Several years ago, while trying to bulk out my collection, I came across this toy Triceratops in a big box of dinosaurs I bought off of eBay. Although it is clearly a Chinasaur I found it unique enough to hang on to and investigate further. The only markings on this thing say “Made in China” but there is some other lettering that is indecipherable from years of play. I’ve asked around the Dinosaur Toy Forum on a few occasions with no successful leads. I’ve browsed the other dinosaur toy sites and eBay as well with no luck. I’m sure this toy isn’t of significant value but hey, everyone loves a good mystery right? So now I’m bringing it here to the DTB to share with you, the discerning reader. If you know its origins please do let me know! Maybe I can finally get a restful night’s sleep.
This toy ‘trike is a hefty chunk of rubber. Completely solid and measuring nearly 8” in length, it stands about 3” high at its tallest point (the frill). Although it wins few points for accuracy it’s an interesting piece I think, with a lot of character. The detail work here is pretty good. Small pebbly scales cover every surface and plate-like scales are sculpted on the underside of the toy and inside of the legs. A fair bit of wrinkles and skin creases are sculpted down the body as well and a line of scutes run down the back.
The head on this toy is of particular interest, I find. I quite like the wrinkling around the nostrils and lips, which admittedly appears a bit mammalian. The open mouth is sculpted with teeth but the beak remains toothless which I find interesting. Most comparable toy companies would have gone all or nothing on the teeth; omitting them completely or sculpting them on the beak. If this toy deserves any accuracy points it’s for the dentition alone.
The toy is painted in various shades of brown that blend into each other fairly well, the brown scaly frill fades into black on the horns and face. The nostrils are crudely painted red, as is the tongue. The eyes are blue with black pupils. Mine has suffered a lot of wear and tear over the years as the paint rub-off indicates but aside from that it’s held up well. It’s good to know that this old Triceratops was well loved once, and judging by the horns it’s been in quite a few battles.
This isn’t the kind of toy most collectors would take interest in. I have to admit that although it once did, it’s no longer displayed on my shelf. Higher quality toys and figures have taken its place. Now it sits in a dusty old attic. But rest assured, when my daughter reaches the right age, this is the kind of toy I’ll be handing down to her. It’s a toy, and should be played with. But it’s also an interesting, retro, and cryptic toy that I feel a little nostalgic for, even though its origin is completely foreign to me.