Price Point: $10.99
Retailer: Wal-Mart Exclusive
Packaging: Bubble Card Two Pack Release Date: March 2003
Transformation Difficulty Level: 3 (Advanced)
The year 2002 saw the expansion of the Transformers line with sub-lines such as the Go-Go-Gobots. 2003 continues this trend with the promised "Transformers Universe" toys coming later this year and sub-lines which loosely fit under the "universe" category. One such sub-line is the "Transformers Dinobots" sub-line. Mostly consisting of previously released molds (with two exceptions), this line is a Wal-Mart exclusive. Altogether, there are six Dinobots in this assortment. Each package has two Dinobots, a deluxe sized one and a basic sized one. This review covers Slapper and Triceradon, who come packaged together.
Let me just get this out of the way first: I'm not fond of the name Slapper. For a silly frog in RID, it's tolerable, but for a Transformer with the heritage of a Dinobot, it really seems like an out of place name. As some people like to say: "I'm just not feeling it." Seriously, I would have preferred "Striker" or heck, even "Dinotron" as names. Oh well, the price of maintaining copyrights.
Slapper is a redeco of the Japanese Beast Wars Neo Destoron Bazooka. This is the first time this mold has been made available by Hasbro in America. Please read Bazooka's review for a detailed description of the toy. This review will cover the changes made to the toy for this release.
Although his name may not be very "Dinobot-ish", his color scheme sure is! Slapper is mostly silver and red with a touch of hold in beast mode. His base armor is silver and the spikes (and legs) are red. His tail barb is painted gold. An Autobot symbol has been heat transferred onto the beast mode head. Although the shades of the colors are brighter than they would have been on an original Dinobot, the use of the basic G1 Dinobot color scheme is very much appreciated.
Bazooka had the ability to lift his tail, and upon pressing a button, have it smash down fairly quickly. Unfortuantely, this ability did not translate too well into this form. The tail still lifts and locks into place, and yes, the mechanism is still there to have it "slam" down. However, the tail moves down much more slowly now, looking almost pensive as it glides down rather than quickly snapping into place. This isn't a fatal thing since the toy still does have the capability, but it is a difference between this release and the original.
Talk about color consistancy. In robot mode Slapper utilizes the same basic colors as the beast mode. His upper legs, most of his main body and arms are red. His hcest has silver parts with gold used for the "claw details" on his chest and the spikes on his robot head. His eyes are green (as the beast mode eyes are) and his fists and lower legs are silver (keeping in mind that the left "fist" is the dinosaur head). What surprised me is that his joints are really, really tight. This is a good thing, but usually remolds/redecos don't have the best luck with parts and often they are more loose than the originals. It's nice to see it the other way around.
The Spark Crystal is the same type that most of the other Dinobots have. It is plain with squiggly designs and an Autobot symbol on top. The only thing that would have been nice to see would have been a black wash on the red and silver parts, to bring out the details more. However, even without that, this figure looks great!
Triceradon is no stranger to the Dinobots. During the run of the Beast Machines Dinobots, he was part of that sub-line as well. Triceradon is a redeco of the Guiledart toy from Beast Wars Neo. Please read Guiledart and Beast Machines' Triceradon reviews. This review will only cover the changes made to the toy for this release.
Triceradon's beast mode colors are quite different than his previous incarnation's. Whereas previously this toy has been primarily yellow or brown, this time around he's a very light shade of lavender. His horns and claws are a dull orange while his tongue is stilll painted red. However, his beak and a spray op running down the back of the beast form are silver, so some consistancy with the other Dinobots is (somewhat) maintained.
If you open up Triceradon's side panel, the meat and bones exposed as "wounds" are still painted red and white respectively. I was relieved to see that this wasn't just glossed over with one flat color. It's a gory detail for a Transformer, but one that gives personality to the toy. Also, the gimmick involving moving his horn to roll his eyes back still works just fine.
In robot mode, we see gold used a lot more. His lower legs, waist and arms all have gold on them. A gray blue color is introduced as well, appearing on his antannae, missils, shoulder and heels. His face is orange with green eyes. Triceradon probably has one of the most intricate color schemes among the Dinobots. This is due in part to his design, which is very intricate and involves layer upon layer of objects on his central body all kind of lumped on top of one another. This gives the designers the chance to use different colors on different sections of his main body, giving him a much better look than just one or two colors.
This two pack is a nice combination. To be honest, a big part of recommending this two pack is due to Slapper and not Triceradon. Slapper has a great "Dinobot-esque" color scheme and technically he's a new mold in America. If you already picked up the Snarl and Sludge two pack, then make this your second purchase.