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Jurassic World
by yo go re

With Jurassic World on its way (and looking like the first watchable Jurassic Park movie since the first one), store shelves are once again beginning to fill with dinosaur toys. Like this happy little fellow.

A ferocious fight for survival!

Apparently taking a cue from the "Chaos Effect" subline of the Lost World toys, the plot of JW sees the scientists mixing DNA to create a super dinosaur mashup, Indominus Rex. Because, you know, regular dinosaurs have just gotten so passe. Anyway, Hasbro got the go-ahead to play around with that concept, which is why we get the unbridled awesomeness that is a stegoceratops.

Yes, the dinosaur you made up and drew on your notebook when you were 8 is now real. And it even has the same name! Granted, this stego gets his "~ceratops" from a nasutoceratops, not a triceratops (so two horns, none on the nose). Why go with this lesser known dino, instead of the one people would actually want to see? We can only assume because Hasbro (rightly) recognized that if anyone were to make a single toy that combined the two most awesome dinosaurs ever, they'd be out of business the next day, because that would be the pinnacle of toymaking forever - no one would ever make anything better than that.

The body is nice. It seems to be on par with past Jurassic releases, with detailed wrinkles on his skin, and a big gash on his left side through which you can see his ribs. That was a common feature on the original toys, so it makes sense that it's been carried on here. Don't think that you'll just turn the stegoceratops around and look at the non-damaged side, though, because that has big visible screw holes. The skin is green with a tan belly, and there's a golden JW logo on the left hip.

The posture is more triceratops than stegosaurus, with the body held mostly horizontal on bent legs (rather than with the butt way up in the air thanks to strangely long rear legs). He does have the spiny plates and the thagomizer, though - eight alternating plates on his back, plus two more on the tail, and then four spikes at the tip. There are swivel joints at the hips and shoulders, but that's not the only movement the toy has.

Stegoceratops is part of the "Bashers & Biters" line (according to Hasbro's site, but not according to anything written on the package anywhere), so he's got an action feature: press the tail down, and his head juts forward; push the tail to the side, and his head turns the same way. Honestly, neither feature is very impressive - you expect a kids' toy to have flashier play features. Like, the head should snap out faster, not just wiggle back and forth a little.

The stegosaurus was an actual Jurassic animal, unlike most of the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. (T. rex? Raptors? Triceratops? All Cretaceous.) Steggies lived 150 million years ago, while the nasutoceratops this one is crossed with only lived 75 million years ago; that means the stego- is as far removed from the -ceratops as the -ceratops is from us. Mindblowing! Sadly, Hasbro has said that this stegoceratops is just something they invented for the toyline, not a dino that's actually featured in the movie - again, presumably because they didn't want the world economy to collapse when everyone gave them all the money. If you want to see a stegoceratops, you'll have to be content with this toy.

-- 05/20/15

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