When companies have been around for a long time, the opportunity for remaking it arises. In prehistoric species, the better for it, as new information can completely change the look of an animal. And with the announcement of a new model of Paraceratherium, many were thrilled. I was especially, as it is one of my favourite prehistoric mammals. The reaction to the initial photos was not great however. With the actual model in hand, how did it turn out? Let’s take a look!
Before tackling the giant rhinoceros in the room, let’s look at the rest of it. The sculpting details are fantastic, leagues above it’s more cartoonish predecessor. Colouration is better too, greys with brownish hair. The pose is a great walking pose, with mouth wide open. Maybe warning a rival male (this model is clearly male) or maybe it’s just going for some leaves, it is whatever your imagination wishes. I really didn’t expect it to be this big, far larger than it’s predecessor, a whopping 9.2″ long and 6.3″ high, it’s a huge one!
Now to the real bedbug that most find with this model: the hair. I get the idea, Asian elephants do have hair on them in a similar colour, and if the Gobi desert was as cold as it is today, it would certainly help. The execution, however, is quite poor, patchy and haphazardly placed on the model. I have to agree with many of the people on the forum, it looks like mange. A real detraction, and not a good one.
With that out the way, let’s look at accuracy. A lot is good, general body proportions, thick neck and body with a slight hump, and great skull shape, clearly seeing it’s well sculpted teeth. The trunk is a more modern idea, that they may have had a trunk similar to a modern tapir. It’s well done, but I personally prefer the rhino prehensile lip, as the skull shapes aren’t too far apart, so why would it be a trunk? This is only my opinion though, and you are free to disagree with me. The neck may be a little short, but it isn’t too terrible, but I feel the legs should be thicker, they seem a little slim to me, and I will again let people disagree with me on that.
There are a lot of things for and against this model. On the one hand, it is well sculpted and painted, more lifelike than the original, has a great size to it and shows new theories in palaeontology to children and collectors. On the other hand, the execution of the hair and certain anatomical questions make it harder to want to go for. I put the two CollectA models in front of a couple of friends, asked which was better, and got two different responses, so it is hard to say which is superior. I don’t regret getting it, but not sure I can totally love it. If you do want it, plenty of retailers, online or otherwise, will have it. Perhaps actually holding it will change opinions, but will have to see for yourselves.