Review and photos by Bokisaurus, edited by Plesiosauria.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that CollectA has chosen yet another obscure species to join their expanding herd of ceratopsians. Meet Xenoceratops foremostensis – “alien horned-face”. Released as part of CollectA’s 2014 standard-sized figures, this late Cretaceous centrosaurine ceratopsian was first unearthed in 1958, but was just recently described as a new species. To-date, Xenoceratops is the oldest known large-bodied ceratopsian in Canada. Measuring 6 meters (20 feet) long and weighing more than 2 tons, it is not the largest, but still impressive. Like all members of the group, what distinguished Xenoceratops from other ceratopsians is its unique frill with bony ornamentation.
CollectA did a beautiful job of restoring these frill ornamentation on their figure.
The two large horns above the eyes point outwards, behind these horns and protruding from the back of the skull is the large frill. At the top of the frill closest to the midline are two bony projections. These are short thick knobs, and in this figure is painted red. Next to each knob is a single long straight spike that points to the rear (painted white). The nasal bone suggests a long and low structure (also painted red). The face, with its long parrot-like beak, is nicely sculpted on this figure. The nostrils and the eyes are nicely done. The way the eyes are sculpted, although subtle, made a huge difference in the overall feel of this figure. It does not have the bulging eye like that of the Diabloceratops, or the human-like shape of the older models. If anything, perhaps giving it a different color other than black would have made it even more appealing.
Speaking of color, this figure is unique among dinosaur toy in that it was given a simple black and white outfit for the Oscars! The jury is still out about these color choices, but for me, I personally find it appealing and striking. The body itself is black, with a streak of white highlighting the tail quills, and some bands on the feet (which was not necessary in my opinion). There is a nice transition on the neck area from white to black. CollectA is never shy in giving their ceratopsians some colors in the past. This time, it’s not the facial colors that stands out, but the striking design.
The simple white stripe starts from the center of the frill and radiates outwards, creating nice bands of black in between. The blending of the paint application is nice and clean. There are also some shades of cream mixed in, mostly from the beak, nose, and eye area that give it another texture of color.The odd choice of red, and I mean bright red, to highlight the nose and frill knobs is a poor choice. The effect is not what they have intended, instead, it looks like open bloody wounds! Lucky, it is something that could be easily “fixed” with a small paint application to subdue it. It really distract from the overall effect of an otherwise nicely painted head.
Back to the body, the overall proportion is nice. The skin texturing is perhaps the best I have seen on any ceratopsians to date. The skin is not overly done with large grooves or same-sized bumps. Instead, you will find a pleasing balance, something more realistic. The muscles are well defined, but not extreme. The figure is robust but still shows some nice skin folds in the neck region.
The toes are pretty accurate on this figure, with the hoofs painted brown. In what is looking to be a CollectA trademark with their recent ceratopsians, this figure also has the tail quills, and in this figure painted as a white streak. They sure are having fun with it, which is another thing that sets their figures apart from all the other major brand’s ceratopsians (very much in line with the new Kaiyodo, only much bigger).
Overall, I say that this Xenoceratops is the best ceratopsian from CollectA to date. I highly recommend this unique figure; it’s not often that a black and white dinosaur comes along that is well crafted. It fits nicely with the best of the herd and is fast becoming one of my personal favorites.
Available on Ebay here.