Category Archives: Chap Mei

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.

Pentaceratops (Chap Mei)

Pentaceratops was a very large chasmosaurine ceratopsian that ranged from Canada to the southern United States during the Late Cretaceous. One specimen described in 1998 was even said to possess the largest skull of any land animal. But in 2011, it was renamed as a separate genus, Titanoceratops, on the basis that it shared more characteristics with Triceratops than Pentaceratops.

Despite its very cool name and appearance, the “five-horned face” has not received a lot of love from toy companies. Schleich released a large figure in 2014, but CollectA, Papo, and Safari still have yet to produce one. A superb-looking prototype was sculpted by the late Dan LoRusso for the Battat Terra series, but for whatever reason(s), it remains unreleased. Today I’ll be examining the Pentaceratops from Chap Mei, which is infamous for its cheap and often freakish prehistoric toys. This particular version is currently available at Toys R Us as part of their exclusive Animal Planet line.

The toy measures 18.5 cm long, stands slightly under 12 cm tall at the top of its frill, and is coloured a dark shade of teal with black stripes. The upper part of the head is painted black with grey wash on the horns and hornlets, yellow-orange eyes, and yellow-orange, medium orange, and black for the display pattern on the frill. While it is unquestionably a striking colour scheme, it’s very sloppily applied. It’s also incomplete, with nary a single accent for the mouth, the lower jaw, the back of the frill, or the claws.

This toy is immediately recognizable as a Pentaceratops due to the enlarged jugal bones that earned it its name, and the large notch in the top of the frill. The beast appears to be in a ready-for-combat stance with tail raised, feet planted, head turned to the left, and mouth wide open. The skin has a wrinkled texture with rows of osteoderms on the back and grooves in the beak, horns, hornlets, and claws. The left front and right hind leg move a little, but the right front one is basically stuck in place. Pulling back on the left hind leg causes the head to raise in a nodding motion. This Pentaceratops is either really enthusiastic about something or bopping to its favourite tune!

But being a Chap Mei product, this ceratopsian is riddled with inaccuracies. For starters, the frill is missing the two forward-facing epiparietals(hornlets) in the notch. The body should be taller and the tail is too short and stumpy. The front limbs are too long and have extra joints in the forearms (ouch). And finally, the feet have the wrong arrangement of toes and too many claws.

The Pentaceratops is actually one of the less hideous Chap Mei toys, its inaccuracies notwithstanding. It certainly won’t win any prizes, but it’s a relatively cheap toy that’s fun to play with and goes well with the Jurassic Park line. In other words, kids will certainly enjoy it. And as I noted at the beginning, it’s not like Pentaceratops toys are legion. Sure would be nice if that changed!

Pterosaur (Chap Mei)

It is not uncommon in the world of dinosaur toys to come across ones that appear to defy easy classification. Such is the case with the Chap Mei toy I will be reviewing here.

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If memory serves me correctly, the original packaging for this creature described it as a Pteranodon. Anyone who knows their pterosaurs, however, can plainly see that that’s not the case. The large, blade-like crest on the head would seem to suggest either a Tapejara or a Tupandactylus, and the toy does indeed bear a suspicious resemblance to the JP3 Tapejara toy. But then there’s all those sharp teeth lining the inside of the bill to consider. So I’m just going to call this animal a pterosaur and leave it at that.

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From the tip of the bill to the end of the tail, this flying ferocity measures about 15 cm long and has an impressive wingspan of 38 cm. Dark grey is the main colour, with greenish grey markings on the upper side of the wings. The head is black with red and yellow markings, white eyes and teeth, and a dark red tongue. Finally, the throat and chest are splashed with very light grey and the underside of the wings are dull blue with greenish grey markings. A pretty cool colour scheme.

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The skin on the pterosaur’s main body is your standard scaly pattern while the upper side of the wings have a more leathery texture. The underbelly is covered in thick wrinkles, the tail bears a row of armoured osteoderms, and the crest and underside of the wings have large veins running through them. Speaking of the wings, they look more like those of a bat than a proper pterosaur. On a more positive note, they’re very posable thanks to the universal joints at the shoulders. The hind limbs also rotate at the hips. And finally, pressing the button on the pterosaur’s back causes the head to lower and the jaws to snap. I find this a much more satisfying action feature than the flapping wings you find on so many other pterosaur figures.

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Taxonomy issues and batty wings aside, this is a pretty neat pterosaur. Its freaky and frightful appearance is compliment by its bright colours, and its articulation and snapping jaws definitely make it fun to play with.

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