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Triceraton Warrior

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
by Rustin Parr

This is the best figure from the modern TMNT toy line. Don't believe me? Ask anyone who collects this line. This figure is just cool looking and there is no two ways about it. Sadly though, his looks are all he really has going for him...

Triceraton Warrior You've heard of the dogs of war, now meet... the dinos of war! The galaxy-spanning Triceraton Empire is at war with their neighboring archenemies, the Federation! The ground troops for the saurian-like Triceratons are the terror-inspiring, tough-as-nails Triceraton Warriors! The trouble with Triceratons, though, is that they don't know when to quit! Whether against the toughest odds or completely surrounded by enemy forces, Triceraton Warriors will fight to the very end - making them some of the fiercest fighters to ever wage war!

Articulation has been an incredibly big problem with this line ever since the first series. Sure the Turtles are somewhat moveable, but a lot of the supporting characters are simply more statuesque in articulation than many McFarlane figures. Take this fine soldier here for example... six points of articulation. That doesn't sound too bad does it? Well, what we have here is the Big Five and tail.

Uh, psst!  That's not his tail... Firstly, the tail is more of a necessary articulation poing than anything else simply in terms of manufacturing the figure (it'd be too difficult for it to be part of the torso mold [or actually, would it?]) and more over, it is cast in orange plastic, as opposed to black, to save money on paint. Also, its sculpted solid in a good little hang-and-curl pose, bendy would have been a nice feature for the kids, but I'm happy with this sculpt.

V-Crotch... I challenge anyone to show me an example of a worthwhile v-crotch. Basically the only way it could work is when used in conjunction with swivel thigh articulation, otherwise any turn of the joint makes the figure look to be desiring sex, what with both legs splayed out either in front or behind it. The shoulders are simple back-and-forth pegs, which is just boring, especially, again, without swivel bicep pegs. There's simply no real poseability here, another excellent argument for adding balljoints to every shoulder (though the sculpt is very solid and proportionate here and would suffer from ball-joints, but still the poseability would be nice). That leaves us with the neck. No problems here. A balljoint would have been very easy and very cool, but the peg works fine, leaving us with a single, solitary decent point of articulation.

Do I make you horny, baby? The paint is just as simple as it could be, but the color combinations chosen by the various designers works very well and this guy is just flat-out aesthetically cool. The gray and black uniform, with brown highlights, make the soldier's power and malevolence quite clear while the orange fingers and head give enough color to engage the eyes and the red insignia accents all of the colors perfectly.

looks like a Buick hood ornament Sculpturally, the body is very "soft" and rounded, which is not very accurate to the show, but is in keeping with the style of the line (which is essentially, just the aforementioned softening and rounding off all the many hard edges and lines in the animation and art.) The head is the single example, to the best of my knowledge, of this rule being broken. It is very hard and angular and is simply excellent. The overall pose and, especially, proportions make this figure look equally intimidating and cool. Combine the paint and the sculpt and one arrives at my opening statement best figure in the line.

Triceraton accessories Accessory-wise, this guy comes with two things, one good, one bad. The good one is a removable mask that, I assume, assists his breathing in space and other "hostile environments." It's a simple neat design, comes on and off easily and fits on him perfectly. It even has two little holes for his forehead-horns to poke through.

The bad accessory is a giant missile launcher, arguably a favorite accessory for any action figure from the dawn of action figure time. While it does have a neat little (removable) sight-piece the launcher is simply too awkwardly large, and, moreover, has the worst sculptural bit of logic in recent memory. The figure can only hold the missile launcher appropriately when his arm is held straight out. That's right, no other position. Very nice. Now aim up. This is because of a totally unnecessary lip sculpted on the outside of the shoulder mount, which means that the launcher will only fit on the shoulder when it can clamp over the uniform detail on his shoulder. This alone hurts the figure greatly because the pose is very static and the Triceraton looks best when left standing; however, he can only hold his weapon when he's lifting it up to fire it. I'm not sure if this is the only possible weapon choice for the character, but it certainly isn't a very good one, mainly because of the poorly-contemplated lip on the shoulder mount.

Overall, this is figure is definitely worth buying, especially when it's available at one of the seemingly fortnightly TMNT sales at Target and Wal*Mart. Just, don't except much (or any) play value. This figure succeeds fully and solely as a display piece, nothing more. I may sound down on it, but that's just because I'm down on the whole modern TMNT line. Horrible articulation, terribly off-model sculpts... the whole thing is simply not even as good as the "classic" TMNT line!

In a line where this figure is the pinnacle of the series, one can certainly see a lot of room for improvement. But, at any rate, definitely buy this figure. He looks cool standing in front of the Triceraton Space Cruiser (thought he can't fit in the interior chairs), with other TMNT figures or even by his lonesome.

Do you prefer the old Turtle cartoon or the new, darker version? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.


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