Tag Archives: Pentaceratops

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!

Pentaceratops (World of History by Schleich)

Review and photos by Raptoress, edited by Plesiosauria. Figure available from Amazon.com here.

Pentaceratops, an obscure species of ceratopsian dinosaur. It’s a species that’s not often reproduced in toy form, but it has been done a few times before. For Schleich, it’s a first ever, and whilst Schleich is infamous for their often horrible lack of scientific accuracy, I consider this Pentaceratops a glimmer of hope. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely one of their better figures. This figure is one of the new Schleich ‘World of History’ line models for 2014 which I received as a present for my 18th birthday, and I personally love it.

Pentaceratops Schleich

Before we start, let me give a small description of Pentaceratops. Pentaceratops sternbergii was first discovered in 1921 and named in 1923 when its type species was described. It lived during the Cretaceous Period in both New Mexico and North America and was a herbivore. It weighed approximately 5 tons and was about 10 feet tall to the top of its very large frill. Its skull was the largest of any land animal that ever lived. It had three ‘true’ horns and two ‘false’ horns. The false horns were on the side of its face to anchor its jaw muscles.

Pentaceratops Schleich

Let’s start off with the skull. From what I’ve researched it appears to be very accurate. The head is very well sculpted with the frill being shaped just right. Nice and squarish looking and very large, as it should be. There are three ‘true’ horns and two ‘false’ horns, which is correct, hence the name ‘Pentaceratops’. The detail on the head is excellent, with beautiful scales of all sizes covering the whole head all the way up to the frill. The eyes are tiny with small wrinkles surrounding it.

The overall body shape seems correct to me, too. The shoulders have a slight hump that goes downwards to the stumpy looking tail, which is just the right length. A lot of people seem to think that ceratopsian tails were long like other dinosaurs, when in reality they were actually quite short and stumpy, just like on this model.

Pentaceratops Schleich

Now onto the inaccuracies, which are minor but still noticeable if you’re really into dinosaurs. The front feet have five digits and the back feet has four digits, which is correct. However, all the digits have claws, which is incorrect. The first 3 toes on the front feet were clawed and touched the ground, while the other two were vestigial, did not have any claws and did not touch the ground. The back feet had three clawed toes whilst the last toe was again vestigial, clawless and did not touch the ground. To nitpick, I think the front legs are a bit too long in comparison to the back legs. The back legs should be longer than the front. Also like the Schleich Tyrannosaurus Rex re-sculpt that I previously reviewed, there is no cloacal opening. The last thing I think is inaccurate is the curl in the tail, which would not have occurred with such a stiff tail of a ceratopsian. Other than that, I can’t really see anything else inaccurate with this figure. The tail might be very slightly too skinny, but I could be wrong.

Pentaceratops Schleich

The paint scheme is quite different. I’ve not seen one like this before, and I rather like it. It’s red with black, stripy markings, and on the underside it’s a pale salmony sort of colour. I feel the patterns should be a bit more elaborate on the frill, as it is now believed that the frill was mainly used as a display towards mates or foes. But I suppose it could always be a female Pentaceratops, in which case it would probably be less elaborate anyway. There is no sloppiness of paint on my model, and I will take a guess that it’s the same for all the Pentaceratops models. It’s all just really well detailed and generally well made.

The textures are really nice and well detailed, too. This model has a very solid plasticy feel to it and has no waxiness or rubberiness like the new Tyrannosaurus rex re-sculpt or Velociraptor re-sculpt. And I love it. I love all my models to have this heavy, solid plastic feel to them. As well as the lovely, mixed size scales on the skull, it also runs down to the body which turns into different, larger scales and there’s also lots of nice little wrinkles and skin folds. The underside is even more detailed with a slight neck wattle and loads of wrinkles and skin folds. I can see that the sculptor has spent a lot of time and effort into making sure this model has perfect textural details. The underside of the feet also has detail that makes them look slightly fleshy and wrinkly. The mouth is open as if roaring, and you can see a tiny tongue with nice looking texture as well as on the roof of the beak.

Pentaceratops Schleich

The pose is quite interesting. It looks alert with one leg raised in the air, and nostrils flaring. It looks like it’s getting ready to charge or fight with either a predator or a fellow Pentaceratops. Again I like this a lot. It’s all very unique to me and will give me a lot of photographic opportunities for my model dinosaur photography.

Overall, I love this figure, especially being the ceratopsian fanatic that I am. It’s dynamic, well detailed and different. A real step up from the other not-so-accurate models that Schleich has produced of recent. Apart from some minor flaws, I think this model is well worth picking up and will make a nice addition to your collection.

Available from Amazon.com here.

Upcoming releases from Schleich (New for 2014)

When it comes to dinosaur lines, Schleich have been a bit of a let down in recent years. Not only have they retired a large proportion of their prehistoric animal figures, their most recent sculpts have been ugly and anatomically incorrect. The sort of toys that wouldn’t seem out of place in a bargain bin of ‘Made in China’ ‘Chinasaurs’. The discrepancy in quality between Schleich’s  living animal figures, which are generally excellent, and their prehistoric animals figures, which aren’t, has been growing year by year. So, how are things shaping up for 2014, have we anything to look forward to for 2014, or are we in for another year of duds? Schleich have four new figures in their World of History dinosaurs line up for next year, as follows:

Velociraptor. A real monster of a figure. If you’re going to get a figure anatomically incorrect in every single way, at least try to make it look superficially good. At first glance, this figure fails on so many levels.

Velociraptor Schleich 2014

Pentaceratops. A ceratopsian rarely depicted in toy form.

Pentaceratops Schleich 2014

Tyrannosaurus. In the case of both the T. rex and Velociraptor, there seems to be a case of ‘spot the difference’ with last year’s models of these two dinosaurs by Schleich.

tyrannosaurus Schleich 2014

Therizinosaurus. An intriguing figure.
Therizinosaurus Schleich 2014

For some, this new offering may offer a glimmer of hope for Schleich as a reliable manufacturer of dinosaur figures in the future. For others, it may have just put the final nail in their coffin.

Join in the discussion about these new Schleich dinosaur figures on the dinotoyforum here: http://www.dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php/topic,1825.0.html