Triceratops, with its huge horned head, and Stegosaurus, with its thorny thagomizer, are something of an armoured tag team in dinosaur pop culture, bravely standing together against Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus, and all the other meat eaters. It’s only fitting then, that they appear in the same Hero Mashers set.
Ten pieces make up the Triceratops. Note how the frill and brow horns must be attached to the head, otherwise it would have been too big to fit into the narrow box! The main colour is a shade of pine green with light green horns, stripes, and spikes(!), dull orange eyes, white teeth, a pink mouth, and blue-green claws. A brown JW logo is on the right hip.
When assembled, the Triceratops measures 21 cm long. It has universal joints at the head, shoulders, hips, and two sections of tail as well as a hinged lower jaw. It has two sockets on its back, two on either front limb, and one on either hind limb. Unlike the Ankylosaurus, the front limbs are jointed properly, although still a far cry from scientifically accurate.
And just look at that crazy head! The mouth is full of small, but sharp-looking teeth, there are no visible nostrils, and the frill has a webbed appearance, just like the wing of a bat or the flipper of a frog. The tail is arguably an even bigger offender, as it has six large, triangular osteoderms and a pair of blade-like spikes jutting out at the tip. I don’t know if this is a result of paleontological ignorance on the part of Hasbro, or a case of artistic license. Perhaps it’s both.
And here are the five pieces of the Stegosaurus: a head and neck, a row of five plates, and two sections of tail. Purple is used as the main colour with green dodecagons on the back plates, four bright yellow spikes, dark purple stripes on the head and neck, pale yellow eyes, white teeth, and pink for the mouth.
At 24 cm, the Stegosaurus is slightly longer than the Triceratops and the neck piece gives it one more point of articulation. As well as having only one row of plates instead of the proper two, this thyreophoran’s head is downright comical. It’s huge, it has a wide muzzle, no beak, and tons of teeth, including two small tusks in the upper jaw.
As with all Hero Mashers, the main selling point is the fact that all of the pieces are interchangable and can be used to create nightmarish hybrids. However, the potential with this particular set is less than other Deluxes due to the fact that the limbs are used for both beasts.
Overall, the Triceratops/Stegosaurus is yet another Hasbro toy that is clearly intended for children first and foremost as opposed to adult collectors. It’s ungainly, it’s inaccurate, it’ll stick out like a sore thumb among your ceratopsians or your stegosaurs, and it’s undeniably fun to play with.