Tyco Dino-Riders Protoceratops and Kanon Tyco, 1988
Day #344: February 28, 2012
Protoceratops and Kanon Good Guys
Dino-Riders Boxed Toy Set
Item No.: No. 9113 Manufacturer:Tyco Includes:Driver, dinosaur, harness, smattering of silver plastic gear Action Feature:Nite-Glow Viewing Screen Retail:unknown, est. $9.99 Availability:ca. 1988 Other: Later repackaged as "Smithsonian Institution Dinosaur Collection" toy in set with Struthiomimus
The Protoceratops is a neat creature, and one often overlooked by other toy lines-- sure, they did one for DINO-Mites but it's not like Zoids was crazy about making this one rather than a Triceratops or another more recognizable (and stabbly) creature. Because of this, the Cretaceous-era creature seemed a little dinky... and his toy reflects this.
Painted brown with molded orange eyes, he's a striking and fairly realistic creature. Unless science proves he was actually hairy with tentacles, I have to assume this is pretty close to what the real thing might have looked like. Tyco gave the toy a ball-jointed neck (which, at the time, was mind-blowing) alongside his swivel-jointed legs. There's not a lot else too him-- his jaw doesn't open, nor does he have some awesome battle-action feature. He's just a cool small little dinosaur with a stubby little tail, and his gear slips over his rear appendage and snaps over his body. Depending on the size of your pockets, this is a pocket-sized dinosaur toy.
His little buddy Kanon is blue, like the other figures in the line. As with so many action figures of his day, he's a little bit smaller than the popularized 3 3/4-inch scale because they wanted to make sure the REAL toy-- the dinosaur-- was smaller and more affordable. (See also: M.A.S.K., Starcom, Air Raiders, Legions of Power.) You still get a decent action figure with a whole smattering of gear (note the accessories: some of the Dino-Riders archive sites have the wrong accessories shown), but at a smaller, cheaper-to-produce scale. I actually find myself envious of the 1980s me, being able to get this kind of stuff unlike today where it seems to be more focused on figures and not the really cool toys sold next to them.
The gear effectively turns the dinosaur into a sort of armored motorcycle with legs. The painting shows him as a running, fast-moving creature complete with night-vision gear, guns, and a windshield for the driver. Glow-in-the-dark stickers are applied to a "scope" for the driver to look through, which was another cheap way to add value to an otherwise small toy that does nothing beyond look cool.
According to my notes, Mattel now owns all things Tyco and in theory, could do something with the brand some day. Hey Mattel, if you're reading: if you ever did a series of reissues of these things (maybe with new deco to set them apart), I would shell out. I would shell out so hard. Not a lot of this guy was going around at the time I wrote the review, so I am not sure what he should cost these days. Having said that, $20 seems good but odds are it'll be a lot more than that.
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