Most Requested
Figures: Dino Riders!

I’ve got the lead on this column again this week, so I decided to go big. One mere figure isn’t enough to satiate my toy needs today. No, instead I want the return of an entire line.

When I was a kid, I loved dinosaurs. I think that’s pretty normal. Dinosaurs were giant, ferocious, mysterious beasts. With thunderous roars, they stalked and stomped their ancient land, battling each other with armored and spiked hides. And I imagined myself right there along ide them. Maybe riding them, fighting Rulons, with a giant missile launcher or two. Well, that was when I was a kid, and things were much simpler. Now, of course, as an adult it might sound silly to think of humans riding dinosaurs decked out in tech and fighting against aliens and mutants, but I don’t care. Nothing I’ve learned can take away from the awesomeness that was Dino Riders.

Back then, there was no way that my favorite line could be anything but Dino Riders. The interesting thing is, well, I’ve never seen the cartoon. I’m not sure if I just missed it, or if it never aired where I lived, but all I knew about this new toy line were from commercials for the toys and the mini-comics packaged with the toys. And, of course, the awesome artwork.

Pretty limited, but good enough to get the gist of the story. But the story isn’t why I wanted the toys. I wanted the toys because it took elements from my favorite things and mashed them all together into awesome. You had dinosaurs, you had aliens with shark, bug, and snake heads, you had lasers and space age technology, and most of the ‘saurs also had an action feature. Looking back, I have to ask, why did it take so long for something that great to come into existence?

Tyco had a good thing going and they knew it. The toy line easily outlasted the fourteen episode cartoon series. And, even after the line was dead, they continued to sell dinosaurs without their techno pieces to the Smithsonian. Apparently, the Smithsonian thought the ‘saurs were so accurate that they wanted to put them in their gift shop. Not too bad a deal.

Now here we are in 2010, amidst a toy renaissance. He-Man has a Classics line, GI Joe has the 25th/Modern line, Transformers Universe is bringing back the G1 series, Lego is updating their Space Police and Castle sets with new looks, even Playmates is trying to repack those original Ninja Turtles. So where’s my Dino Riders?

Tyco made Dino Riders, and Mattel owns Tyco, but they only use the brand for remote control products. So where’s the Dino Riders license? It’s a shame if Mattel still has it, because I’d rather see it go to Hasbro. Why you ask? Well, because Hasbro makes Jurassic Park toys. They’ve been making ‘saurs forever, and they’re good looking ones at that. Sure that big lumbering T-Rex from the original Dino Riders line was cool, but I want an update. I want the dinosaurs to look sleeker, even more realistic, and definitely more dangerous. Also, Hasbro could save a ton of money by adapting their already existing molds than having to come up with the whole line from scratch. That way they can dedicate more money and effort into making cool techno-mechanical armor and weapons.

Another bonus to having the dinosaurs done already is that there would be more money to sink into the figures too. Part of the line’s great appeal was the bad guys and their monstrous looks. On the subject of figures, I’d like to see them get scaled up a bit. The 3.75” scale would allow for some decently detailed sculpts and paint apps, while still allowing them to fit in with the ‘saurs in the line. Plus, that scale is hot right now, so they’ll fit in with a lot of other lines too. Also, to anyone looking at bringing this line back, you need to make sure the good guys wear a lot less pastel blue. No one liked that.

Ultimately, I really don’t care who picks up the license. Even Mattel can have it, so long as they use it. I just want to see an update to the great concept and to see a popular toy line that from falling into obscurity.

-Adventure Vault

22 thoughts on “Most Requested
Figures: Dino Riders!


    If these are ever reissued I will BE SO POOR.

    This was my first favorite toy line. OMG. I miss it so much.

  2. LET’S DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!
    With the advances in technology, I imagine these would rock pretty hard.

  3. This entire line would be awesome!!! And if Mattel was smart, they would tool the T-Rex, the Pterosaurs, etc. such that it could be reused by MotUC as Tyranosaurus Rex, Turbodactyl, Bionatops, etc.

    1. I was just gonna say, they should just merge the two lines.

      They should just call them “The Dino Riders of Preternia!” 🙂

      1. But then we will miss out on the saber tooth tiger from Ice Age. That would be a great Battle Cat reuse!

  4. I still have a bunch of Dino-Riders stuff from when I was a kid. I have to say that it was pretty top-notch stuff back then and it stood the test of time. They are still some of the most realistic looking dinosaur sculpts out there and have action features to boot. They could do a straight re-issue today and it would sell pretty well given a good piece of fiction to go with it.

    1. You know what, I agree. They could resell me all the old stuff without change and I’d buy it. Maybe better paints jobs on the figures.

  5. I would LOVE a reissue. I never had the t-rex as a kid. Yeah, if this ever happened I would need to take out some loans…

  6. Oh. Hells. Yes.

    I would buy the crap out of these. Reissue, retooling, I don’t even care. I just wants to have them.

  7. I loved Dino Riders. Right up there with M.A.S.K. for vehicle/ride-oriented lines with tiny figures. It’s funny how often that size was used in the 80’s – those two and Sky Commanders fit with each other – yet there’s no modern equivalent I can think of. Kids’ lines are often derided for being small, yet the figures tend to be 4-5″.

    Reissues would be tempting, but I think I’d prefer a new line with a similar style. Or both. I can’t see either happening, though. A new line would either be insanely expensive or vastly inferior to the originals. Even reissues would be a struggle; how does the Brontosaurus get back to retail? It’s a U.S.S. Flagg-sized pipe dream.

  8. Monoclonius was my favorite. The only one I have complete still is a Dimetrodon. I would buy the hell out of these. Because they broke so easily and had so many parts its hard to find them at decent prices second hand. T-Rex was so cool, but I always wanted the Diplodocus, and never got him 🙁

    ( see my post on fwoosh:
    I love Dino Riders. I love the concept of super accurate dinos being combined with play gimmicks so everyone wins ( and Dinosaurs + guns = awesome) This is the line I most want to make a comeback, maybe even by the 4HM ( Imagine a 4HM Tyrannosaurus Dino Rider and then redeco it for Tyrantisaurus Rex in MOTUC). SO yeah, bottom line, MAKE IT HAPPEN MATTEL!

  10. Oh, I rue the day that I broke my Dino Riders Torosaurus. It still brings pain to ponder which was a greater concept, mounting a flower of death on the back of a Torosaurus, or mounting an ENTIRE FORTRESS on the back of a T-Rex.

  11. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an overwhelmingly unanimous and positive response to … well… anything.

  12. the only thing i think that would require updating is articulation… if i’m rebuying a t rex or ankylosaurus, i want an articulated tail on the anky and knees and ankles on the t rex. other that that… get cable ma, i’m up. (i don’t so much care about the little guys… repackage the originals, they got the job done, i only really want upgrades on the dinos)

    did we ever get dinor riders canon on why there were dinos running around together who never met? like the dimetrodon and the rex… how were these co-existing? or am i just suppossed to blow that off cuz “hey, aliens don’t look like ant men and shark men either.”

  13. Wow, I would love these to e reissued so much.
    If Mattel reissued these and sold them at mass retail in the Uk I would buy almost all th toys, even some doubles to keep boxed.
    The art work on the boxes were amzing.
    When I was young I had Ankylosaurus, Dinonycus and perodactyl.
    Lets all pester Mattel until they meet our demands.

  14. while i wouldn’t mind a few rereleases, some updated figures taking into account 30 years of advancements in paleontology would be nice as well.

  15. indeed some of the advances and new understandings of some dinos would be cool to see reflected in the toys… like a rex that leaned over his feet rather than standing essentially upright, or a triceratops w/ a ball neck.

  16. I only had a few of these when I was a kid, due to how expensive most of ’em were– anything beyond $5 just wasn’t feasible unless Christmas or a birthday were involved– but I loved ’em. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED ’em! I never saw the cartoon either, oddly enough. I still have a couple of the old minicomics that came packaged with the toys, but the toys themselves, sadly, are gone. I’d be all over a revived Dino-riders line, that’s for damn sure.

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