Category Archives: ceratopsian

Regaliceratops (CollectA)

Review and photos by Bokisaurus, edited by Suspsy

When it comes to the dinosaur family know as ceratopsians, it seems that each new discovery yields a creature that is more weirder and more exotic than the previous one. Ceratopsians are famous for their exotic and sometimes outrageous head ornamentation and their impressive horns and head shields are unmatched in the dinosaur world. Today, we will look at one of the newest discoveries, and also one of the oddest. CollectA has long been known for their penchant of choosing dinosaur species that are obscure. So it is no surprise that for their 15th ceratopsian (to date, their list of ceratopsian species is at 16!) they would choose an exotic species that, up until now, has not been represented in toy form. Meet Regaliceratops peterhewsi or ‘royal horned face.’

Regaliceratops is a fairly recent discovery, having just been discovered in 2005 and officially described in 2015. It is only from a single, almost complete skull. Although the skull was slightly distorted from compression, it is beautifully preserved. Early in its discovery, the difficulty of extracting the skull from the surrounding rock matrix and the challenging preparation process earned Regaliceratops the nickname ‘Hellboy.’ The difficulty of extracting the skull is also one reason why a formal description took almost ten years after its discovery to be formally announced. Regaliceratops is a close relative of the famous Triceratops. Although it is classified as a chasmosaurine, it has some unique features that are closer to centrosaurines.

Unlike the majority of chasmosaurines, Regaliceratops sported a rather enlarged nasal horn (more like those of centrosaurines) and unusually short and small horns (for a chasmosaurine) over the eyes. In addition, its impressive frill is elaborately decorated with large triangular and pentagonal plates. This impressive, crown-like frill is what led researchers to give this new ceratopsian its name (an image of Queen Elizabeth I in her famous collar comes to mind). CollectA’s beautifully sculpted figure possesses all of these unique features. The head and frill are faithful to the fossil evidence. The brow horns are appropriately small, while the nose horn is much larger. The unique triangular and pentagonal frill plates are beautifully done, each one a different size. The largest ones are at the top of the frill and then gradually decrease in size down the sides.

At first glance, some may notice that the snout looks longer on the figure than the fossil skull. This is due to the fact that the skull was missing the snout and rostral bones, and also that the it was deformed by compression. So if you add these missing parts, the head on the figure is about right. CollectA never disappoints in giving their ceratopsians colourful frills. This figure’s frill is outlined by black that extends all the way down to the jaw. This is followed by red that also runs down all the way to the tip of the snout. A white teardrop-like circle with an olive inside is at the center, with another band of black running down the center of the frill (separating the sides) all the way down to the forehead and snout. The horns and plates are painted brown, as is as the beak. The tiny eyes are painted black.

It is worth noting that, despite the Regaliceratops‘ small size, its head is very rich in detail. There are multiple skin textures and wrinkles on the head, all of them very delicate and only truly appreciated in person. Speaking of size, Regaliceratops was a fairly small ceratopsian, with a size estimate of roughly five metres long. This figure is also small, much smaller that CollectA’s previous ceratopsians. It measures five inches long from horn tip to tail tip and stands two inches tall at the highest point. This puts the figure roughly around the 1:40 scale. The small size has its pros and cons. Those who like their figures at 1:40 scale will find this figure fitting nicely with their collection. As for cons, well, it sure looks diminutive when compared to the rest of CollectA’s herd.

However, don’t let the small size of this figure fool you into thinking that it lacks detail. Despite the size, this figure is rich in detail. The body is very well-proportioned and does not have those wide hips that plagued its predecessors. This ceratopsian is a certified weight loss program graduate! Wrinkles and rich texturing abound all over the body, as well as bumps of varying sizes. The main body is given a tan base with multiple shades of brown hues applied over it to bring out details and add depth. There are dark brown stripes that runs along the back as well as the tail and legs. The tail quills are given a reddish brown color and the underbelly is given a light brown wash.

The legs show muscle definition and are very well sculpted. The figure is posed in a calm state with both front legs slightly bent, as if the animal is lowering its head closer to the ground to leisurely browse on some delicious greens. The toes are accurate as well.

In closing, the CollectA Regaliceratops is a very welcome new addition to their already impressive herd of ceratopsians. The figure is rich in detail and beautifully sculpted. The colourful paint is very well applied there are no sloppy areas. It is a joy to watch CollectA grow and improve with each passing year, and this figure certainly reflects that. I highly recommend this figure. I believe that it is better appreciated in person, and I can guarantee that soon, you too will be charmed by it.

Hope you enjoyed the review of this fascinating figure. Till next time, cheers!

Einiosaurus (CollectA)

After years of going ignored by toy companies, the centrosaurine known as Einiosaurus is finally enjoying a surge of attention. First there was the endearing miniature from PNSO, then the sterling rendition from Wild Safari. And now we have CollectA’s take on the ‘buffalo lizard.’

The first thing you notice about this figure is its size. This Einiosaurus is significantly smaller than previous Standard-sized ceratopsians, measuring only 12 cm long and standing slightly over 5 cm tall. I’ve been informed by CollectA that this is part of an effort to put their ceratopsians in scale with one another from now on. So for example, a future Standard Triceratops figure would be closer in size to last year’s Mercuriceratops.

The main colour on the Einiosaurus is olive green with a pale yellow underbelly, faint brown stripes, medium grey claws, and black accents for the speculative row of quills on the tail. The head features patches of pale yellow with brown half-ovals on the frill, medium grey horns and epoccipitals, blacks eyes, a dark grey beak, and a pink mouth. There are also blackened tips on the two frill horns. Flashy yet realistic.

Despite its size, the Einiosaurus‘ skin is beautifully sculpted with a varying pebble texture all over and rows of round osteoderms along the flanks and back. The nasal horn and beak feature very faint grooves and the powerful muscles in the neck and limbs are very well-defined. The feet have the correct number of claws and are better shaped and positioned to reflect our current understanding of their anatomy. The tail is longer than on other such figures, the hips are the correct width, and the horns and epoccipitals are the proper shape and size. As for the quills on the back, there’s no direct fossil evidence for such a feature, and they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. But they’ve come to be a signature feature of CollectA and I’m fine with them myself.

The Three Einiosauruses Gruff

With its exquisite sculpting and more accurate proportions, this Einiosaurus represents a major improvement over previous CollectA ceratopsians. I highly recommend this figure and eagerly look forward to whatever ones are slated for next year!

Thank you to CollectA for this review sample. 🙂

Einiosaurus (Wild Safari by Safari Ltd.)

Described in 1995 by Scott Sampson the Einiosaurus has been known to science for over 20 years but has never really caught on in popularity. Although not as iconic as Triceratops, or as flashy as Styracosaurus, the Einiosaurus has to be among the most bizarre looking ceratopsians. Imagine something like Centrosaurus, except with a bottle opener on its head instead of a spiky tyrannosaur deterrent. Indeed, the curved horn of Einiosaurus makes a strong case for the hypothesis that these head ornamentations were not primarily used for defense.  The genus has long been among my favorite ceratopsians and ever since I took up dinosaur collecting I’ve hoped someone would produce an Einiosaurus (aside from the cartoony “Dinosaur Train” toy) and then, for whatever reason, three of them have popped up within the span of a year. One by PNSO which I reviewed recently, this one by Safari, and another upcoming one by CollectA which I won’t be reviewing (I’m not that obsessed with Einiosaurus).

The Safari Einiosaurus is just one model in a huge (and dare I say historic) lineup of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals from Safari Ltd. It’s also another great addition to Doug Watson’s lineup of ceratopsians for the company (something that was sorely missed last year was the addition of another ceratopsian from Doug). This one was worth the wait though, not only is it an Einiosaurus but it’s also one of the best models of the five ceratopsians released thus far, though I may be biased.

Measuring 6.34” in length and 2.54″ tall it scales in well with the other Safari ceratopsians. They’re not in scale with each other of course but with them all being about the same size they still display well together. The Einiosaurus is sculpted with all fours planted on the ground. The left arm is bent at the elbow and the left leg is stretched out behind the animal. This position, and with its head lifted and mouth open, makes the animal looks like it’s bracing itself for something.

At this point I think we can safely say that Mr. Watson is a proficient ceratopsian sculptor. When you buy one of his ceratopsians you can rest assured it’ll be well researched and accurate. The digits are all correctly numbered and accurately portrayed with the forelimbs possessing two clawless little digits on each hand. The hide on this model is particularly noteworthy with many raised scutes along the body. This is in keeping with what we know about the integument of Triceratops and a logical choice for this dinosaur. The scutes also add that much more detail to the toy with its muscular limbs and fleshy skin folds. Unlike the PNSO model this is a full bodied ceratopsian too, full bodied and strong looking.

The head matches well with the skull of Einiosaurus but there is one peculiarity I must point out. Directly above the eyes there are small knobby horns but behind the left brow horn there is another horny bit that is absent from the right side. I’m not sure why this would be and maybe the sculptor knows something I don’t. It’s something I didn’t notice until I sat down to write this review and it’s only mildly distracting. (EDIT: The extra horn was indeed intentional, refer to Doug Watson’s comment below)

The model is painted in earthy greens and browns that blend nicely into each other. The horns and beak are also brown but the nails are painted black. The fenestra on the frill are highlighted with red rings and a yellow spot in the center. It’s nice to see the frill painted as a display structure.

It’s nice to finely have a few representatives of this obscure genus to choose from. Although I have not yet seen the CollectA model I feel confident that this model from Wild Safari is probably the best of the bunch. When the Nasutoceratops was released a couple years ago it was hailed as one of the greatest toys of that year. I think this Einiosaurus is just as good as that model, although it might be forgotten amongst the other offerings from Safari this year. Don’t let this model go unnoticed, it’s a must have for any serious dinosaur collector.

Now available at Dan’s Dinosaurs and wherever Wild Safari models are sold.