Category Archives: ceratopsian

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.

Triceratops (Baby by CollectA)

Review and Photographs by Triceratops83, edited by Suspsy

CollectA has grown over the years from a curiosity producing mediocre figures at best to a leading brand rivaling Safari as the favourite makers of toy dinosaurs. One of their earlier, and admittedly better efforts was the Triceratops baby, released in 2007.

CollectA released several baby dinosaurs, most of which didn’t look very good (only a few of them actually looked like what they were supposed to). Until Papo and REBOR released their Triceratops juveniles, the only major competition this figure had was Safari’s. And while the Safari version was cuter, this CollectA baby is arguably more accurate.

This figure is 8.5 cm long and is a pudgy little thing. The body is very deep and the back arches strongly–perhaps a little too much. The tail is a nice length for Triceratops. The legs are thick and elephant-like, and although it has four toes on its hind feet, they are all planted on the ground, without the shortened inner digit. It only has four digits on the front limbs, and all are unfortunately hoofed, with no vestigial fingers. The left hind leg is bent at the ankle, giving the limb a weird bent look. The skin is wrinkled and lightly scaled.

The skull is the standout feature on this figure. The entire growth series of Triceratops is known and this toy matches a hatchling or young juvenile. The frill lies flat against the back and the horns are short and stubby. The epijugals, however, are weirdly thick and kinda look like jowls. Another drawback to the otherwise fine skull are the deep lines and wrinkles around the mouth and neck, giving it a baggy appearance.

The figure is mostly grey and dry brushed with a drab olive green. It’s a very dull and depressing paint job and gives the toy a mammalian look. The eyes are brown with a shiny black pupil. It’s a wonder they didn’t paint it blue to match the standard sized adult Triceratops (although they may have been trying to distance themselves from that particular model as it’s quite bad).

The CollectA Triceratops Baby is halfway to a good figure, mixing accuracy with, well, ugliness. The wrinkled skin, dull colours, and poorly sculpted limbs detract from what could have been the best baby Triceratops available. I’d still say the figure is worth getting, even though the Safari, Papo, and REBOR versions are more visually appealing. I hope that CollectA, with their improved quality, will one day update this toy.