Dino Riders was a short lived toy line by Tyco started in the late 1980s; it also had an accompanying carton series and combined very detailed dinosaur models with futuristic weaponry. Each dinosaur came with its own unique armour which, depended on the size of the dinosaur included 1-3 small humanoid figures, in scale with the original dinosaur.
The Triceratops’ role for its Rulon masters was to be used as a heavily armoured tank, with a number of weapons as well as a radar dish and it featured a motorized walking action.
Name: Triceratops with Hammerhead and Sidewinder
Line: Dino Riders
Price: Then – $20 to $40 MIB, Now – $60 to $100 MIB
Accessories: Two Rulon mini figures, two mini figure weapon sets
List of Parts
Inside the box you get the following items:
One Rulon Hammerhead Figure
One Rulon Sidewinder Figure
Two Top Guns
Two Rear Guns
Two Side Swivel Guns
Two Seat Inserts
One Radar Dish support
Two Gun Shields
One Radar Dish
One Brain Box
One Rear Seat Platform
One Harness Strap (rubber band)
Four Gun Tips
Two Sets of Rulon Weapons
One Instruction Book
One Comic Book
The artwork on the front of the box features a very colourful battle scene portraying the Triceratops battling various other Dino Riders. Upon lifting the flap you are able to view the toy inside the box as well as a number of pictures listing the highlights of the product. A cropped section of this artwork is displayed on both sides of the box, with the back of the box showing all products from the current series engaged in battle with each other.
This is a very solid box and appears to be a pretty standard design with larger toys during this time period; it has a styrofoam insert to protect the toy and its parts from damage; the dinosaur and the small figures have sections in the styrofoam cut out for them.
The accessories and armour are contained in sealed plastic bags behind the Styrofoam.
The box was always a standout for me, beautiful artwork featured on the front of the box – This was something I always loved about Dino Riders.
The Triceratops is highly detailed with a very nice scale effect all over the dinosaur, the head is made from a soft plastic material to make it easier to fit the brain box on. The animal’s face features what appears to be a sad expression, which is made more prominent when the brain box is placed on the head – apparently this is one dinosaur not happy to be a Rulon slave! The eyes are a separate piece, they are glossy and appear very realistic, as they are not painted, but done in a way to mimic real eyes.
The body is a hard plastic, which houses the electronics for the walking feature; underneath where the dinosaur’s belly is, there is a rectangular section cut into it which can be removed to place the battery inside the beast. Also on the back there is a slightly raised spine which acts as a holder for the purple harness to help it sit correctly on the dinosaur.
The Triceratops has a nicely blended combination of teal/grey/green over the top of the body and green on the underside, with green for the three horns on its face – this is a very clean and crisp application, with no slop what-so-ever. These colours really push that depressed vibe that the sculpting on the head suggested IMO. Also, in order to tell an original Triceratops from a Smithsonian version release, the eye colour of the original will be yellow, not green.
Paint for the armour is used sparingly, mainly on the tips of the side mounted guns and on the two Rulon figures, only the eyes and small sections of armour or clothes have been painted, otherwise the plastic has been cast in the colour it’s meant to be. The paint work here is also very crisp with no slop. Also as a side note, there is slight variation with Sidewinder’s armour colour where the pink/purple/maroon on some figures it’s a brighter colour then others, but that could just be from discolouration on some figures.
As far as articulation goes for the Triceratops, he’s pretty limited; this is mainly because of the walking feature; technically you can pose the head and legs to your pleasing but most of the time he will be just standing in the usual pose, of all four legs on the ground, which is just fine as I don’t see this Triceratops having the need to be doing any flying punches or kicks anytime soon – for a dinosaur and a toy from the 80s the amount of articulation is just fine.
The two Rulons figures on the other hand, have plenty of opportunity to be put in many different poses. The articulation for each of these small figures is as follows: swivel head, swivel arms – where the arm meets the body, swivel legs – where the leg meets the body and hinge joints at the knees. For an older figure this is more than enough for it to not only work well with the accessories but be seated with the armour as well. Obviously articulation has come a long way since then, but you still get quite a lot with these two figures – this was standard articulation for most of the mini figures released in this line at the time.
There are two weapon sets with the Triceratops, one for each Rulon: one crossbow, one set of binoculars, one shield, one bazooka, one electronic whip (ball and chain) and one ladder. they are quite detailed and cast in red plastic; they easily clip on to the Rulon’s arms.
Besides losing some of the parts or having gun tips break, the only main problem with second hand Dino Riders is that you have to watch out for grey plastic that has yellowed, besides the colour change, it causes the plastic to become brittle as well! – It is quite a common problem.
Depending weather it’s MIB, MISB or loose will affect the price you pay. However, from time to time you can grab a bargain on eBay. Just make sure you are happy with the condition the figure is in when you buy it for the price you are going to pay.
I’m sure any child who received this figure back when it was originally released would have had a lot of fun with it as there are plenty of play options. It’s a very cool looking figure and it’s quite hard to beat the combination of dinosaurs and futuristic weapons, together with the walking feature, you have a winner. As a collector it’s quite easy to get sucked into buying a few of these and having a small army as they look quite impressive lined up together – not to mention that you can always race them!
This is a repost of a review originally posted by Mighty Mike on January 19th, 2011.
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