Time for a second helping of Hero Mashers! This time we’ll be looking at Carnotaurus, the mighty “meat-eating bull” of South America, and Ichthyosaurus, the English “fish lizard” that helped make Mary Anning a legend among paleontologists.
The Carnotaurus is made up of ten parts. Once assembled, it ends up being articulated at the neck, shoulders, hips, knees, and two sections of the tail. Although the lower jaw is hinged, it only moves a couple of millimetres, sadly. The limbs, body, and tail feature sockets for adding on parts.
From snout to tail tip, the Carnotaurus measures 21 cm long. It is coloured dark red with orange horns, swirly stripes, and JW logo, black claws, turquoise eyes, a pink mouth, and white teeth. There are wrinkles on sides of the head and osteoderms on the neck and running down the tail, but for the most part, the skin is nice and smooth, very kid-friendly.
While the boxy head and pointy horns make this toy recognizable as a Carnotaurus, the rest of the body is pretty generic. The arms and feet are far too large, although that’s clearly to ensure play value and stability. The parts hold together very firmly and the joints are stiff—but not too stiff!
Here are the parts for the Ichthyosaurus: a head, four flippers, a dorsal fin, and a tail. Bright yellow is the main colour with dark blue markings. The eyes are red, the tongue is pink, and the teeth are white.
Instead of enjoying its own body, our fishy friend must share. As you can see, this causes quite the colour clash. Still, it makes for a fairly fun, ferocious-looking beast with a length of 23 cm. Unlike the Carnotaurus, the Ichthyosaurus‘ mouth open can extremely wide. The tail and the dorsal fin have serrated edges and the jaws bears little resemblance to that of the real animal. The upper half is toothless and resembles a pelican’s bill, while the lower half has short teeth at the back and two large teeth at the front, like a modern beaked whale. It would be neat if there really was an ichthyosaur with such odd dentition.
As with all Hero Mashers, the main fun with this toy is the potential for switching and swapping body parts to create weird, potentially nightmare-inducing chimeras.
I limited my designs to the pieces that make up the set, but toss more sets into the mix, and the possibilities grow and grow.
As with the previous Hero Mashers set I reviewed, this one is aimed at children first and foremost. And in that regard, I think it succeeds very well. Both the Carnotaurus and the Ichthyosaurus look appropriately scary, and the articulation is great. My fellow adult collectors may not be won over as easily. Hopefully this review helps you decide one way or the other.
Available from Amazon.com here.