Cliffbee.com: TFU Triceradon Toy Review

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Name: Triceradon (packaged as "Dinobot Triceradon" for some reason)
Series: Transformers Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Triceratops

Click here for my fanfic tech spec for Triceradon (as G1 Ramhorn).



TRICERATOPS MODE
Height: 10cm Length: 19cm Width: 6cm

   A mint green Triceratops with olive green horns, a brown beak and some tasteful red accents on his back, and a gold application of paint along his spine. Triceradon is about 98% organic in this mode - aside from some robot mode stuff on the back of his hind legs and a shoulder underneath his neck, he's covered in leathery moulding. There is a small gap on his underside between the hind legs, but I can easily overlook this. It's impossible to tell whether or not this colour scheme is realistic, but it looks very good, better than the original in my opinion. Considering how atrociously horrible some of the TFU repaints are, the fact that Triceradon looks okay - let alone good - is a wonder in itself. The only incongruous part of this colour scheme is the Autobot logo on his crest, which is a little too artificial, but I'm willing to overlook it, since this is an overall improvement on the original. It no longer has the break in colour on the tail, still retains the painted eyeballs and now has the red patterning that works so well.

   The moulding in this mode is excellent. Scales, wrinkles, nostrils as well as hair-strands on his horns and beak. His front legs are moulded into slightly different positions, with the left slightly forward to give him a walking pose. All four legs are on ball joints at their hips, which allows for some posing. Probably about as much as a plant eating quadrupedal dinosaur would have had, anyway.

   There's an interesting addition to this mode. He has the ability to play dead. The legs can splay out to the sides. Pushing the central horn back makes his eyes roll back in his head and his tongue hang out. Finally you can open panels on this side to reveal ribs and flesh - although the ribs are not white like on the original, but now silver, which is a little odd. It's macabre, certainly, but it's an interesting addition to the play value of a good beast mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Oh boy. I'm not going to go through this in too much detail. It's fiddly, almost to the point of being annoying. There's asymmetry, the head becomes one forearm, the tail becomes the gun, which he holds in the other hand. Lots of panel manipulation and the hind legs become the robot legs. Transforming him back to dinosaur mode is tricky, since everything has to fit in exactly the right spot. I suppose it's a typical BWNeo transform in that it's complex and exact.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm (top of head) Width: ~15cm (depending on pose)

   The mint green that was dominant in triceratops mode is still a major theme here, now complimented with grey on his arms, groin and ankles and brown here and there - including his face, which has yellow eyes. This mode is a cacophony of colours, yet still has a unified look despite the use of mint green, grey, brown, red, yellow, white and silver. His chest is largely white with an asymmetric moulding. The gun has a silver tip on a glossy brown barrel. The head is moulded to resemble a triceratops head, it looks like he's wearing a mint green helmet with a giant crest. While these colours aren't as nice as the beast mode, they're better than those of the original, and come together very well. The major colours are all subdued, there's no light purple, which is a large reason why it's better than the original colour scheme.

   Triceradon's robot mode is quite stocky, with a small torso, big legs and lots of kibble on his arms. The right hand is the beast head, the beast's back is his left shoulderpad. Attached to this shoulderpad are the forelegs, from which brown spines protrude to make them look like attack spikes or something (as opposed to just pure kibble). He has an armour skirt, which sort of just sits there attached to his waist. It's small, but does get in the way to some extent.

   The gun sports a spark crystal, which has been painted solid and stamped with an Autobot symbol - so he has an allegiance symbol on both his gun and his right shoulder (the crest of the beast head). This gun doubles as a missile launcher. There are two brown missiles which live in the shoulderpad that you can load into this launcher.

   Adding to the play value is the fact he's quite poseable. He has poseable ankles, heelspurs, knees and ball joints on his hips. The knee joints are a little high, but don't look that bad. The head can turn, although due to the shape of his chest can't all the way to the right. The shoulders and left elbow are ball joints and there are two joints in the right elbow. It's worth nothing that poseability is hampered by kibble - some poses of the legs are limited by the skirt, and the left arm's posing is quite limited by it's huge shoulderpad. The upside is that the heelspurs make him quite stable, so he'll stand in a lot of poses.

   This robot mode is quite good, but the kibble does bring it down a fair bit. One hand being a beak is a negative in my books. The proportion problems are quite minor, but the smallish torso is accentuated by the giant kibble on the arms. I can't fault the attention to detail in the mould, the head moulding is fantastic. The colour scheme is great, and as mentioned, really benefits from the loss of the purple the original had to bear.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, this is a repaint of the Beast Machines Dinobot of the same name. There's a second Triceradon in the Universe line - which uses the same mould.

OVERALL

   This is a good mould, with some really cool features but also a fair bit of kibble. The transformation is involved, verging on difficult. The beast mode is awesome, and the new colour scheme is better than the original - and was the reason I bought the repaint. The robot mode is also an improvement, although in the end whether or not this recolour is worth buying depends on how much you like the mould and the new colours. While all the flaws of the mould are still present, the colours are a definite improvement - if you don't have this mould, I really recommend Triceradon - 7.5/10

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