Review and photos by Bokisaurus, edited by Suspsy
Without a doubt, CollectA has emerged as the leading toy company when it comes to producing ceratopsian figures. They love ceratopsians, and lets face it, who doesn’t? To date, they have, if I am correct, released 14 species, more than any other company. The diversity of CollectA’s ceratopsians is impressive. The list includes old favorites like Triceratops and Styracosaurus and obscure ones such as Koreaceratops and Xenoceratops.
For their 15th ceratopsian, CollectA has chosen yet another obscure and recently discovered species. Meet Mercuriceratops gemini or “Mercury horned-face.” Only described in 2014, this relative of the well-known Triceratops is from the rich badlands of Montana’s Judith River Formation and also up north in Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park. Estimated to be six feet tall and weighing in at two tons, this plant eater from the Late Cretaceous period is no small animal. Unfortunately, very little fossil material is known. Only a partial skull from two individuals are know, and they are very fragmentary.
What is known is that this ceratopsian sported unique, wing-like protrusions on the sides of its butterfly-shaped frill that sets it apart from any other ceratopsian known to date. In addition to this unique ornamentation, Mercuriceratops also sported the typical two long brow horns right above the eyes. Perhaps due to the strong aesthetic and accuracy of CollectA’s 2016 offerings, at first glance, this figure is easily overshadowed by the other figures in this years impressive lineup. However, upon closer inspection and with time, one starts to appreciate the beauty of this figure.
Standing at 2″ tall and roughly 6″ long, this Mercuriceratops figure is part of the standard line. CollectA has done a great job of recreating the unique butterfly-shaped frill, giving it lots of textures in the form of small bumps all over the shield. The frill is adorned by smaller spikes and, of course, by those unique wing-like protrusions on the lower sides. Just like its famous cousin Triceratops, this figure also sports a shorter nose horn and two long brow horns to top it all off. The eyes are painted black. The beak on this figure avoided the problems that has plagued its predecessors, a great indicator that CollectA is working on correcting past errors (a common theme in this year’s new releases).
Compared to some of its predecessors, the colours on this figure are not as flashy and lack the intricate designs seen on last year’s Nasutoceratops frill, which is a shame. Instead, the frill and face has the same brown colour as the body. A splash of blue, a daring choice, outlines the frill and runs down the face and encircles the beak, which is painted gray. Those wing-like frill extensions are also painted blue, but with some white highlights.
The body is typical ceratopsian-shaped and is brown all over. The blue that outlined the frill continues down the neck and runs along the back until it reaches the quills (a CollectA trademark on their ceratopsians) on the hips, which are painted dark brown. The underside of the body is painted a lighter shade of brown, transitioning to the darker tone as it moves up the body. There is nice texturing on the body: lots of skin folds, muscle definitions, and little tiny bumps and scales scattered all over. The figure’s dynamic pose can be interpreted in multiple ways: charging, running, mid-stride, it’s your choice. The toes are correct on this figure. The only thing that seems to be out of sync is the front leg that is planted straight on the ground. To my untrained eyes, it just looks too short and too straight without any definition besides saggy-looking skin.
Overall, I like this Mercuriceratops, I like it a lot. For those of you who are a big fan of ceratopsians, this unique species is a must-have to add to your herd. I will say that this figure is perhaps the most underrated figure in this year’s impressive CollectA lineup. My advice for those who has doubts about this figure, like I did at first, is to give it a chance. In my humble experience, this figure just needs time to grown and be appreciated.