Triceratops (Papo)

3.9 (20 votes)

In my previous review of Papo’s Parasaurolophus, I pointed out that not all Papo’s pre-Allosaurus dinosaur figures were necessarily Jurassic Park copies – but this Triceratops definitely is. It will therefore be more appealing to JP fans than anyone else, but like all Papo figures it’s quite a nice piece in its own right. If we excuse the colour scheme.

The biggest Jurassic Park-giveaway are the horns, which, just as in the movies, are bizarrely covered with spidery cracks to the point where they resemble fossils. The beak has also been rendered this way, and all in a rather unpleasant grey. In life the horns would have had a much smoother appearance, more like the horns on animals alive today and in, well, pretty much every other restoration of Triceratops.

Other than this odd little nod to JP, there’s nothing very wrong with the head, which is of course where the eye is drawn to on a beast like this. The structure of the skull is visible under the skin, there are skin folds around the edge of the beak, and its cheeks look quite hollow, which corresponds well with recent research. The skin darkens to black around the eyes, which are white with brown irises, giving them a peculiarly human appearance.

One thing I’ve always liked about Papo’s dinosaurs (along with Kinto Favorite) is that they’re covered in scales, with no wrinkly or cross-hatching cop-out, so the details hold up on close inspection. This Triceratops is no exception, with scales of varying sizes all over the body, including rows of larger oval scales that stand out over the back and flanks – another feature probably inspired by JP.

Although retaining a characteristically stocky, herbivorous appearance, it’s not all podgy and shapeless by any means – the muscles controlling the powerful forelimbs in particular are very obvious. Another plus is that the feet are not elephantine or like those of sauropods. Ceratopsians did have clearly differentiated digits (by modern accounts) and these are made very obvious on this toy. (I can’t remember if the Jurassic Park version did or not – answers on a postcard! Or in the comment box.)

Of course it’s not completely accurate, but it’s another very good effort for a toy line that, as I’ve said before, purports to do nothing more than appeal to Jurassic Park-loving kids and sell by the truckload, and does not have the endorsement of a museum. However, this toy has one serious letdown – the aforementioned colour scheme, which is pretty nasty for a Papo dino. The entire creature is an almost uniform brown that one might charitably describe as, er, ‘chocolate’. There’s also a little grey on its underside, which clashes rather with details on the head. The overall effect is to make the figure very unattractive to look at, which is a real shame given the care and attention that obviously went into the sculpt, and the fact that Triceratops is a favourite dinosaur among many people, as well as being a dinosaur toy staple. I would urge Papo to consider this figure for a repainted re-release as they have done with their Velociraptor, as it’s crying out for a paintjob that isn’t so plain and ugly. Something more like their stock photo would be grand.

In all, a fine JP-inspired figure let down by an atrocious colour scheme that makes it look far too much like a giant, um, mound of…mud. Here’s hoping the pachyrhinosaur being released later this year sees Papo giving ceratopsians a little more painterly love.

(One final thing: apparently this toy has been painted differently in different countries. I bought mine from a UK stockist operating online; apparently in Spain they have been seen coloured green. Let me know if you have seen it looking more attractive than here!)

Available from (here)

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Comments 14

  • […] is meant to represent a juvenile. As such, its main body is slighter smaller than that of the Triceratops. But don’t get the idea that this animal is a runt. Far from it. From the curve in its neck […]

  • I think overall the inaccurate parts are not major and I’m in the process of repainting it but the detail and realism is superb

  • […] years have seen T.rex babies added to the Papo dinosaur line and now it’s the turn of the Triceratops to bear young. This figure is most definitely Jurassic Park inspired, although the baby Triceratops […]

  • I recently bought this and I think it has got such a realistic look to it, some may say the paintwork is boring but I think it looks natural and there is nothing wrong with that. I also agree that the horns could be a bit smoother looking, but I’ll let my imagination tell me that this Triceratops is an old lady and she’s just weathered through the years. Definitely worth the money, and a good chunky, tactile thing too. Very satisfying to handle.

  • I have this figure and it’s really great! But as I was browsing Papo’s dinosaurs I saw a Triceratops with product No. 55002. It is obviously a different model that the one above, isn’t it? Is 55002 older or newer that this? Thank you in advance, please respon.

  • Yesterday I’ve seen “JP” and I noticed that the Triceratops in the film has all the nails on his front paws.
    So … Papo well !!!
    I hope that change colors (beautiful as in Styracosaurus 🙂 ) and take away the bones fossil because otherwise it is a good Triceratops.

  • […] immaculately painted, naturally). It’s definitely worth contrasting this figure with their Triceratops, which I criticised for having a horrible, sludgy colour scheme. Just as you think they […]

  • Mine is brown, be nice if it were dark green though! I really like this model, but I see what you mean by the horns looking a bit like fossils. Still it’s really fantastic.

  • My recently received Papo Triceratops is a very nice dark green, so there must be some color fluctuations.

    • i think this overall is a very nice depiction and these plastic models are getting better and better and fortheir cheap prices are far more value for money than sideshows wonderful but over priced and fragile resin models

  • My God! I think it’s so beautiful!

  • Safari figures are all handpainted too, but most are nearly identical.

    I think the WS color scheme would look great on this!

  • Great review. I had no idea there were repaints or variants of the Papo dinos. Would love to see some!

  • I think the color variations of this figures are due the hand painting process. It isn’t automatic so must be some diferences…

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