Category Archives: ceratopsian

Ankylosaurus (Mini)(Chap Mei)

The various Ankylosaurus toys that have been reviewed here on the DTB over the years range from the truly superb to the decidedly subpar. But the one I’ve got to review today may well be the most hideous of them all.

This here is the Mini Ankylosaurus from Chap Mei. It measures about 10.5 cm long and is 6.5 cm high at the tip of its raised tail club. The main colours are olive green and dark grey with white accents on the osteoderms and red accents on the club. A splash of black is on top of the head and the teeth and mouth are white and red respectively. The eyes are supposed to be yellow, but the left one on mine has not been painted. The claws are also unpainted, but as with all Chap Mei toys, that’s an intentional corner-cutter.

The skin textures on this Ankylosaurus range from large scales on the head to wrinkles on the underbelly and legs to pebbles on the back and tail and grooves on the osteoderms. The animal is sculpted in a defensive stance with its right front limb forward, its head turned to the left, and its tail raised high. While this is unquestionably a dramatic pose, it’s impossible for any ankylosaurid to achieve without breaking some of the vertebrae in its tail.

Which brings us to the issue of accuracy, or woeful lack of it. The limbs are too long for an Ankylosaurus, although the feet surprisingly have the proper number of toes. The armour is way too spiky. And ye gods, that head. That ridiculous head. Just look at that long muzzle, those sharp teeth, and the fact that there are no horns projecting out from behind the orbits. It looks like a rauisuchid head attached to a generic ankylosaur’s body!

This is one of those toys that is arguably so lame, it’s funny. Unless you’re fond of oddities (which is perfectly cool), you can definitely give this Ankylosaurus toy a pass.

Triceratops Baby (Mini)(Chap Mei)

In addition to their Standard and Electronic Deluxe figures, Chap Mei also produces miniature-sized prehistoric beasts of highly dubious accuracy. Let’s take a closer look at what is billed as a baby Triceratops.

From nose to tail tip, this toy measures about 10.5 cm long. The main colour is pinkish brown with dark grey markings on the head and back, light grey claws, beige horns with darkened tips, light green eyes, and a reddish pink tongue. As far as Chap Mei toys go, this is one of the blandest-looking ones.

The sculpting is alright, albeit nothing special. Fat wrinkles all over the main body and limbs, heavy scales on the head, a row of flat osteoderms covering the vertebrae all the way down to the tip of the tail, rows of small, round osteoderms, and grooves in the beak, horns, and claws. The almond-shaped eyes give this little ceratopsian an angry appearance, as do its firmly planted legs and the way its head is turned sharply to the left.

By now, I’m sure you’ve all noticed the most glaring flaw on this toy. This is supposed to be a baby Triceratops, but the large horns extending from its frill make it look like there’s some Styracosaurus mixed in there as well. A pretty sloppy mistake to make, although it would admittedly be cool if a real ceratopsian with such adornments was ever discovered. The other major flaw is that the feet all have three clawed toes.

The Standard-class Chap Mei figures available at Toys R Us always include a couple of mini-dinos in the package, so if you’ve been collecting them for awhile, you probably own one or more of these doubtful Triceratops figures. If not, I wouldn’t expend much energy trying to hunt one down.

Styracosaurus (Deluxe by CollectA)

Review and photos by Paul Carter AKA Carnosaur, edited by Suspsy

Styracosaurus, the “spiked lizard,” has long been a popular dinosaur. Thanks to its distinctive arrangement of horns, any depiction of it is easily recognizable. Indeed, it sparked the imagination of filmmakers during the earliest days of motion pictures, which has led to numerous film appearances ever since. Notable among them are The Son of Kong (1933), where a Styracosaurus battles the movie’s heroes; The Valley of Gwangi (1969), where Styracosaurus is pitted against a carnivorous dinosaur; The Land That Time Forgot (1975), where two animals are shelled by a German U-boat; Disney’s CGI film Dinosaur (2000), and Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur (2015). The genus also appeared in the novel of Jurassic Park, and in the list of dinosaurs present in the park, but was not seen in the film adaptation.

In 2017, CollectA released a 1:40 scale Deluxe Styracosaurus, and it is easily one of their best ceratopsian models to date. The figure’s length is approximately 23.5cm and its maximum height is around 14 cm thanks to its frill horns. This makes it one very large and impressive figure! The tan hide, with its rust-coloured highlights, is nicely detailed with small scales and larger scutes that run the length of the animal’s body. Its underbelly is nicely blended, fading into a cream colour.

The horns, spikes and beak are a bone colour highlighted with black tips, which is reminiscent of some bovine horns. The figure has the correct number of grey-painted toes on its feet, and there is no “shrink wrapping” present. Indeed, it appears quite robust. The mouth is open and features a visible tongue. But the eyes are particularly arresting, as they are painted red with solid black pupils which gives them a bloodshot appearance seen in some large herbivores today. Both the eyes and the nostrils have a glossy coat that make them look even more lifelike.

The figure is nicely posed with both its head and tail turned towards the right and the legs spread out in a very stable position. Although there is no supporting evidence for the row of filaments seen on this Styracosaurus‘ rump, they are known on its older, more primitive relative Psittacosaurus, and they do not detract from this figure at all. And with the recent reordering of the clades Ornithischia and Saurischia, it may be even more likely that Styracosaurus had this feature.

If you are a fan of Styracosaurus, or ceratopsians in general, then this is a figure you shouldn’t pass up. It looks great amongst my other Styracosaurus figures, and I highly recommend it.