Review by DinoLord
A sheep sized ceratopsian from Late Cretaceous Mongolia; Protoceratops was one of the earlier ceratopsians. Unlike later ceratopsians, Protoceratops did not have huge nasal or brow horns. However, it was no weakling. Perhaps the most famous Protoceratops fossil is the “Fighting Dinosaurs” specimen. It shows a Protoceratops interlocked with a Velociraptor, engaged in mortal combat. The raptor (or dromaeosaur, for you paleontologically correct people) has one of its large sickle shaped foot claws embedded in the Protoceratops’ throat. The ceratopsian gets its revenge, however, by clamping the raptor’s right forearm in its large, parrotlike, beak. Many other remains of Protoceratops have been found, coming from hatchlings to adults. It is a somewhat well known species to people who have some basic knowledge of dinosaurs, but there aren’t too many figures of this ceratopsian produced. The offering by Kaiyodo is probably the best Protoceratops figure available.
This figure wraps up everything Dinotales figures are known for: near perfect if not perfect accuracy, elaborate detailing, and intricate paint jobs, all wrapped up into a figure around 2 ½ (6 cm) long. Almost everything about this figure is accurate, from the perfectly shaped head to the small hump in the tail. Even the number of toes is correct. The only thing wrong with this figure is that the hands are pronated. Ceratopsians are now thought to have their palms face each other, like in theropods. This mistake is excusable though, as this discovery was made after the figure was produced. Also, there are some people who hypothesize that all ceratopsians had quills, since they were discovered on both a Psittacosaurus fossil and an un-described Triceratops mummy. This is still controversial and extremely recent. In addition, quills are quite hard to sculpt.
As is the case with other Dinotales figures, the detailing on the Protoceratops is astounding. The head has large scales. The body and legs are appropriately given lifelike winkles. Even the bottoms of the feet have detailed padding. The tail has many scutes on it. This great sculpt also has some quite well defined musculature, especially on the legs and neck.
Out of all the great attributes this figure has, the paint job is the most outstanding. The intricacy and precision of the application is just amazing. This Protoceratops has an alluring fiery essence to it. The base of the paint is a mixture of gamboge oranges, tangerine yellow, and orange-red. Black dots, striations, and stripes add to the detail. The head has black and white scales mixed with the orange, with red eyes and a brown beak. Small striations are found across the body and limbs, and the tail has black stripes, lined with black on the top. Keep in mind, this figure is only around 2 ½ inches long. My favorite part of this figure is the paint job, and it was a major factor in me deciding to buy it. Like many other Dinotales figures, the Protoceratops has another paint variation. The other variation is a lot like this one, except with an earthy green base. This fiery paint variation seems quite fitting for an animal that lived in the desert.
If you are a fan of ceratopsians, this figure is a must-have. The combination of accuracy, detail, and a great paint job is rarely seen in other ceratopsian figures, and this is probably the best Protoceratops figure available. Another nice perk is that this figure is around 1:40 scale. The small size may be a drawback for some, but this Protoceratops truly is a little gem. Sadly, acquiring takes a bit of work. As a part of the fifth series of Dinotales figures, the Protoceratops was a bonus figure to a brand of lemon drink in Japan, and was only available there. Luckily, it is usually available on eBay for no more than a few dollars. Buyer beware though. There are some unscrupulous sellers who charge exorbitant prices for Dinotales figures. The Dinotales Protoceratops truly is a little gem, and is perfect for ceratopsian fans and dinosaur lovers alike.