Review and photos by EmperorDinobot, edited by Suspsy
Hello and welcome to another Beasts of the Mesozoic review by me, Emperor Dinobot! Today we shall be looking at the long awaited and exquisite 1/6 scale Psittacosaurus mongoliensis! The truth is, I have been meaning to do this review since 2020, but better late than ever, especially for a worthwhile dinosaur figure such as this one! So now let us look at the most species rich genus of dinosaur, and one of the most well known dinosaurs of all time!
As with the majority of the BOTM dinosaurs, it comes with instructions on how to attach the tail, a collector card, and what makes this figure different than the rest of the other ceratopsians is that it comes with instructions on how to deal with the base, but more on that later.
Here’s some pictures of the box, which as always includes a list of the team behind the creation of this figure, a plastic window so you can see what you are getting, and a checklist on the back, partially obscured by the usual sleeve with a picture of the collector card, and the specs on the species.
Just like all BOTM figures, there is a picture-friendly cardboard insert with a realistic rendering of what this creature’s habitat may have looked like.
My apologies for the bad quality pictures of the collector card. As usual it includes artwork, this time by Jax Jocson and Carlo Arellano.
The other side has a picture of the figure and a description which reads as follows:
Psittacosaurus mongoliensis (Parrot lizard)
Length: Up to 2m (6.5 ft long)
Location: Mongolia, China and Siberia
Time period: Early Cretaceous 101 m.y.a.
Name by: Henry Fairfield Osborn-1923
One of the earliest ceratopsians, Psittacosaurus mongoliensis is the best known of twelve different Psittacosaurus species. This genus is famously known for having a row of tail quills and parrot like beaks.
(On the card, the word “ceratopsian” and the binomial name mongoliensis are capitalized; they should not be, but never mind that.)
This is one of the figures I was most excited for when it was announced, along with the Styracosaurus and Torosaurus. It is not flawless, but it is the best depiction of Psittacosaurus done so far in plastic. P mongoliensis has yielded tons of fossils which represent specimens of different ages, from hatchlings to adults. This has allowed scientists to study such things as growth rates, behavior, intelligence, etc. I believe this figure is based on SMF R 4970 as well as other similar specimens which include preserved tail quills. Several groundbreaking analysis conducted between 2016 and 2020 measuring the melanosome content on extremely well-preserved specimens have allowed us to kind of determine patterns of coloration for this dinosaur. This specimen, found in China, likely from the Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, showed that it had a common camouflage pattern known as countershading, meaning it lived in dense, low light forest environments. This type of camouflage is especially effective for hiding from predators that use patterns of shadows on objects in order to be able to determine shapes. The paint is based on the Bob Nicholls restoration, who created what may be the most scientifically accurate depiction of a dinosaur yet, or so they say. This kind of reminds me of the 2010 study they did on Anchiornis huxleyi’s feather melanosomes, which also gave us a possible look into the colors of the dinosaur’s feathers, except the difference here is that Psittacosaurus was mostly covered in scales, like most non-avian dinosaurs.
As for the cloaca found on SMF R 4870, the figure does indeed have a cloaca, but it is hard to see on the picture showcasing the bottom of the figure.
One item that the figure is missing is the protopagium found on its hindlimbs. This was omitted likely because it may hinder articulation, or that the information had not been published at the time the figure was being sculpted.
The figure does come with a stand, which is the same sculpt used for the Raptors line. It comes with a single ball-jointed peg and a single wide type ball-jointed cuff to support the figure. The base is brown with some of the foliage painted in a dark jade green.
An adult Psittacosaurus was probably almost exclusively bipedal, with long running legs to scuttle down into ferns in order to get away from predators. It is possible that the young may have spent some time on all fours, but this figure can pose on all four due to the 21 points of articulation it has. I believe only P. sibiricus spent its time on all four limbs.
If you like the 1/6th scale, and want a figure that is completely different from all of the other BotM figures released so far, meaning that they tend to reuse body parts and so forth, then this figure is for you. It pairs really well with the raptors, and it pairs well with the Protoceratops as it is in the same scale. Like I said, none of the other figures released so far existed in the same stage as Psittacosaurus, so photography is not great if you are not a fan of anachronisms, but there are a few figures that are in similar scale compared to Psittacosaurus, like the Microraptor above.
This is one of my favorite BotM figures so far, and if you do not have it yet you really ought to consider getting one. It is versatile, accurate, and exquisitely colored. I for one do not like taking my figures outside. I tend to disinfect them when they arrive several times and love to keep them in a clean, disinfected and cool environment. However, I would LOVE to see pictures of Psittacosaurus outside, hiding in the shades of some ferns. That is my challenge to you, faithful reader. There is one final picture I would like to share:
Psittacosaurus mongoliensis can be bought online, and it retails generally at $49.99 US at the Creative Beasts Studio website. Highly recommended, folks, highly recommended! There is also a new 1/18 version coming out in the future, so choose carefully or choose both!