Hero Mashers, which consists of buildable action figures with interchangeable parts, is one of Hasbro’s more successful lines. It includes the popular brands Star Wars, Transformers, Marvel Super Heroes, and, beginning in 2015, Jurassic World. Today we’ll be taking a look at one of the largest sets: the Toys R Us exclusive Tyrannosaurus rex. It’s a recolour of the standard T. rex set with extra parts tossed in.
Nine parts make up the T. rex, ten if you include the easily detachable lower jaw. The main body has six universal joints for attaching the head, arms, legs, and tail. There are also universal joints at the knees and multiple peg holes for adding on spines and sails (we’ll get to that in a little bit). You can attach the head and tail to either end of the body, making for a tyrant lizard with wide hips or one that’s been hitting the gym.
When assembled, the T. rex measures about 26 cm long and can rear up Kaiju-style to a maximum height of 17 cm. Teal is the main colour, with dark blue-green stripes, claws, and JW logo, red eyes, a pink mouth, and white teeth. Alas, the paint on the head has been applied rather sloppily, and seemed to be the case on every T. rex they had at the store.
Forget scientific accuracy. From its colossal head and feet to its puny body and stumpy tail, this T. rex is a cartoon character through and through. Although one thing I do detest on this toy is the lack of stereoscopic vision. It’s one of the coolest and most distinctive features of T. rex, and the first two JP toylines by Kenner took the care to include it. But I’d rather not go off on another Hasbro rant here, so let’s move on to the positives. The T. rex has excellent articulation thanks to all its universal joints. The parts hold together firmly enough so that you can subject the toy to rough play, yet come apart easily enough that a child won’t get frustrated.
This T. rex also boasts a very . . . interesting action feature. It comes with two pressure-based projectiles that can be launched from its mouth with the push of a finger. The shape and translucent yellow colour of the projectiles strongly suggest that the T. rex is hacking up either extremely thick mucus or good old-fashioned vomit. Given that extant New World vultures will bring up their stomach contents when threatened, it’s not impossible to envision a tyrannosaur doing the same. Come to think of it, that would have been a gross-out addition to the climactic battle in Jurassic World: Rexy blowing goat chunks all over the Indominus’ ugly mug.
Now here are all the extra parts that come with the T. rex. A purple Amargasaurus head and neck, albeit with only one row of spines. The eyes are light green, the tiny teeth are white, and the stripes on the neck are green and blue. As with the T. rex, the lower jaw is articulated. Then there’s a set of large, yellow-green arms with Wolverine-style retractable blue claws. Cool, I’m going to assume these are from a Therizinosaurus! Two segments of a Stegosaurus tail, mustard yellow with turquoise spikes. A set of dark blue wings with orange and green stripes. A mustard yellow Spinosaurus sail with green and blue markings. Two pieces of an even larger, pointier sail, brown with dark green stripes. Two sections of purple armour with dark purple tips. And finally, a very large, very fatty raw T-bone steak with a ragged bite taken out of it. Yum!
And this is where the mashing fun really comes into play. As you can see, one can come up with any number of mismatched, gruesome, unholy, hilarious mutant dinosaurs that make Indominus as plain as a cow in comparison. And, of course, the possibilities only increase with the more HM sets you acquire. And not just JW ones. You can easily combine the T. rex with the mighty Dinobot Grimlock to create a couple of cyborgs. Or meld it with Darth Vader to create Darth Rex. Or grant your tyrant lizard the powers of Doctor Doom, Spider-Man, and the Hulk!
If superb sculpting and scientific accuracy are your main criteria, then the Hero Mashers Tyrannosaurus rex is probably not going to tickle your fancy. But if you’re willing to put those aside and embrace your inner child, this can be a lot of genuine creative fun. Like many of the toys I’ve reviewed here on the DTB, this is one that I would have absolutely loved thirty years ago. As such, it gets a high recommendation, which is something I never thought I would bestow upon a Hasbro product.
Now I need to figure out which other HMs to get . . .