The dinosaur toy community received a big surprise in the summer of 2016 with the news that Universal had taken away the Jurassic Park license from Hasbro and given it to Mattel. Whether or not this is a boon or a bust remains to be seen, although I have difficulty envisioning anything worse than the embarrassing Jurassic World line.
In the mean time, there are still a number of existing JP toys to be reviewed. Here we’ll be looking at the repainted version of the Triceratops from the JP3 line.
This Triceratops was sold exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores beginning in 2009. It measures 20 cm long, making it roughly the same size as the one from the Lost World line and much smaller than the one from the original JP line. It is sculpted with the right foreleg pawing at the ground, as though it were about to charge.
Unlike the JP3 version, which had a simple brown colour scheme, this newer one is rather vivid. The main colours on its body are pea soup green and dull green with horizontal black stripes and grey claws. The same colours are used on the head, along with very pale yellow for the horns and beak, brick red epoccipitals, bright green eyes, a pink tongue, and white JP logos. If only the colours stopped there, this toy would look very nice, but the frill is covered in metallic blue that clashes with the rest of the scheme. And like nearly all other JP3 toys, this one features a huge open wound on its flank with greenish-yellow ribs and red muscle tissue. As I’ve noted in the past, I thoroughly despise these open wounds. Kenner’s repairable “Dino Damage” wounds were far more fun to play with, and the dinosaurs weren’t stuck looking like zombies (unless you were unfortunate enough to lose the skin pieces). I sure hope Mattel doesn’t continue this trend.
The sculpting on this toy is decent enough. The hide combines scales, wrinkles, and flat osteoderms and the beak, horns, and epocippitals are covered in grooves. For the most part, this is a fairly accurate Triceratops, but the feet commit the common error of having claws on every single digit. The frill is also too flat and rounded. And there are some painfully noticeable seam lines on both sides of the head. The limbs rotate at the shoulders and hips. Pushing a button on the second exposed ribs activates a roaring sound that is suspiciously similar to one made famous by the T. rex. Pushing the head back activates a throaty bellow that sounds more appropriate for a ceratopsian. You’re supposed to bend the rubbery tail to make the head move, but it doesn’t work well that way. Easier just to place a finger on the frill.
While this Triceratops is certainly one of the better JP3 moulds, and boasts an improved colour scheme, it still pales in comparison to the previous two. Again, I certainly do hope that whatever toys Mattel ends up making are more like Kenner’s and less like Hasbro’s.