Diabloceratops (Schleich)

4.3 (15 votes)

Review and photos by Bokisaurus

It’s been a good six years since Diabloceratops first burst into the toy figure world scene. It was way back in 2013 when CollectA then followed shortly by Safari both released a figure of this unique ceratopsian in the same year.

It seems like Diabloceratops was destined to be a popular species for toy makers to produce. But that momentum slowed and only one other Diabloceratops figure was added, the small but beautiful Kaiyodo model that was part of the Capsule Q series.
After a long hiatus from the spotlight, the Devil horned face is back!

In the last few years, the centrosaurines dominated the toy market with the majority of ceratopsian figures produced by companies belonging to this group.
Adorned with outrageous head ornamentation and having flamboyant names, this group blanketed the media with news of exciting new discoveries as well as appearing in big blockbuster movies. No wonder companies love this group!

The rise in popularity of the Centrosaurine group

Diabloceratops is built like your typical ceratopsian. What really sets the species apart are its horns and neck frills. To date only two Diabloceratops fossils have been found and both of those are skulls.
First discovered in 1998 but  not until the second skull, found in 2002 that the genus was studied, described and finally named in 2010. Besides its unique appearance, Diabloceratops is significant  due to it being one of the most primitive centrosaurine ever discovered to date and also the first member of this group to be discovered south of the state of Montana.
This facts adds to the important study of how ceratopsians from this group evolved and dispersed.

A truly unique looking ceratopsian

Diabloceratops is dated to have lived approximately 79.9 million years ago during the latter part of the Cretaceous period. It was found in what is today the state of Utah in the Waheap Formation, part of the vast and beautiful Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.
It shared this habitat with many other dinosaur including hadrosaurs, ankylosaurs, and Lythronax ( an early tyrannosaurid) which was the apex predator in the ecosystem.

Chased by the top predator in the ecosystem

When Schleich announced they are releasing a Diabloceratops as part of their 2019 lineup, I was cautiously optemistic, after all, their figures are not exactly the best out there and are often too extreme, even scary. But there were signs that things are changing with Schleich’s sculpting and quality of their prehistoric figures. So a little optimism is in order even if I’m not a fan of the brand in general.
So it was a pleasant surprise to finally have the figure in hand and be impressed by it. The more I looked at it, the more I really like it that I decided to review it, making this my very first Schleich figure review.

Nice horn shape

Diabloceratops’s unique horns and neck frill shape is what truly gives this animal the unique and unforgettable look.
On the top of its large neck frill are spectacular pair very long spikes/horns that curves slightly to the side.It also had a pair of shorter spikes right above the eyes.

Unlike other centrosaurines, Diabloceratops skull is deeper and shorter. 
The figure capture these unique features well actually. the frill have that distinctive shape of wider on the bottom and tapering to a more narrower and taller towards the top.
The pair of spikes on the top have the right shape and orientation. As expected, all the spike tips are rounded out for safety. All of the spikes are painted black, which is nice but a little shade lighter would have made it even more better and would show off the subtle texturing.
The pair of spike above the eyes also have the correct shape and orientation, and when viewed sideways, these pairs of shield spikes form a crescent shape. On the ridge just above the snout, there are small bumps and also what appears to be a very short but flat horn.

A good size figure that fits in well with the majority of figures from other brands

The head shape is well proportioned and about the right shape. The beak is nicely done and even have texture in the form of delicate groves. It is also painted black, which make it tends to disappear when placed in a dark background.
There are lots of skin texturing on the face like skin folds and lines. Covering these are distinctive scales in various sizes, which is always nice to see. There is even a ring of osteoderms surrounding the eyes which is painted bright yellow. I wish they subdued the eye color a little, it is just too bright that and makes it really distracting and stands out too much. I subdued it by painting over it with a darker shade of yellow.

You can see the ear openings just behind the neck between the frill and the cheek spike.
It would have been better if the cheek spikes were sculpted separately instead of carved out from the jaw. This would have made it more distinctive and 3D. Other than that, Schleich’s sculptors did a great job with the sculpting of the head.

Updating the CollectA head design, you can see where the inspiration came from

The colors on the head are striking and beautiful, but unfortunately not very original. One look at it and you can see how much the design on the head and frill was “inspired” by the CollectA figure. The only difference is the colors.
In the CollectA, the dominant color is rust brown and white, in this figure its black and white with a splash of yellow on the frill.
But I’m glad that they went with this tribal look. CollectA aside, we often see the majority of ceratopsian figures with bland colors and unimaginative color schemes, which is really a missed opportunity. So its nice to see some imaginative, although not original, designs on this figure and this designs really works well for ceratopsians in my opinion and the color combinations are pleasing on the figure. 
The figure is 6”inches long with the curvature (6.5” stretched out) and stands a good 3.5” tall to the tip of the tallest spikes. It’s a good size figure that fits nicely with the CollectA and Safari figures.

The trio of Diablos strike a pose

The body is typical ceratopsian shape. The neck is about the right length in proportion the the rest of the body. There are nice skin fold on the neck that suggest loose skin.
The body is nicely shaped and muscular without looking too bulky or shrined-wrapped.
There are plenty of nice irregular shaped large scales/scutes all over the body that are mixed in with the smaller scales.
The sizes of the scales vary, with smaller ones on the lower part and bigger ones towards the back and there is a concentration of these large scales from the top of the neck and runs the length of the back. Mixed with these scales are skin fold and lines that really adds great texture to the figure. There are stretched skin fold between the legs as well adding movement to the whole body.

You can clearly see the odd-looking stitches-like skin folds on the tail

The tail looks about the right length for a cntrosaurine. Oddly, on one side of the tail, there is a deep line/indentation that I can only interpret as a way to show muscles as well as bone structures on the tail. It’s not bad except on the same side, there are multiple vertical skin fold over this indention. It really is odd that they sculpted these in a vertical orientation. The result make it looks like stitches!

The legs are held in a more vertical fashion under the body and not the slight sprawl.The figure have good proportions as well as muscle definitions on all its legs, and just like the body, the legs are also covered in scales of various sizes.
Now, the back feet looks great. It is when you look at the front feet that you immediately notice the big problem.
The figure is sculpted with all front toes having nails, just like a rhino. This is really unfortunate since everything else on the figure looks awesome.
This inaccurate feet sculpting is both a big mistake ( it’s 2019 not the 1990’s) as well as a minor one when all things are said. I suppose one can always paint over those nails to make them disappear.

This figure has a more upright look than its two predecessors

The overall body color is dark brown with a lighter shade dry-brushed over it to give some depth as well as to bring out those skin and scale details. A grayish tone is used on the belly and under the neck and tail and transitions nicely from the dark brown.
There are black bands on the back that terminates halfway down the body.Mixed in with these stripes are large black spots that are almost diamond in shape. The resulting combination really gives the figure a striking and unique look.

Beautiful patters and effective color choices. You can see the skin details clearly in this photo

In closing, this is perhaps the best ceratopsian Schleich has produced to-date. In my personal opinion, it has the most striking presence among the quartet of Diabloceratops currently out there and really holds its own among the best.
This new “Devil Horned Face” figure will surely command attention in any collection.
I’m glad to see Schleich upping the quality and accuracy of their figures, lets hope that this continues and that we will see more in future releases.

Oh No! We lost it again!

Well, that concludes our review. Hope you like it and thanks for reading. Until we meet again on the next review, take care and CHEERS!

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Comments 5

  • One of Schleich’s best after P. sibiricus and arguably the best of the lot however, the body morph resembles that of a mammal more than a Centrosaurine. Especially with those erect and slightly disproportionate front limbs. Granted the entire skeleton has yet to be unearthed but a centrosaur the back should be arched with the highest point at the hips. The colours I do particularly admire and the pose is a definite improvement over the eager puppy from CollectA.

  • Boki just casually flexing that Battat Styracosaurus…

  • I rarely buy Schleich models but I was immediately tempted to order this one as soon as it was released. Your review made a good read!

  • As always your reviews are complete and thorough. Sincerely Schleich has taken giant steps this year with ups and downs such as the plesiosaurus but in general the cast of Schleich figures is quite striking, detailed and well done and well proportioned. My greatest wish that the Schleich brand be overcome year after year.

    I hope to see ceraptosides as beautiful or better than this year’s diabloceratops. He is a great figure and the review is the most complete I’ve seen in the forum. Comparisons with their Collecta and Safari counterparts are welcome. I honestly think that of Schleich I think it surpasses the other two because their paint colors are much more realistic and their painting is very elegant.

  • We can always look forward to a comprehensive review when you tackle a subject. Nicely done!

    On the subject of the eyes, I like how the yellow blends with the somewhat more subdued yellow of the frill. You weren’t the only one to comment on these eyes, but your modification improves the look.

    I too, am quick to notice the number of hooves on the front feet of ceratopsians, so often mishandled by the fabricators of these animals, and notice when there are 4 or 5, instead of the 3 we’ve come to anticipate. This raise a question: do we actually know how early in their evolution ceratopsians’s hands settled on the final configuration of three toes with hooves? Could it be possible for more basal representatives, like the Diabolo here, to have had the full complement of five?

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