Oviraptor (CollectA)

Oviraptor is one prehistoric animal that’s been saddled with a terribly inaccurate name (Basilosaurus has the same problem). It was dubbed the “egg thief” because its remains were found atop a nest of eggs that was assumed to belong to Protoceratops. But the discovery of several nesting Citipati specimens in the 1990s’ shows that Oviraptor was in fact only guilty of being a dutiful guardian of its own eggs.

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CollectA’s 2010 Oviraptor is one of the smallest figures in their dinosaur line. It stands about 4.5 cm tall, measures 8.5 cm long, and has a wingspan of 6 cm. This individual has been sculpted with its mouth open and its wings spread out. Possibly it is meant to depict a virile male displaying before a prospective mate. Like many CollectA theropods, the Oviraptor is mounted on a pitted, sand-coloured base.

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Oviraptorosaurs are frequently depicted in vibrant colour schemes and this one is no different. Its main colour is yellowish brown with darkened patches and a white underbelly. The bare fingers and feet are dull orange with large, dark grey claws. The wings are flecked with white and dark brown. And the head and tail fan are decked out in bright orange and electric blue. The eyes are brown, the bill is black, and the mouth is pink. Such snazzy colours lend to the idea that this animal is male. Despite its small size, the figure boasts some pretty decent detail. The body is covered in a fine coating of plumage and the fingers and feet have faint wrinkles. The feathers on the wings and the tail fan are well sculpted, although it’s harder to tell due to all the colours painted over them.

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Accuracy-wise, this Oviraptor scores reasonably well. It’s certainly unmistakable as an oviraptorosaur, the hands are appropriately large, and the impressive tail fan is in keeping with feather impressions and pygostyles from close relatives such as Caudipteryx and Nomingia. The wing feathers do not appear to be attached to the second fingers, but I’m willing to overlook that error. The large, cassowary-like crest is in keeping with how Oviraptor is usually depicted, but keep in mind that the only known skull is crushed to the point where we can’t say for certain how it really looked. In the mean time, a crest such as this one is perfectly possible. At first I thought the sculptor had omitted the dew claws, but a quick Google image search shows that the mould does indeed have them; they’re simply concealed by the base.

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Overall, I think this Oviraptor figure is even better than its catalogue photo suggests. It’s not nearly as spectacular as CollectA’s most recent feathered dinosaurs, but it’s still a very unique, affordable, and enjoyable little toy.

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