After writing about Dino-Riders in last week’s Toy Commercial Tuesday, I found myself looking through even more of their commercials. I actually remember this one from my youth, specifically that triceratops with the flap thingies. Watching these again, I’m kind of amazed that I wasn’t all over this line when it was coming ou tin the late 80s. I wasn’t a big dinosaur fan at the time, but this line still feels right in my wheelhouse. Oh, to think of all the epic Dino-Riders/MASK team-ups and battles I could have deamt up!
This one’s for my pal Brett White! I learned on Twitter recently that he’s a big Dino-Riders fan. I myself liked the idea of the toys, but didn’t actually buy any, though two of the tiny figures (Mind-Zei and Fang) somehow made their way into my action figure collection. Like a lot of 80s properties, Dino-Riders was a one-two punch that featured a short-lived cartoon and a toy line from Tyco.
Holy crap, this commercial is bonkers. Not only does it have the kind of insane play environment that you only see in 80s toy commercials. but these toys are jam packed with action features. The figures have weapons, the dinosaurs have their own weapons and it looks like some of them mimic running or walking. That’s an impressive line and an even cooler commercial. Now that I think about it, it’s basically the same as MASK, but with dinos.
The story behind the line which featured larger, armored dinosaurs and their 2-inch tall riders. If I’m reading the Wikipedia page correctly, the concept revolves around two groups who hate each other, the super human Valorians and the human-animal hybrid Rulons who get thrown back in time where they use various methods to team up with dinosaurs. The good guys make nice while the bad guys use brainwashing techniques. Or something. The cartoon lasted one season while the toy line went on for four waves, the last of which revolved around Ice Age animals instead of dinos.
The Marvel Action Universe was apparently a block of syndicated animated programming that sprung up in the late 80s. As you can surely tell by the ad here, some of the shows included were Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends, Dino-Riders and Robocop: The Animated Series. I don’t have any specific memories of these cartoons necessarily but I do remember getting toys based on the latter two. Anyway, what struck me when I first saw this ad while flipping through Punisher #15 from 1988 was that I wish this was an actual team book. I’m sure, like many toon based books I’ve picked up over the years, it would not have been any good, but the art would sure be neat.