Dino-Riders Toys Are Back, Sort of

Two things kids love — dinosaurs and alien invaders — came together in the ’80s toy line Dino-Riders. The figures proved mightily memorable for those who had them. They consisted of dinosaurs in sci-fi armor with humans (Valorians) and lizard men (Rulons) riding and operating their attack weapons, but never quite gained the same popularity as other properties. Perhaps some of that came down to expense — the massive brontosaurus and tyrannosaurus “base” sets with leader characters seemed massive and pricey compared to the basic sets. For many kids, they simply became the cool toys to look at in the store rather than items to actually take home. A tie-in cartoon failed to make the actual rider characters more memorable than the dinosaurs.

But it remains a cool concept, and one worth revisiting. Mattel, which inherited the rights from Tyco, tried to develop a movie in 2015, but like many Mattel movie concepts, it hasn’t shown up. Now, however, they’re doing something with the toy license for the first time since they obtained it. Exclusively at Entertainment Earth, Mattel sells a new line of “green army men” styled Dino-Riders in a battle pack of six dinosaurs and 15 riders. Though the figures sport no articulation, riders can be added or removed from the dinos.

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No doubt fans of the old line hoped for more, but this is likely a test to see what interest remains in the property. If Mattel sees dollar signs, they’d be crazy not to do more with the rights. And $20 for a bunch of mini-figures feels like a decent price point. Preorder now for February delivery.

What would you like to see from the Dino-Riders license? Let us know in comments below.

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