his back, highlighting the bony plates down the spine.)
It has been suggested that the Ceratosaurus may have also been a scavenger although scavenging a Spinosaur's fish cache would have been both dangerous and extremely difficult
since the Spinosaurus didn't appear for another 80-90 million years. Which makes scavenging his fish a whole lot easier.
But the Ceratosaurus is nothing if not a determined predator and he finally finds some one (a small herd of Amargasaurus) who is both tasty and of a size that a single Ceratosaurus can bring down.
This little guy proudly proclaims his newest meal and leaves a tip for other Dinosaur toys: Don't mess with me!
The Safari Ceratosaurus is very similar in size to the Marx toys revised Tyrannosaurus Rex, as can be seen in these two photos.
The first shows the Wild Safari Ceratosaurus as produced, bipedal with the tail acting as a third point of contact for balance. I have never really liked this design. So I committed some "plastic surgery" on the tail, straightening it a bit and creating a more realistic Theropod Dinosaur bipedal pose.
Unfortunately the figure's feet are a bit small and its balance not centered so it now requires the use of a small amount of "Handi-Tak" (the stuff you can put on a wall and attach a poster to) underfoot to get him to balance. As fearsome as the MARX T-Rex is, you can see the havoc that this Safari Ceratosaurus could wreak among the Marx figures. A true Theropod Dinosaur toys reign of terror. I expect that this Ceratosaurus will eventually find itself a collectible despite its toy-like qualities. When originally produced it was near state-of-the-art and the overall detail is quite good. The head is better than minimalist and the those "hands" are poor, if correct. It is molded in a basic green and the paint job on the body is, in my opinion (which is the only one that I have), quite good. The spinal highlight is like an icing on this cupcake-osaurus.
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