Release Date: October 2021
Price Point: $33.99
Retailer: Hasbro Pulse exclusive
Accessories: 18 Blast Effects (various designs)
Official images and text below in italics are from Hasbro Pulse: Unleash the power! The Tricranius Beast Power Fire Blasts Collection pack features 19 blast effects so fans can boost the firepower of their War for Cybertron collection! Attach the effect accessories to the ends of blaster accessories to simulate weapon blasts! (Each sold separately, subject to availability.) The pack also includes a Tricranius Fossilizer figure with vivid red and orange lava deco that breaks apart into epic bone armor and weapons to armor-up other figures (each sold separately, subject to availability). Reversable package features vibrant character art, perfect for display!
- Tricranius Fossilizer figure converts to Triceratops fossil mode in 16 steps and breaks apart into bone weapons and armor to weaponize other figures (each sold separately, subject to availability)
- 19 blast effects that attach to blaster weapon accessories (each sold separately, subject to availability)
- Vivid red and orange lava deco
- Reversable package features vibrant character art, perfect for display
- Lower jaw articulation optimal for roaring poses
- Tail and triceratops skull become sword and shoulder shield accessories that the figure can hold in robot mode
When Siege introduced the Weaponizer play pattern with figures like Cog, they were definitely on to something. Fans found the ability to take apart a figure and use it as accessories for other figures fun, and this type of play pattern has continued to exist in some form for the past few years. In Kingdom fans were introduced to Fossilizers, Transformers characters who transformed from dinosaur skeletons into skeletal looking robots. One of these was Ractonite, who transformed into the skeleton of a Styracosaurus. He could also break apart into weapons for other figures. In October of 2021, Hasbro released Tricranius as a Hasbro Pulse exclusive. This set included a redeco/retool of Ractonite as Tricranius (referring to his retooled Triceratops head) and a pack of 18 Blast Effects!
Tricranius is packaged in a brown cardboard box in the same style as the Generations Selects boxes. However, instead of just having an Autobot symbol on it with no other details, this box has a Maximal symbol along with outlines of branches and vines, representing the jungle of ancient Earth in the Kingdom story. When you open the box there is a gorgeous piece of artwork on the inside in full color, something very unusual for this style of box. The art uses the base artwork for Ractonite but modifies it to suit this figure. He is standing in a jungle setting and it's absolutely beautiful. I know this was a special effort for this release, but I would have loved it if all Selects style boxes had artwork like this!
Tricranius includes 18 assorted Blast Effects. These include:
- The two part Blast Effect has an explosion "ring" at the base and then the actual "blast" that attaches to it. This is the same piece included with Siege Blowpipe and is made of light blue plastic.
- The blast and rounded piece that was also included with Siege Caliburst. Unlike the piece that came with Caliburst, these are separated into two pieces but they do hold together. This piece is made of light blue plastic.
- Siege Omega Supreme came with a set of six Blast Effects that looked like explosions with a couple pieces coming to a point like a blast. Tricranius includes these in neon pink plastic.
- The same explosion Blast Effect included with Soundbarrier. This piece is pink plastic.
- A series of Blast Effects that build on each other with smaller explosions/plumes that lead to a long one that looks like weapons fire. Among the figures this was used with previously is the J. Balvintron collaboration figure. These pieces are made up of blue plastic.
Tricranius himself is basically a pile of accessories mashed together, so I really don't count him but the tail of the beast mode does become a sword-like weapon in robot mode.
Tricranius is a retool of Ractonite, but instead of having a new head as you'd expect, it is his right arm which has been changed. Specifically, the frill on the beast mode head has been changed so that instead of being a Styracosaurus in beast mode he is now a Triceratops. The frill has two 5mm ports with two horns that attach to it. These horns are meant to detach and can be used as parts of a weapon (such as his "hammer" mode).
The colors of this figure are unusual and spectacular. The plastic colors used are translucent orange, translucent yellow and black. Paint colors include orange, yellow and black. The end result is a robot mode that looks like a skeleton that is made of lava! It is a beautiful effect and I really have to give the Transformers team high marks for creating such a distinctive and creative color scheme. I also appreciate how different he looks from Ractonite. The two may be the same basic sculpt, but they both look very different.
All of Tricranius' joints are just as tight as those on my copy of Ractonite. Keep in mind, many of the joints and connection points are 5mm pegs connecting to 5mm ports, so it's critical these are tight for both his robot and beast modes as well as serving as accessories for other figures.
Transformation to Beast Mode:
- Detach the tail/blade weapon.
- Detach the left arm.
- Detach the right arm from the dinosaur skull.
- Detach the skull.
- Detach the tail section/left arm.
- Separate the torso from the lower body.
- Attach the skull to the end of the torso section opposite from the robot head.
- Attach the left arm/rear section to the other side of the torso section.
- Attach the robot arms to the front pegs.
- Attach the robot mode's lower body to the left arm/tail section.
- Attach the blade weapon to the end of the tail.
This mode gives us a much better look at the retooled frill and horns on the beast mode head. Instead of a frill with spikes on top, the frill just has rough edges. The horns stick out right above the eyes and of course he has a third horn on his nose. The lava color theme carries over to this form and looks fantastic. It really is quite eye catching.
When I wrote my Ractonite review I mentioned that different copies had different issues with the horn on his nose. One was loose, another was glued - it was odd. In this case however, the horn on the nose fits perfectly fine and it is not glued in. You can remove it if you wish.
The official Ractonite instructions provide three different combinations for weaponry formed from this base figure so those are the best starting point for Tricranius. The best way to start is by separating all the various parts first. There were no formal names for the weapons so I just used the term "Combination" for each.
This combination of parts forms a giant (and kind of crazy looking) hammer. Attach the rear body piece (with the tail) to the torso section. Swing out the neck/robot head. Attach one of the rear beast mode legs to the peg on the inside of the torso section. Swing out the thigh pieces on the hip section and attach that to the beast mode legs as a handle. Now take the horns from the beast mode and connect them to the ports on the sides to form a spiked hammer!
I felt the original hammer weapon already looked fantastic, but adding the horns as spikes really gives it an extra brutal appearance.
Detach the two horns from the frill and attach them to the bottom of the rear beast mode legs. Attach the hip/thigh piece to the legs. Attach one of the robot arms to the top of the hip piece. You can then use the arm as an attachment piece to any section with a 5mm port. This is best suited as a weapon attached to the back with the spiked legs swinging over shoulders similar to the cannons formed by some of the Weaponizers from Siege.
Take the torso piece and swing the robot head/neck piece out. Swing the peg on the top of the robot head out and attach the blade weapon/tail piece. Attach one of the robot arms to the inside of the torso section and swing it down. Extend the peg out from the arm piece to act as a handle. The rear section of the beast mode can be folded up and attached to the torso piece. The instructions are a bit ambiguous about just how to do so but I wound up attaching it to the port on the side of the torso piece. The result looks like a giant sword with one heck of a guard piece.
The other part of this combination is simply using the skull as a shield. It has a 5mm peg which swings out and can be attached to a 5mm port.
Take the torso piece and swing in the neck/head piece. Detach the horns from the skull piece. Attach the two top horns to the sides and the nose horn to the top. Swing out the peg on the top of the robot head. This forms a spiked weapon.
For the other weapon, open up the mouth on the skull and attach one of the robot arms to the peg inside. Then attach the tail/sword end to the arm.
This is a fun combination of parts and I really like the way the weapons complement each other. One is a long sword that looks almost elegant (in a bony, savage way) and the other just looks like a brutal blunt instrument. I find these weapons are best sized to a Voyager Class figure. They look a bit too large on Deluxes.
The above weapon forms are just the ones mentioned in the instructions. Thanks to the 5mm peg/port system you are mostly limited by how certain parts move and your imagination. Fans have come up with all sorts of creative forms using multiple Fossilizers and even combinations with Weaponizers and more. The "Dino Tank" form in my gallery below (which is a variant of the one I created for Ractonite) is one such example I came up with fiddling around with parts one afternoon.
Final Thoughts: It is not often that I see a redeco/retool and think it is superior to the figure it was based on, but this figure may be one. The retooling is great and works well and the deco is spectacular. Every bit of it draws the eye and the theme works perfectly with a "dinosaur skeleton" character. Unfortunately this figure sold out fast and now averages $50-60 USD on ebay. If you only want the figure, you can get it significantly cheaper (for around $20-25 USD). All that said, I consider this a highly recommended figure!
- Excellent sculpt in both modes.
- Beautiful deco that stands apart from the figure it is based on and other figures in Kingdom.
- Fun weapon/accessory possibilities including Blast Effects galore!
- Excellent articulation.
- A bit pricey on the after market.
- The non-traditional aesthetics are not for everyone.