Review by Dan – DansDinosaurs.com
Photos by Dan and Robban
Now that everyone and their mother owns a Sideshow Tyrant King statue, the clever folks at Sideshow are counting on buyers to look at their giant Tyrannosaurus displays and wonder if anything seems missing. Can you guess? After T. rex, this is consistently the most popular dinosaur, and even a more casual collector may have difficulty refusing one. Certain species in the Dinosauria line were not reissued like the others, presumably driving up the desirability of said species. Species that go together since the days of Charles Knight, and are almost never observed interacting with one another in a scene of tender love.
The Dinosauria Triceratops was released in the summer of 2015, and has generally received even higher acclaim than its predatory predecessor. How can this be, exactly? Well, I’m sure there are several issues at play, but I suspect one major aspect is the paint scheme. The manufacturer has taken its fair share of heat for their paint quality, and the Tyrannosaurus was given the simplest paint scheme of any piece in the series. On the one hand, this makes it relatively easy for the factory to replicate thousands of times. However, it can also make for a somewhat underwhelming final product, especially when these pieces are so costly.
Happily, things look to be very different with ol’ three horns. I daresay this Triceratops upstages its natural enemy. While the colors always seem more muted than the ingenious original designs by Steve Riojas, there is still a nice variety of naturally blended hues on display. Steve’s familiar dappled patterns frame the physique in golds, greens, and greys. Of course, no modern ceratopsian would be caught dead with a bland frill (and I mean that literally), so there’s a brilliant punch of orange beaming from the parietal crest. This looks lighter, and more pinkish in the prototype image, but I prefer this stronger saturation anyway. The eyes are painted gold, probably to give them sheen, a familiar aspect that recalls the recently retired Carnegie Collection.
Turning with its head bowed, there is no mistaking the aggressive body language of this animal. The texture does resemble the fossilized material, large scales popping up regularly amid the normal sized scales. Additional ferocity is piled on by some interesting modifications to the skin. All across the body, we are treated to a dizzying assortment of larger scutes and osteoderms. The largest of these are in long rows over the giant pelvis, while others are scattered around the flanks in a more sporadic arrangement. This lends a craggy appearance to an already prickly-looking prey item, as if its entire form is just a giant “Keep Away” sign. Much of it is artistic embellishment; Jorge did provide similar bonus armor to the Stegosaurus, but this is pushing the envelope much further. The result is a very strong, distinctive silhouette that breaks up the normally round physique of this animal, making it appear all the more dangerous, without stretching the science too far.
I suppose if I had to offer any criticism, I do find myself wishing the base had a little more color. The Mosasaur statue raised the bar pretty high for intricate bases, so we’ll see if this changes down the road. I am always impressed by Jorge Blanco’s sculpts, and this extraordinary reconstruction definitely met my expectations. It’s a refreshing take on a classic dinosaur, familiar in its trademark features, yet explosive in its artistic presentation. If Sideshow is willing to grant freedom to the artists working on other species, there is no telling what brilliant future designs the Dinosauria series may yield.