Ceratosaurus (Jurassic Park 3, Hammond Collection by Mattel)

3.9 (33 votes)

Gripe all you want about Jurassic Park 3 but we must give credit where credit is due. The movie featured a diverse assortment of dinosaurs with arguably the best color schemes in the franchise. Gone were the dull grays and browns of the first two films, JP3 went wild like a kid with a coloring book and the movie was better for it, though not by much. One of the dinosaurs featured, for all of 20 seconds, was the Ceratosaurus. Although its screentime was brief its distinct colors and patterns are now canon, and featured in all Jurassic merchandise, from the Jurassic World: Evolution video game to Mattel’s line of toys. Because of its striking appearance the recently released Hammond Collection Ceratosaurus was my most anticipated toy in the Hammond Collection line. Yes, even more so than the Tyrannosaurus.

The Hammond Collection Ceratosaurus measures about 13.5” long and stands roughly 5” tall at the hips. The actual Ceratosaurus is estimated to have measured about 20’ in length, give or take, which would put this toy at 1/17 in scale. That’s pretty darn close in scale to the 1/18 humans. But wait! The Ceratosaurus in JP3 is said to have been 30.5’ in length and scaled down from that size this toy is now 1/27 in scale. Personally, I’m happy that is scales better with the actual animal than the JP3 version but obviously that’s not ideal for most Jurassic Park collectors.

The Hammond Collection Ceratosaurus boasts 17 points of articulation. Both the upper and lower jaw can open, giving the toy a tremendous gape. The head can swivel up and down at its base while the neck can swivel as well as rotate completely around. Ball joints are present on the shoulders and elbows, but the wrists are not articulated, even though they could and should be. The legs can pivot outwards at the hips and are articulated at the hips, knees, ankles, and toes. The rubber tail comes unattached and once attached to the body cannot be removed. It can rotate around and has a bendable wire inside. The tail on my copy is exceptionally loose and this seems to be a common issue with this toy.

Overall, the articulation with this figure is some of the best in the Hammond Collection, reminiscent of the Baryonyx which I still regard as one of the line’s best. I am also happy to report that the feet on this figure are in proportion with the rest of the body, and although the toy is slightly less stable because of that, it still works well enough that you can pose it on one foot or in a range of other poses.

Since we’re talking articulation, I want to briefly gripe about something. When Mattel announced this figure and released images of it, we got a picture of the toy standing upright with its head cocked leftwards and looking down. It was a cool, somewhat retro, kind of inquisitive look, and I wanted to replicate it with my own toy. It cannot be done; the head cannot come close to replicating that pose. It’s not a big deal but I do consider it false advertising, especially since the same image is used on the product box. Mattel really shouldn’t advertise these products in positions they cannot achieve.

Don’t expect to pose your Ceratosaurus like this.

Although this toy should be identical to its JP3 counterpart it’s really not, but I consider that a good thing. Although I expressed fondness over JP3’s Ceratosaurus design it was more the color scheme I was taken with than the dinosaur’s physical appearance, which to be frank was not terribly good. This toy is more reminiscent of the Jurassic Park: Evolution Ceratosaurus, with a longer, narrower snout, and a less ghoulish appearance than we see on the JP3 Ceratosaurus.

Looking at the finer details this figure has a lot going for it. The horn on the snout, and teeth, have vertical grooves etched into them. The teeth are a bit goofy looking, being large and blunt, but it’s no worse than what PNSO does. Ceratosaurus had proportionately large teeth anyway. The face is decorated with irregularly shaped scales of various sizes with some particularly large ones around the brows, and labial scales along the mouth. A tongue and textured palette are sculpted within the mouth.

Nearly the entire figure has a healthy coat of scales, perhaps the most of any Hammond Collection theropod since many of the others use wrinkles as scale substitutes in some places. The only portion of this toy that doesn’t have scales is its underside, which has wrinkles instead. A row of osteoderms runs down the back of the figure, and the fingers and toes are decorated with bird-like toe scutes. Along with the Triceratops, I think this figure has the best detail work in the line so far.

The main body of this figure is a pale-yellow color, much paler than its Roarivores counterpart which to me looks a bit too yellow, like it’s stained with nicotine. Chocolate brown stripes run down along the body and are included on the arms, legs, and tail. A brown slash also runs across the eyes. The head is vibrant red and the red continues along the back, fading away just before the hips. I would have liked it if the red extended down the rest of the body and tail. It’s perhaps the only thing that the Roarivores Ceratosaurus does better than this one.

The nasal horn is dull yellow, like the body, the teeth are white, and the eyes are gold with round, black pupils. Except for the hallux toe all the fingers and toe claws are painted dark brown. Thanks to being modeled after the JP3 Ceratosaurus, this is aesthetically the most eye-catching of all the Hammond Collection dinosaurs.

With the Roarivores Ceratosaurus.
With they abysmal Hasbro Ceratosaurus. Hard to believe this was one of Hasbro’s better Jurassic World toys.

The Hammond Collection Ceratosaurus is a definite highlight in the HC assortment so far. It’s bright and bold coloration makes it stand out among its peers, and the level of detail afforded it is second to none. That it does not look identical to is onscreen counterpart works in its favor, and it is a vast improvement over its mainline counterparts. I am happy to report that the Hammond Collection Ceratosaurus is one of the best toys from Mattel to date. This figure is currently available and retails for $21.99.

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