Triceratops (Jurassic World Dino-Trackers, Habitat Defender by Mattel)

4.4 (34 votes)

Ever since Mattel started making Jurassic World toys collectors have been vocal about wanting a large-scale Triceratops. Of course they would, Triceratops was the largest ceratopsian to ever exist and yet, Mattel’s various Triceratops toys were all woefully undersized. Dwarfed by virtually every other ceratopsian that Mattel released, even though those other genera were a fraction of the size of Triceratops in real life. Then came the Hammond Collection Trike, and although closer to scale with Jurassic Park’s Triceratops than most people realize, it seemed to confirm that Mattel would never give fans the Triceratops that they really wanted. Then last year, Mattel in their mercy heard our cries and delivered what we’d been wishing for, in what is almost certainly an example of a company caving in to consumer demands. It only took about 6 years since the line was launched.

Triceratops is a larger animal than most people realize. I think that because it superficially resembles a rhinoceros that people assume it was about the same size as one. The reality is that Triceratops was closer in size to an elephant than a rhinoceros. Triceratops is estimated to have measured up to 30’ (9 meters) in length, stood over 7’ tall (2.1 meters), and possessed a skull that measured over 6’ (1.8 meters).  The Habitat Defender Trike measures 17” (43.18 cm) long and stands 7.5” (19 cm) tall at the hips. The head alone measures 6” (15.24 cm). Using body length, the toy comes out to be 1/18 in scale, allowing kids and collectors alike to envision how massive this animal truly was. For comparison, the Hammond Collection Trike came out to be 1/30 in scale when scaled down from that same length.

This Triceratops is dubbed the “Habitat Defender”. Probably because it is made of 60% recycled plastic, as the packaging repeatedly boasts. It is part of the Dino-Trackers line, and the packaging indicates that it lives in a desert biome. The entire toy is hard plastic except for the head, which is soft and rubbery but still firm. The torso is hollow, but the plastic doesn’t feel thin or fragile, like on the Hammond Collection Carnotaurus.

Although this is a special toy it is still part of the mainline and the limited articulation reflects that. The forelimbs are articulated at the shoulders and the hindlimbs at the hips. The tail, which is packaged separately and must be inserted, rotates around and moves up and down. The head articulation is fantastic, with a greater range of motion than the Hammond Collection Trike.

Most notably, the jaw is also articulated, which is a feature that the Hammond Collection Trike did not possess, causing a lot of outrage among collectors. The irony in including it here is that fans wanted it for the sole purpose of recreating the sick Triceratops scene from Jurassic Park, but the limited leg articulation and size of the toy prevent it from being used to recreate that scene. So, while the jaw on this one opens, it cannot lay down, and while the Hammond Collection Trike can lay down, it cannot open its mouth for Dr. Sattler to examine its tongue. Such is life.

I must admit that I was not originally going to buy this toy. For me, the Hammond Collection Trike was sufficient. It’s a nice sculpt that scales decently enough with the one from Jurassic Park and that’s all I really needed from a Mattel Triceratops. Plus, I didn’t want to buy what I wrote off as simply being a larger version of something I already had. It was only when I found this one on sale for an astonishing $12 that I decided to get it. Being cheap pays off sometimes. But wow, once in hand I could not believe that I almost skipped this toy. Pictures and video reviews don’t do it justice, this is one of Mattel’s best dinosaurs ever!

The detail is second to none, every bit as intricate as that on the Hammond Collection Triceratops. The entirety of the toy is covered in small pebbly scales, including the back of the frill and underside. Even the bottoms of the feet have a wrinkled texture. The beak and horns have deep grooves and cracks. Wrinkles and skin folds are sculpted around the orbits, horn bases, elbows and knees, leg joints and torso. Large keeled osteoderms are present along the back and on the legs and tail.

The toy is a chocolate brown color, very much like the one we see in Jurassic Park. The underside of the neck and belly are light brown. Around the eyes and frill edge there’s some mahogany color blended in. The osteoderms on the back and thighs are pinkish-brown colored but those elsewhere are unpainted. The toenails are their own dark brown color but are not painted, they’re entirely separate pieces from the rest of the figure! The beak and horns are khaki colored, and the tongue is pink. The eyes are a burnt orange color with the pupils being the same dark brown as the base color. The eye color and mahogany highlights give the figure an agitated and fired up demeanor.

I really have no complaints about this toy. Additional articulation would have been nice but understanding that this is a mainline toy, I wouldn’t subtract any points over it. The rest of the osteoderms being painted would have been nice too but again, that’s a nitpick. I guess the jugal bones could be a bit more prominent.

The size, detail work, paint application, and head articulation are all on point and this is easily the best Mattel Triceratops available. And that’s coming from someone that had high praise for the HC Trike too. This toy is simply amazing, imbued with an intimidating personality and possessing excellent shelf presence. If you were on the fence about it, like I was, I can promise that you won’t be disappointed in it. It’s worth getting, no matter how many other Mattel Trikes you have. The Habitat Defender Triceratops is still available online and frequently on sale, get it while you can and give your Tyrannosaurus toys a formidable foe!

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Comments 3

  • i have considered getting this figure and using it as an Eotriceratops (with a bit of modification) to the BOTM Triceratops. But i dismissed the idea.

    Your great review has me considering it again…

  • Fantastic review of this figure. I’m glad to see this one given a beefy review. The pics are great too, especially the sequence with the HC T. rex. Glad you gave this one a chance!

    Btw I think the belly is also a different plastic piece like the claws.

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