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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.