Triceratops (Dead) (Collecta)

For many collectors, young and old, part of the appeal of dinosaur figures – perhaps even their primary appeal – is that they help render long-lost worlds as exciting and vibrant as the one around us today. They bring to life creatures known only from rocks in a vivid, three dimensional, colourful and exciting way. Albeit in miniature, of course. As such, the best dinosaur figures are those that capture the viewer’s imagination and convince us that we are looking at a living, breathing beast. (In minature.)

This would be one of those exceptional cases, then.

For a long time derided as the makers of cheapo, deformed rubbish, Collecta have fought back with a vengeance in the last couple of years, responding to critcism by actually acting on it (other companies, take note). And now they’ve released a corpse. Fortunately, it’s a bloody good one. ‘Bloody’ is the right word, too – they haven’t skimped on the gory details in bringing Triceratops back to decomposing non-life. Most obviously, there’s that gaping hole in its flank, but there are also flesh wounds on the neck and tail and slash marks on the leg, with copious amounts of painted-on blood. Particularly grim is the hole torn in the face to reveal the teeth, although the little tongue sticking out makes me laugh. How horrible.

Think me demented as you might (and probably already do), but I can’t stress enough how delighted I was when this figure arrived and I first inspected it. It’s just superb. For one thing, it’s actually a very good model of Triceratops, with the right number of fingers and toes (and even claws) and a head that’s the right shape (rather than having an overly-round frill). There are even speculative small quills over the hips, wilting downwards accordingly. It might not be completely perfect, but it’s better than the vast majority of figures of this genus in the ‘plastic toy’ price range.

What’s more, the paintwork is excellent. I praised the colour scheme of their Torosaurus last year for being bold and inventive, and Collecta have opted for something similar here (make of that what you will with regards to the whole ‘Toroceratops’ thing). It’s always heartening when companies make use of ceratopsians’ frills for a bold visual display, rather than having them painted the same boring greens, browns or greys as the rest of the figure. It’s very neatly painted, too, with no signs of sloppiness and good blending of the colours.

The best thing about this figure, however, is that it (perhaps ironically) livens up any display of toy dinosaurs. Stick a Tyrannosaurus figure next to it and you have an instant diorama – and as you can see, it’s very hard to resist photographing it with a T. rex in shot (the Wild Safari makes for a good match scale-wise). Much as a wide-ranging collection can be interesting to look at on its own, interaction between animals makes it just that bit better. Collecta are to be applauded for an unusual figure choice, and I hope it goes down well!

One last thing – it’s actually stamped ‘Dead Triceratops‘, and I would have referred to it that way were it not for the need to index the reviews…


17 Responses to Triceratops (Dead) (Collecta)

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  6. I like this guy but I don’t like the tongue hanging out. It just looks cheesy and almost comical.

  7. There’s that wallpaper again :b 😉

  8. It’s got the crocodilian-like belly scales too!

  9. This piece is also sometimes called “Triceratops Prey”, possibly because the word “dead” may put some people off, or simply because this is intended as the first in a line of “prey” items from CollectA. It’s been very popular so far, so I’m crossing my fingers for a sauropod carcass next year.

  10. you forgot to point out the quils on its tail

  11. It’s a nice figure, but I am bothered by the very triangular profile of the head, as if the whole top of his nose has been smashed in. Considering the state of the rest of the creature, it’s possible this actually could have happened, but I doubt it was done intentionally by the artist. I would have preferred to see the trics characteristically large nasal cavity restored in full. The front feet are also look quite large and chunky.

  12. In this book my honest understanding is beauty, realism and more importantly that this company is clearly making toys collectors themselves. It is a revolutionary avant-garde work very own Collecta

  13. I had fully intended to get this since learning of its release, though I’ve since vacillated somewhat in my enthusiasm. Chiefly because I happen to be oh-so-irritatingly-gentle and have conceived feelings of pity for a plastic toy…

    I’m still getting it of course. I can’t say that I will relish the gore as much as you apparently do, but two thumbs up to CollectA for something so novel and extremely well crafted at that.

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