Pentaceratops (Chap Mei)

Pentaceratops was a very large chasmosaurine ceratopsian that ranged from Canada to the southern United States during the Late Cretaceous. One specimen described in 1998 was even said to possess the largest skull of any land animal. But in 2011, it was renamed as a separate genus, Titanoceratops, on the basis that it shared more characteristics with Triceratops than Pentaceratops.

Despite its very cool name and appearance, the “five-horned face” has not received a lot of love from toy companies. Schleich released a large figure in 2014, but CollectA, Papo, and Safari still have yet to produce one. A superb-looking prototype was sculpted by the late Dan LoRusso for the Battat Terra series, but for whatever reason(s), it remains unreleased. Today I’ll be examining the Pentaceratops from Chap Mei, which is infamous for its cheap and often freakish prehistoric toys. This particular version is currently available at Toys R Us as part of their exclusive Animal Planet line.

The toy measures 18.5 cm long, stands slightly under 12 cm tall at the top of its frill, and is coloured a dark shade of teal with black stripes. The upper part of the head is painted black with grey wash on the horns and hornlets, yellow-orange eyes, and yellow-orange, medium orange, and black for the display pattern on the frill. While it is unquestionably a striking colour scheme, it’s very sloppily applied. It’s also incomplete, with nary a single accent for the mouth, the lower jaw, the back of the frill, or the claws.

This toy is immediately recognizable as a Pentaceratops due to the enlarged jugal bones that earned it its name, and the large notch in the top of the frill. The beast appears to be in a ready-for-combat stance with tail raised, feet planted, head turned to the left, and mouth wide open. The skin has a wrinkled texture with rows of osteoderms on the back and grooves in the beak, horns, hornlets, and claws. The left front and right hind leg move a little, but the right front one is basically stuck in place. Pulling back on the left hind leg causes the head to raise in a nodding motion. This Pentaceratops is either really enthusiastic about something or bopping to its favourite tune!

But being a Chap Mei product, this ceratopsian is riddled with inaccuracies. For starters, the frill is missing the two forward-facing epiparietals(hornlets) in the notch. The body should be taller and the tail is too short and stumpy. The front limbs are too long and have extra joints in the forearms (ouch). And finally, the feet have the wrong arrangement of toes and too many claws.

The Pentaceratops is actually one of the less hideous Chap Mei toys, its inaccuracies notwithstanding. It certainly won’t win any prizes, but it’s a relatively cheap toy that’s fun to play with and goes well with the Jurassic Park line. In other words, kids will certainly enjoy it. And as I noted at the beginning, it’s not like Pentaceratops toys are legion. Sure would be nice if that changed!

Trilobite (Bullyland)

Review and photographs by Indohyus, edited by Suspsy

Trilobites. Next to ammonites, they are one of the most well-known fossil groups. Known throughout the world from thousands of species, from the tiny to the giant and from spiny to burrowing, no one can deny their fame. From the Cambrian to the Permian, trilobites radiated across the globe, allowing them to become excellent index fossils. They even have a website dedicated to them. Most trilobite toys, however, are small and cheap. Bullyland would beg to differ.

At 3” long and 2.1” wide, this is a small toy, but larger than most trilobite toys (still flat at 0.5” high). The paint scheme is very simple, an all over brown with blue eyes, but the dark shading brings out the excellent details. It may be plain, but it works for a species that is likely hiding from predators. The pose also has the same nature: simple, but works well.

Accuracy is a tricky subject here, as no specific species is stated on the toy, and there are many potential candidates for what it could be. From doing some research, I find that it may be Modocia or a related species based on the spines on the body and the shape of the cephalon. Assuming I’m correct, this toy is very accurate, with the correct number of segments in both the thorax and pygidium and the right-sized head. Even the legs are included on the underside. All good overall.

I love Bullyland for creating figures of famous species that never get enough attention. This, the ammonite, and belemnite figures are fantastic, well worth getting. This trilobite in particular is well worth finding. Best to look for it on eBay, although it is getting rarer now that it is retired, and can run higher prices. If you find it reasonably priced, get it.


“Let’s do lunch!”

Concavenator (Jurassic Hunters by Geoworld)

Concavenator was a carcharodontosaurid dinosaur that hails from the Las Hoya Plateau in Spain. This animal is very special to me because I have fond memories of seeing it being reported in the news back in 2010 when I was only a lurker on the Dinosaur Toy Forum. This lead me to my first ever review in 2011 (which I admit, is pretty cringeworthy to me now) which just so happens to be a Concavenator.



This Concavenator is of your typical Geoworld quality, meaning its accuracy is minimal. It is clear that the model looks like a dinosaur, but it does not really have the care put into it to be worthy of purchase. The first thing that’s wrong with this figure is the total lack of muscle in most areas of the body. Basically, the model is very shrink-wrapped all over. But perhaps the one thing that really sinks this figure down the drain is the head. It looks like no theropod I have ever seen replicated. It is triangular in shape and almost terminates in a beak. As a result, the head bears no resemblance to the skull of the real animal. About the only thing that makes this a Concavenator are the tall spines on its back, which are sculpted like a sail as opposed to being a hump.



The colours on this model are very basic. The main colour is tan and there are black stripes painted on the back. The claws are black too. The base that the figure is mounted on is a light teal and the eyes are yellow. The inside the mouth is mostly hot pink, but the mouth is not opened very wide, so you would really have to examine it in order to see. As usual, the teeth are white, but for some reason, the tongue is topped with some purple.



Moving on to the card, all I can say is I’m happy to report that I can now tell you whose artwork has been exploited for this piece of paper. One look at this image is enough to bring back memories of the one used by Raul Martin in most news outlets when Concavenator was first discovered. It is very clear to me that the image was photoshopped to make it seem different from the actual piece, but there’s no denying the fact that this is still a textbook example of plagiarism. Other than the fact that the image used on this card is clearly the one by Martin, I don’t see anything else worthy of pointing out on this card at all. The info on this card is basic, but the grammar is very iffy.


Overall, I say skip this toy in favour of the retired Carnegie Collection version, or even the CollectA one for the time being. If you still want one, your best bet is DeJankins, as he is the best source of these products within the USA.