Bront’s breakfast is suddenly and rudely interrupted as a large cave lion leaps from the tall grass onto his back and attempts to sink its teeth and claws into his hide. But his matted fur coat provides more than enough protection and Bront angrily bucks his attacker off. The lion lands gracefully on its feet, turns around, and leaps at him again with paws spread wide and fangs bared. It is intercepted by a direct blow from Bront’s huge horn that sends it spinning three metres into the air before hitting the ground head first with a thud!
When the lion finally opens its eyes and raises its sore head a full five minutes later, Bront is still nearby, calmly grazing with his back turned. He knows full well the lion won’t dare make a third attempt . . .
While there are dozens of known prehistoric rhinos, and probably dozens more still waiting to be discovered, none of them have achieved the same level of fame as sabre-toothed cats or proboscidians. Similarly, there have not been very many toys made of them. Most are either Coelodonta or Paraceratherium. And that’s a real shame, as many other genera would make fantastic toys as well. Leave it to CollectA to take the initiative and select one of the most awesome rhinos of all time for their 2019 assortment. Behold, I give you Elasmotherium!
Also known as the steppe rhino or the Siberian unicorn, Elasmotherium was truly a force to be reckoned with on the Eurasian plains during the Pliocene and Pleistocene eras. While it did not approach Paraceratherium‘s colossal dimensions, it did grow up to five metres in length and four or five tons in mass, as big as the woolly mammoths and much bigger than the woolly rhinos that lived alongside it. Like those other beasts, Elasmotherium probably fed mainly on the abundant grasses of the steppe. But unlike other rhinos, it had high-crowned molars that were constantly growing, not unlike the teeth of rodents. These may have been an advantage for a diet of tough grass. Also unlike most other rhinos, Elasmotherium possessed fairly long legs that would have allowed it to gallop rather fast for an animal its size. While it has yet to appear in any films or novels (at least to my knowledge), it did feature prominently in an episode of the 2006 ITV series Prehistoric Park.
One of the first things you notice about the CollectA Elasmotherium is that it is big. And I’m talking Brobdingnagian BIG. At 26 cm long, 12 cm tall at the shoulder, and 13 cm tall when you include the tip of the horn, this is the biggest toy in CollectA’s 2019 assortment and their biggest prehistoric mammal to date. Noticeably bigger than any of the proboscidians, even the Deinotherium. And while the now-retired Paraceratherium is taller, the Elasmotherium far exceeds it in sheer bulk. This is one item you would really not want to accidentally drop on your foot, or worse, on your head while taking it down from a high shelf. And although the horn (which I’ll talk about more later on) is a little bit flexible near the tip, it is otherwise quite stiff. I am certainly not permitting my toddler to handle this beast on his own. Wouldn’t be safe.
The main colour here is light brown with a dull brown wash. Patches of medium brown are visible on the head and the flanks. Dark grey is used on the horn, around the mouth, and for the insides of the tiny ears. The beady eyes are black and the hooves and tail tuft are dark brown. This mighty Elasmotherium is sculpted in a dynamic charging pose with its left front leg thrust forward, its head slightly bent to the right, and its tail raised in an aggressive gesture. Looking at this gargantuan toy, you get the strong impression that the real deal would have been perfectly capable of shattering through walls, flipping over vehicles, or making even a Triceratops think twice before throwing down with it.
The large bulge on the underside indicates that this toy represents an adult male. While I’ve lamented the lack of female megafauna figures in the past, I’m okay with the choice of gender in this case, as male rhinos do grow to be larger and more physically imposing than females. As you already read in the introduction, I’ve dubbed this big fellow Bront.
All of CollectA’s extinct mammals boast incredible sculpting detail, but Bront’s really is second to none. His coat of fur has a very thick, matted, and realistic appearance, with shorter hairs covering his head and much longer ones all over his body. To date, no preserved Elasmotherium fur has been discovered, so any reconstruction is speculative. However, both woolly rhinos and mammoths have been found preserved with long, shaggy fur, so it is perfectly within reason to surmise that Bront and his kin possessed similar adornment. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine any animal surviving on the steppes of prehistoric Eurasia without ample protection against the cold and snow.
Bront’s legs are noticeably long by rhino standards, and quite muscular. The soles of his feet have a worn appearance and his hooves are covered in faint grooves. There is a large hump on his back, which would come in very handy for supporting such a heavy head. His lips are thick and his upper one is hooked just like on a modern black rhino. His spectacular horn is smooth around the tip, but has a rougher texture near the base. It is also slightly curved and fairly thick in addition to being super long. As with the fur, no preserved Elasmotherium horn has yet been found, and thus Bront’s is purely speculative. Some restorations depict a horn that is much thinner or shorter, or even barely more than a big lump. Most, however, are pretty similar to this one. There is even a painting at Rouffignac Cave in France that might possibly depict an Elasmotherium with a humped back and a long, curved horn. In any case, there can definitely be no question that this toy looks very distinctive and intimidating with such an immense implement of destruction jutting out from its forehead!
This Elasmotherium is dynamic in appearance, painstakingly detailed, realistic and well-researched, and quite unique in the world of prehistoric toys. In short, it’s precisely what we’ve come to expect from CollectA over the last few years. Some collectors have already thrown their support behind the CollectA Edaphosaurus for the title of best prehistoric toy of 2019, and I can certainly see why, but as far as I am concerned, nothing beats my boy Bront here. Truly a five star toy if there ever was one. It will be available for purchase this summer. My sincerest appreciation to CollectA for the review sample!
A nice big figure. However, the head is too Rhinoceros like. It should be shorter, deeper and rounder and the horn located more on the forehead…..it was nicknamed the Siberian Unicorn for a reason…
what a great figure by collecta , besides dinosaurs,prehistoric beasts are among the most interesting especially the biggest . Its well worth adding to any prehistoric collection . Since its the only elasmotherium apart from the expensive resin kits its worth having 2 since unless other companies start making more ice age beasts , then it could be a long time before another ice aged figure would be released in my view .
Amazing review. This is my favorite figure of the year. Impressive.
Great review and great images! CollectA are certainly a force to be reckoned with these days with the quality and diversity of the species they are releasing. Can’t wait until June when this one should be available to order here. I really like the figures CollectA has released in this size range, their Styracosaurus and Iguanodon hold places of prominence on my shelves and this one will be front and center in the Mammals area!
Thanks. This one also stands front and centre in my Cenozoic collection. It will be very difficult for CollectA to top this one in 2020, although Arctotherium, Gigantopithecus, or Megatherium would certainly be most welcome!
Wow, this is really and amazing figure! So glad they went for this species, it’s about time it got the attention it surely deserves!
Great review and congratulations on already having this magnificent figure!
I can’t wait till it’s available! Surely the best prehistoric mammal from the last 2 years!
Thank you! I agree: it was definitely high time someone made an Elasmotherium. Sadly, there are still so many fantastic Cenozoic animals that still have yet to receive their due.
My favorite CollectA for this year, also. Actually, Bront seems to be quite a decent fellow – he doesn’t dispatch the lion while its having its little “nap.” Jolly nice old boy!
Excellent review of an incredible figure. Love the use of vocabulary and the final pic really shows off that horn. Good job!
The elasmotherium Deluxe by Collecta is impressive, thanks for the review Suspsy, as I have already mentioned many times, it is one of my favorite prehistoric mammals and I am happy that Collecta has marketed it. It is huge and beautiful a real figure sculpted in a detailed and great way (the hairs, muscles, horns, legs to give examples). I congratulate you Suspsy for the review and comparative photographs, before voting for the best prehistoric animal (not dinosaur) I would think more than once when choosing the edaphosaurus of Collecta, this elasmotherium have all the letters in their favor to be worthy contender of his counterpart in the edaphosaurus brand. Thanks for the review!