Category Archives: CollectA

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.

Dimorphodon (Supreme by CollectA)

In early 2015, CollectA released one of the biggest and best pterosaur toys of all time: the Supreme-class Guidraco! With its great size, fearsome appearance, and magnificent detailing, it was a must-have for any pterosaur aficionado! For 2017, CollectA has followed up with a Dimorphodon at the same scale.

Like the Guidraco, the Dimorphodon has been sculpted in a walking pose with its wings neatly folded up. Its huge head is turned sightly to the right and its long tail is raised high and swaying slightly to the left. This gives the toy a length of 37 cm and a height of 13 cm. Granted, it’s not as enormous as the Guidraco, but it’s still one of the biggest pterosaur toys ever made. And it easily dwarfs the other renditions of Dimorphodon, at least that I know of!


The main colour on this pterosaur is sandy yellow. Dull brown wash is used to accentuate the shaggy coat of pycnofibres covered its entire body save for the bill, hands, feet, and tail vane. The various wing membranes are all taupe grey. The underbelly is beige and the claws are black. Dark brown is used for the markings on the head, the spots on the body, and the stripes on the tail. The nostrils are black, the inside of the mouth is dull pink, and the teeth are grey. Finally, the large, round eyes are painted with glossy black that I can even see my blurry reflection in. It’s a pretty swell colour scheme overall, although I would have preferred the teeth in white rather than grey.

As mentioned above, most of the Dimorphodon‘s body is covered in meticulously sculpted pycnofibres. The wings membranes have faint creases to give them a leathery appearance and the feet, the hands, and the enormous bill also have faint wrinkles. The inside of the mouth is nicely detailed with a long, skinny tongue and the teeth and claws are pleasingly pointy. And just like the Guidraco, this Dimorphodon boasts a hinged lower jaw that allows you the options of an open or closed mouth. The large front teeth interlock nicely. In contrast to its exaggerated portrayal in Jurassic World (ugh), Dimorphodon was a rather poor flyer with a light, fragile skull and a relatively weak bite. You’d pose overwhelmingly more danger to it than vice versa. That said, it still would have been the personification of death for any insect or small vertebrate inhabiting the Early Jurassic.

On that note, this Dimorphodon does have a dentition error in that there ought to be ten large teeth at the front of the lower jaw as opposed to just six. As well, the elongated fifth digits on the hind feet should not have claws. Aside from that, however, this figure is very accurate indeed. The proportions and profile are correct and the the figure is immediately recognizable as a Dimorphodon. The fenestrae are slightly visible beneath the skin, but not enough to be a case of “shrink wrapping.” The propatagium and the brachopatagium also appear to be correct, with the latter attaching to the hind limb near the ankle. The uropatagium stretches from the base of the tail to the elongated fifth toes. The tip of the tail features a large vane for stability during flight.


A couple of small errors notwithstanding, this toy truly is fantastic, every bit as much as the Guidraco and hands down the best plastic representation of Dimorphodon to date. Definitely a top contender for the best prehistoric toy of 2017!

A huge thank you to CollectA for this review sample!

Thalassomedon (Deluxe by CollectA)

Thalassomedon, the “sea lord” plesiosaur, inhabited Late Cretaceous seas some 95 million years ago. A close cousin of Elasmosaurus, it may have used its long neck to slowly sneak up on schools of fish or squid before before spearing a victim with its needle-like teeth.

This rendition of Thalassomedon was released in the summer of 2016. Measuring some 33 cm long from the tip of its muzzle to the end of its short tail, it is one of CollectA’s longest Deluxe figures. That said, more than half of that length is taken up by the neck, thus making this one of the smallest Deluxes at the same time. It also has a flipperspan of 10.5 cm.

As a child, nearly all my dinosaur books depicted elasmosaurs as having fantastically flexible necks that could twist and bend and coil. However, we now know that their necks had a relatively limited range of motion. Thalassomedon couldn’t rapidly strike out at its prey like a viper, nor could it raise its head high like a swan while swimming at the ocean surface. As such, this figure’s neck is held almost completely straight out in front, with the head turned very slightly to the left. The mouth is wide open, as though the predator is about to snap up a tasty fish or some other small morsel. The most popular proposed method of feeding for elasmosaurs seems to be the one I mentioned in the introduction, but there are a number of other highly intriguing ideas outlined on this fine website.

With fellow CollectA plesiosaurs Liopleurodon and Dolichorhynchops.

The main colours on the Thalassomedon are beige on top and white on bottom. The entire upper half of the body is speckled with medium brown spots. The teeny, tiny eyes are black, the mouth is pink, and the teeth are eggshell white. All in all, it’s hardly what you’d call an exciting ensemble, but it works well for a marine animal. It’s strongly reminiscent of the colour scheme found on harbour seals.

The Thalassomedon‘s skin has a lightly wrinkled texture all over. The flippers are stout and muscular and the small, sharp teeth lining the mouth are very well-sculpted. The inside of the mouth features a long, narrow tongue and ridges on the palate. The short tail features a small fluke near the tip. No soft tissue of Thalassomedon has been discovered just yet, but tail flukes have been confirmed on its relatives Cryptoclidus and Pantosaurus. Indeed, paleontologists might argue that the fluke should extend out from the underside of the tail as well. The only real inaccuracy on this toy then is that the left front flipper appears to be angled forward beyond the range of motion on the real animal. The flippers are also slightly upturned due to warping.

In conclusion, I find the CollectA Thalassomedon to be a very fine toy, one of the best elasmosaur representations to date, and well worth the purchase.