And now, Scary-Crayon reviews... Power Rangers RPM (Full Throttle) Triceratops Ranger

Figure Information Name: Triceratops Ranger
Assortment: Full Throttle (Fall)
Line: Power Rangers RPM
Scale: 5 inch
Manufacturer: Bandai America
Year Released: 2009
Original Price: $6.99

When I reviewed Throttle Max Ranger Gold, I promised there would be more Power Rangers RPM figure reviews -- and here we are with a review of the Triceratops Ranger! Note that this is the Full Throttle incarnation of the figure, though admittedly there should be less confusion here -- whereas many of the other Rangers appear in multiple sublines, such as the Full Throttle, Throttle Max, Auxiliary Trax, and Guardian assortments, the Triceratops Ranger only appears in the Full Throttle assortment and packaged with one of the Racing Performance Cycles. And since the latter sports the standard body of those figures and isn't wearing a cool smoking jacket -- you'll hear much more about that fashion accessory during this review -- you should totally ignore it and go for the single-carded version. Toys don't get much more stylish than this.

Packaging

Score: 8.5 / 10

A bit disorganized, but still pretty cool.This is pretty much your standard blister card -- and, like that of the Throttle Max figures, it looks fairly decent and does a good job of emulating the style of the show. However, unlike the Throttle Max packaging, it's not laid out nearly as well. The PRRPM logo is off to the side, apparently so that it can avoid running into the warning text, and the bubble overlaps the logo quite a bit. As a result, the packaging just looks disorganized -- and the core Ranger strip down the side of the bubble and sticker covering part of the figure don't help matters. None of this looks downright awful, and I rather like the look of the Ranger sidebar (even if it is in the way), but the layout here could certainly have been better designed.

At least it's hard to fault the back -- all of the figures in the assortment are showcased effectively (though for some reason Summer and the Paleomax Rangers appear smaller than the original four guys in the assortment), and the graphics at the bottom spotlight the combined weapon thingy you can make if you get all of the figures. And of course, unlike clamshell packages, it's easy enough to open the blister card whether you want to preserve the cardback or not. Twisty tie haters can also rejoice, as there aren't any present here.

Visual Appeal

Score: 9.5 / 10

Front viewFacing rightBack viewFacing left

When I reviewed Throttle Max Ranger Gold, I noted that, differences between assortments notwithstanding, Power Rangers RPM figures are largely the same: once you've seen one you've pretty much seen them all. That holds somewhat true for the Triceratops Ranger as well, though the Paleomax Rangers have several visual differences to distinguish them from their teammates: namely the high-collared smoking jackets and raised wheel designs on their gloves and boots. For my money, these elements -- especially the jackets -- are way more stylish than the harnesses and plainer gloves and boots the regular Rangers sport, and the Triceratops Ranger has the added benefit of having the snazzy three-horned helmet and a highly fetching light blue and red color scheme. Personal preference dictates which colors you'll find most appealing, but I think the Triceratops Ranger is the most attractive of all of the RPM figures released.

Other noteworthy features: like Ranger Gold, the Triceratops Ranger (along with the rest of the Paleomax crew) sports a slightly smaller and better-proportioned body than the the other male Rangers. Also, while there's very little paint on the figure -- everything is cast in color except for painted elements on the boots, That 12 is stylin'!gloves, jacket, and helmet -- the Triceratops Ranger has the benefit of having a painted back! That's not actually the case, as the back is unpainted, but since there's nothing back there that needs to be painted it doesn't throw the look of the figure off at all. The few painted areas are very well done, with very sharp edges and only minor, nearly imperceptible blemishes here and there, though the gold paint on the boots seems a little thick and obscures the wheel details a bit. Honestly, if not for the boots and some fuzzy edges on the helmet, I might have guessed that Bandai painted this figure entirely via tampograph -- the other lines are that clean. And speaking of tampographed elements, dig that triceratops-themed "12" on the jacket breast! I wouldn't have minded seeing the forearm wheels painted gold to match the boots, but that's not a glaring omission (and, with a little gold paint, would be an easy enough modification to make).

Anyway, I really, really like the look of this figure -- I'm not sure if the photos do it justice, but something about the design and the bright, attractive color scheme just come together when one has the toy in person. Maybe it's just the bright colors and that wicked stylish smoking jacket, but I really think the Triceratops Ranger looks more fetching than other more expensive and far more detailed figures. If I were a kid today, I'm almost sure that -- like Slash from the old Playmates TMNT line and Kenner's Batman Returns Deep Dive Batman -- the Triceratops Ranger's looks would have earned him a permanent place on the list of my favorite toys.

Articulation

Score: 8.0 / 10

Even Hasbro's new Spider-Man figures don't have forearm/wrist swivels...

The Triceratops Ranger sports standard PRRPM figure articulation -- and, as such, the figure shares the strengths of the other figures' articulation models. The joints are acceptably tight (but not too tight; remember, this is a kids' toy), very sturdy, and mostly unrestricted, though the hips are prevented from bending a full 90 degrees forward and the head is restricted by the high collar (though it can still turn far enough to look decent). The forearm pieces also prevent the forearms from swiveling such that the back of the hand faces up. Nevertheless, while these figures aren't superarticulated, the articulation model allows for a great range of poses that'll keep kids entertained and allow collectors to find their own favorite look. Personally, given how cool the Triceratops Ranger looks, I kinda like just having him stand there. Hardcore, man.

But of course, this is a Power Ranger we're talking about, so -- even though the Triceratops Ranger is far more poseable than most action figures aimed at kids (see Mattel's 5" Batman figures, Bandai's other lines, and Hasbro's Iron Man Armored Adventures offerings) -- a more impressive articulation model wouldn't have been inappropriate. Swivel biceps, a swivel waist, swivel thighs, and hinged ankles would all have helped to enhance the Triceratops Ranger's poseability and make him an even cooler figure. I don't at all mind the lack of a chest hinge, though -- without it, the stylish smoking jacket sculpt remains unbroken.

Accessories

Score: 10 / 10

Even the junky stuff is kinda cool.

With Power Rangers figures, you definitely get your money's worth when it comes to accessories -- even if some of them are kinda lame. On that front, the Triceratops Ranger comes with a superdeformed Grinder figurine and a small blue cast of the Triceratops Paleo Zord. Dedicated RPM/Go-Onger enthusiasts may get a kick out of these, but most kids and casual fans will probably chuck them to the side -- even though they're kinda cute and well sculpted (it's worth noting that the miniature Grinder's head is the same size and has about the same amount of detail as the one on the full-sized figure), they're far too dinky to have any real play value. (Rangers Yellow and Silver come with briefcase "launchers" to shoot the Zord cast at the mini-Grinder, but any kid who can enjoy that is probably too young to be playing with these choking hazards.) And speaking of small throwaway things, the Triceratops Ranger has a tiny Cell Shift Morpher pouch that pegs onto his belt. It's cool enough and doesn't hurt the look any, but -- because it's so small and can pop out if one pushes the leg against it -- I imagine kids will lose it fairly quickly. Nevertheless, even though I can think of better uses for plastic, these are nice inclusions for a certain subset of the RPM fanbase. These fans might also enjoy the sticker featuring Rangers Green and Black. Really, there's something for everyone.

Stick a fork in Venjix -- it's done!Ziggy wishes he had silver weapons... and a jacket like that.When the song said, "Get in gear!" these figures listened.

Still, the cooler accessories are the weapons. Like most of the other Rangers, the Triceratops Ranger comes with the Nitro Blaster and Nitro Sword. It's really the same weapon -- on the show, the nozzle of the gun flips up and extends so that it can be used as a melee weapon -- but Bandai includes both forms since having moving parts on such a small device wouldn't work for a children's toy. It's a good call, and both weapons are highly detailed and look great -- and, owing to the way the weapon is held, will remain in the Triceratops Ranger's hands even during the most intense play sessions. The Nitro Blaster also pegs into the right side of the belt for easy storage. And then there's the Tricera Trident, which has no official name because it -- like the Triceratops Ranger -- never appeared on the show. I'm not entirely sure how he's supposed to hold it, since the way shown on the package (with one hand gripping the shovel handle and another holding the shaft) feels awkward and likely to warp the thing, but it still looks pretty cool once you've got it into position. Similarly, while the figure's grip on the handle is pretty loose, he can wave it with ease when holding it by the shaft. It even looks cool by itself, what with the nifty mechanical details and train wheel, though the connection areas (it combines with the other Paleo Rangers' weapons to form... something) make it slightly less attractive.

And yes, the weapons are unpainted -- but I can't even bring myself to dock them for that because, whereas the spring assortments of Full Throttle Rangers had accessories that were cast in a flat grey, these are made of a more silvery material that looks really great despite the lack of painted details. If a figure's weapons must go unpainted -- and as detailed as the RPM weapons are, Bandai's decision not to paint them is completely understandable -- this is probably the best possible plastic color for them (wooden tools notwithstanding).

Fun Factor

Score: 10 / 10

Must be the jacket.So. cool.Unfortunately, nothing in the TARDIS wardrobe is as cool as that jacket.

The Triceratops Ranger is sturdy, has fairly useful articulation, comes with cool weapons that work well with the figure, and even sports a few dinky accessories that will delight the hardcore Ranger fan who for some inexplicable reason wants enemies and Zords the size of jelly beans. Those strengths alone would be enough to net the figure a pretty high fun score, but the Triceratops Ranger really nails this category with his good looks -- the figure is just fun to look at. Damned fun to look at. I mean, more articulation wouldn't hurt, but the lack of extensive poseability doesn't make this figure any less fun because it's fun to look at even in the most generic pose possible. Maybe more figures should come in stylish blue-and-red smoking jackets.

In addition, while some might find the figure to be less fun because the character doesn't appear at all on the television show, somehow that makes the Triceratops Ranger seem even more fun to me. I mean, the Ranger Red figure itself looks pretty cool -- and, as a toy, isn't any less cool than any of the other figures -- and yet it sometimes seems lamer because I'm just not a fan of the character on the show: even in the coolest pose, it still represents a whiny sometimes-asshole with an authority complex and daddy issues. With the Triceratops Ranger, however, I'm free to imagine him seducing Rangers Yellow and Silver and then single-handedly smashing Venjix and then seducing Dr. K and a reprogrammed Tenaya 15, and I don't have to invent any extra stories to explain how his personality changed to make him such a stud because the show didn't give him a default personality for me to alter (or ignore). Heck, I can have him use his super triceratops powers to jump into a parallel universe -- and that's just one of the things triceratops powers can do -- and seduce the Doctor's former companions. He's wearing a smoking jacket and therefore he rules.

Value

Score: 10 / 10

Kids like articulation too, Mattel!

This is a tough category to score. Yes, $7 -- and as low as $5 or $6 if you can find the figure at Ross or Big Lots -- is a great value for a 5" action figure with a wealth of accessories, especially considering that the basic Rangers kick the crap out of the competition in the articulation department. Still, one could make the case not only that the Triceratops Ranger isn't a perfect value, but also that he isn't a better value than any of the other RPM basic figures. (Considering that the Throttle Max figures come with removable armor in addition to a small arsenal, he's arguably a worse value than them.) Nevertheless, the Triceratops Ranger manages to counter everything about the other figures that makes them seem somehow undeserving. Whereas the others seemed a touch cheap with their largely shared sculpts, unpainted backs, and unpainted weapons, the Triceratops Ranger sports a lot of new costume elements (which are admittedly shared with the other Paleomax Rangers, but it's not as if the sculpt is duplicated at least eight times across multiple assortments), a back that isn't so obviously unpainted, and weapons cast in a cool, attractive silver rather than a flat grey.

As such, while $7 seemed like a slightly less-than-amazing value for the other RPM figures (especially when one takes into account the larger size and extra articulation of the similarly priced Jungle Fury assortments), I actually wouldn't have felt cheated if I'd paid a dollar or two more for the Triceratops Ranger. In fact, this figure's exceptionally good looks and very reasonable price conspire to make it seem like a much better value than almost any normally priced action figure out there today. I mean, I've paid far more than that for Doctor Who figures in the same general scale, and the Triceratops Ranger trumps nearly all of them. Maybe I'm just a fan of simple yet stylish sculpts and bright colors -- and smoking jackets -- but looking at this toy even makes me feel less bitter with Mattel and Walmart for making DCUC10 so criminally unavailable.

Review Summary

Packaging
  • Standard blister card packaging
  • Disorganized layout, but looks decent
  • Cardback effectively spotlights figure assortment and combining weapons
  • Opens easily, no twisty ties
SCORE: 8.5 / 10
Visual Appeal
  • Figure sports cool colors, a snazzy helmet, and a stylish smoking jacket
  • Smaller body and crisp painted details add to figure's visual appeal
  • Possibly the best-looking PRRPM toy!
SCORE: 9.5 / 10
Articulation
  • Joints are tight and sturdy; articulation model allows for decent poseability
  • Hips and head are a bit restricted; all other joints have full range of motion
  • A few more joints would be nice
SCORE: 8.0 / 10
Accessories
  • Miniature accessories are kinda dinky, but cool for hardcore fans
  • Multiple weapons work well with figure
  • Weapons are unpainted, but silver plastic makes them look fantastic
SCORE: 10 / 10
Fun Factor
  • A sturdy figure with decent poseability and cool accessories is fun...
  • ...and this toy is also very fun to look at.
  • Plus, as a non-show character, his personality is yours to determine!
SCORE: 10 / 10
Value
  • $7 is a great value for a well-articulated figure with multiple accessories
  • Perception of value is raised by lack of unpainted details and silver weapons
  • Figure just looks wicked stylish
SCORE: 10 / 10

Overall

Score: 9.5 / 10

Maybe I like this figure more than I should, but I can't help it -- that smoking jacket is just too cool! Actually, I'm not even sure it should be called a smoking jacket... perhaps it's more like a varsity sports jacket or whatever, though I've never seen any team jackets quite that stylish. (If our high school had had jackets like that, maybe I would've tried out for one of the teams!) Even if you don't find the jacket to be quite so cool, though, the Triceratops Ranger -- like most Power Rangers RPM figures -- is a decent buy. No, the figure doesn't have the superarticulation of a Marvel Legends figure (but then, neither do many Marvel Legends these days), but it's a fun action figure with cool accessories and a price tag to match that of figures nearly half its size. While I continue to recommend that toy lovers pick up at least one Power Ranger from any line, this figure tempts me to simply tell folks to just grab the Power Rangers RPM Triceratops Ranger. He's that bloody cool.

He NEVER takes off the jacket... not even in bed.

-- Wes --

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