Dark of the Moon Triceradon Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Dark of the Moon, Generation One, Mini-Con, Mini-Con

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: September 2011
Price Point: $3.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: Big Bad Toy Store, Limited Exclusive (Ollie's etc.)
Accessories: None

When Hasbro creates toys for the retail market, there are different segments. You ave the "big retailers" such as Toys R Us and Wal-Mart who order tons of stuff. They generally get the main line stuff. However, there are other store chains which may not be as gigantic but still want to carry "Transformers" items on their shelves, but competing with larger stores would be quite difficult so they ask Hasbro to create smaller, cheaper toys for them. The solution often time takes the form of exclusive redecos of smaller figures in these markets such as last year's Mini-Con releases including Brake Neck and Swashplate.

For "Dark of the Moon", redecos of several Classics Mini-Cons were put out in limited release (initially as a Big Bad Toy Store exclusive). Each of these were beast based Mini-Cons with their colors based on the Generation one Dinobots! One of these releases is Triceradon, based on Knockdown from the Dinobots Mini-Con team. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Triceradon is a name that goes back about a decade to the Beast Machines era. As part of that toy line, several Transformers were released under the the banner of the "Dinobots", serving as a spiritual homage to that classic Transformers group.

Beast Mode:
His name pretty much gives away his beast mode: a triceratops. Compared to Dualor and Rav, Triceradon's homage to the G1 Dinobots is more along the line of a call back to the team rather than any individual character - which I partly attribute to the way the parts on this figure are laid out. It would have required quite a bit of paint to get him to look just like G1 Slag.

Like the other "Dark of the Moon" Dinobots, Triceradon is cast in silver and gold plastic. The two colors alternate quite a bit. The front of the beast is gold, leading to a section with gold on top and silver on the bottom. This pattern then alternates on the rear half of the figure. The combination works well as a "Dinobot" inspired set of colors.

paint details really help make this figure. Red, blue, silver, black and gold paint are all used to give extra detailing. The silver is used on the frill at the base of the head and his horns. Blue is used to paint the beast mode's eyes and there is a red strip at the top of each front leg. The black paint is used for a small, but significant detail: the Mini-Con symbol on his back. Finally, the tail is painted gold, looking nice and shiny. Overall, this color scheme works very well as a Dinobot homage. Sure it isn't exactly Slag's deco, but it definitely gets the point across.

There's really no articulation in this form, so Triceradon's joints don't play much of a role here. That said, if you do move his rear legs or beak, the pieces are rather stiff so it appears the tooling is in good shape.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the robot head piece (between the open area on the frill) up.
  2. Swing the mouth section back.
  3. Swing the panels that form the front feet down.
  4. Swing the middle hinge piece with the front beast mode legs forward.
  5. Split the rear half of the beast mode.
  6. Swing each half forward.
  7. Rotate the rear beast mode legs to form the robot arms.

Robot Mode:
The alternating between silver and gold colors continues in the robot mode, but silver plays a bit more of a role here in the form of the lower body, which uses silver almost exclusively. The chest, head and arms wind up being gold plastic here so there's a nice balance. Red and silver paint are used for detailing including the face and feet. The gold from the ends of the tail show prominantly here as well. Overall I like the color scheme even though it isn't a huge homage to G1 Slag.

All of the joints on this figure are super tight, especially the arms. I was quite surprised by this (in a good way). Looking under the right arm, you'll see the "Tomy" name sculpted into the figure. This is a change to the sculpt from its initial release as Knockdown (when Tomy and Takara had not become one company yet).

Final Thoughts:
This is a neat little redeco and probably one of my favorite color schemes on this mold so far. Still, I think it could have been a bit more like Slag, perhaps with some more red coloring. It's not my favorite of the team, but it's still a cool figure.