Next to Ninjas & Robots, Dinosaurs were on that top list of extreme cool factor in the 80’s and the toy company Tyco did NOT disappoint with this cartoon based toy line, Dino-Riders. Dino Riders was a pretty extensive toy line with a wide variety of sizes of all forms o. Today, however, we are just focusing on Deinonychus, (pronounced die-NON-ih-cuss) with Antor the evil Rulon Warrior toy set.
Right off the bat I remember being drawn to the incredible packaging artwork! I mean common, what kid or adult at that matter, is not mesmerized by this beautifully rendered box art. No photoshop here, just amazing traditional talent at its best! The packing was a really neat design too. A lot of thought went into the whole presentation. Flipping the top flap reveals the Deinonychus in his full glory. This serves as not only a great display method, since the mold injected plastic held the figures tightly in place, it can also be reused for storage! Great bonus!
Who could forget this wonderful illustration on the back of the packaging! As a kid this illustration really set the mood for some really awesome adventures! I could not find any info on the artist, so if anyone wants to chime in, please do! IMO, this is some of the best toy box art of the time and dare I say, even exceeds to todays standards!
OK... lets open this up and take a look at what's in the box. Deinonychus is nicely sculpted with incredible detail. The textured scales feel very tactile and the paint believable. Deinonychus can be beautifully displayed naked, (without his saddle/weapons) and looks like a high quality model kit. One feature to note is his eyes, they almost look like glass, a very nice touch. Although detailed, don’t count on any real articulation. There is nifty leg action that works when you press a concealed button on his back. Really then the only articulation would be his front arms. They can pivot up and down and thats about it. Besides his included action figure, which we will get to below, he also came with a spring loaded boulder trap that also was used in the cartoon series. His accessories fit nice and snug.
As a kid I always hated reading, “Action figure sold separately”! For me finding a toy with both figure and accessory was an extreme plus! Antor obviously is much smaller than the more common figures of the time but that didn’t stop Tyco from actually producing a very well detailed and articulated action figure. He comes with an assortment of accessories including shoulder cannon, binoculars, a mine grenade, a shield and a ladder to mount dino. His arms and legs swivel, his knees bend and of course his head freely spins from left to right. Even by himself I think he makes a great action figure. Detail on uniform is great and as most toys from the past, durability is awesome.
All in all I had great memories with this fine toy and would love to extend my collection to some of the other great Dino sets! This is a great toy line that is clearly underrated but does have a high demand which has made them rather valuable. Hasbro may hold the rights for this line and with todays sculpting technology, I think they could really do some cool stuff if they ever wanted to do a reboot, but wait, I'm not sure if brainwashed dinosaurs would be politically correct for todays standards.