Styracosaurus “Gnawhorn” (Plasma Dinosaurs by MegaBloks)

1.6 (10 votes)

Between 2006 and 2008, Mega Bloks produced a line of small toys called “Plasma Dinosaurs” (and Dragons), which could be assembled and re-assembled with each other. Mega Bloks doesn’t appear to have had scientific accuracy in mind for these little monster figure, but as a child’s toy their in-hand playability is decent enough. Although these caught my eye as a kid (like any other dinosaur toy, frankly), I only ever obtained two of them: “Raptillion” the Allosaurus, and “Gnawhorn” the Styracosaurus.

While I no longer have the packaging for Gnawhorn, the description on the back would have described the horned dinosaur for his “dangerous nose horn” and “secret moves behind his frill” (um, okay), plus his “enjoyment of dust baths” in peaceful moments. Ceratopsians have often been compared to rhinoceroses in literature, and I suspect that was the intent here too. The figure comes with a total of 9 pieces: the 7 body parts, the rubbery “yolk” piece, and the eggshell which holds everything else.

Unsurprisingly, the Mega Bloks Styracosaurus doesn’t appear to have been made with scientific accuracy in mind, but the figure is still recognizable for the large, spiked frill and nose horn the genus is famous for. Beyond those features, details are more vague, with compact, stocky limbs and a body. Although the toy is under 5 inches long, it is fully covered in wrinkly, muscled skin texture; large scutes or spikes are also present on the back and hind limbs.

Color is presented in a flat, sandy brown wash over black, highlighting every wrinkle and knob on the figure’s body. The eyes are a solid, ghostly yellow, and the facial horns (and the toes?) are a ruddy reddish hue. To be honest, I think it is kind of ugly; but I respect the level of detail put into this small toy (in sculpt, if not paint).

There are 7 points of articulation, at the legs, neck, tail, and jaw. The range of motion is good for fiddling, but posing the figure in place is awkward, due to the rather dumpy shape of the figure hampering any really dynamic postures. Considering, though, that these toys were aimed at kids, not adults, the in-hand playability is probably much more relevant.

On its own, “Gnawhorn” is fairly unremarkable for a ceratopsian figure; but he makes a good partner for other “Plasma Dinos,” should one have any more. If you’re so inclined to seek this toy out, check Amazon and eBay for listings, since Mega Bloks long since discontinued the line.

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