"Transformers Universe" Dinobot Triceradon Toy Review

General Information:
Release Year: February 2004
Retailer: General (Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Target, K-Mart etc.)
Price: $9.99
Transformation Difficulty Level: 3
Accessories: Missile x 1, Missile Launcher/Tail

Triceradon is back! Yes, we just got a redeco of him in 2003. Sure, there was the "original" Triceradon in 2000, and yes, Guiledart is one of the easiest Beast Wars Neo toys to find for a good price, but you just knew dinosaurs were going to be a part of Transformers Universe didn't you? This time his name follows the convention first used with Striker, where (for some reason or another), the word "Dinobot" is put in front of the name (perhaps to keep using the trademark?). Either way, it's obvious we're looking at an alternate version of the toy that started out as a Destronger in Beast Wars Neo. Check out these reviews before going on to the review for this incarnation of the Transformers Triceratops:

Beast Mode:
When the Wal-Mart Triceradon was released, many felt it should have had a more "G1 Dinobots" oriented theme that many (not all) of the Wal-Mart Dinobots had since he was lavender and all. Well fellow fans, your wait is over. This version of Triceradon is definitely done with the original Dinobot colors (silver, red, gold) in mind.

The overall color Triceradon is cast in is silver, but not a bright silver. It's a nice, dull color that hints at being metallic. The spine detail running from the neck to the tail has been painted gold. Along that spinal line are red details that come out from the center to the sides. These patterns are really nice, coming to triangular points (but done with spray ops) looking almost like flame patterns (which, to this fanboy, reminds me of G1 Slag's ability to blast flames from his mouth). Similar red spray ops are used on his head, and look fantastic. The red is also used on the rear leg knees.

Triceradon's horns and beak are dark brown while his nails are dark gray. An Autobot symbol is tampographed onto the top of his head. This looks out of place, and in my opinion, the toy would have looked better without it, but it seems to be a necesity of Universe toys to advertise their allegiance (for the most part).

"Trap" Mode:
Although not mentioned in the instructions, Triceradon has an alternate mode that I like to refer to as the "trap mode" since it's purpose is to lull an enemy into a false sense of security before he attacks. The side pieces flip out to show "ribs". Basically sharp bones sticking out of flesh like details. This time, the fleshy parts are dark brown (looking more like putrified meat than previous incarnations of this toy had). The bones are metallic silver, which hints at this not being an ordinary organic dinosaur.

The other feature for this form is a neat little gimmick that allows you to push the horn on his nose back and have his eye roll back so only the whites of his eyes show. At the same time, the tongue in his mouth moves out a bit, adding to the "dead look". The tongue is painted the same dark red as the flesh on his ribs, and really looks kind of creepy and funny at the same time.

For added effect, you can take his tail off a bit to see the dark red flesh tone there as well. What's more, the paint used on the "flesh" part of the tail seems to be extra shiny, looking almost "wet". What this all adds up to is some gross fun for collectors and kiddies alike.

Robot Mode:
Triceradon was obviously colored this time to look dark, even in robot mode where some lighter colors are used. His head is the same silver as most of the beast mode. The face is dark red with yellow eyes. Most of his main body parts (chest, waist, upper arms) are dark gray with details painted on. His shoulders have dark red painted on while his chest is a combination of off white, red and yellow. His waist has metallic silver details.

His missile launcher has a green Beast Machines era Dinobots Spark Crystal with an Autobot symbol tampographed on top. The tip of the missile launcher is silver, which looks a bit odd against the dark red "flesh" section.

Dinobot Triceradon should have been named "Slag" after the G1 Dinobot his colors hint at. Of course, I don't think Hasbro can use Slag anymore, so it's a minor quibble. Overall, this is a really nice deco of this toy, probably my favorite out of the four.

While I like this mold and the colors a lot, I think it's time to retire this mold for a year or two. What I would like to see is the Beast Wars Neo retool/redeco of this sculpt, Killerpunch released as part of Universe.

I do recommend this if you don't mind redecos or simply don't have any prior versions of this toy.

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