Activate the Nostalgia Center: Remembering DinoRiders

Geek Culture


We all have those times when you are playing with the geeklets and you say to yourself "Man, I remember back in my day when toys where cool.  And by cool I mean totally rad!"   You start to rant about how you didn’t have the internet and how you had to walk barefoot to the toy store uphill both ways.  Then, in a moment of brilliant clarity, you are whisked back to days of yore.  You are sitting in front of the tv and a commercial comes on that sends shivers down your spine.   This was the toy you’d been waiting for your entire childhood.  The culmination of all that was good in the world.  For me, that toy was DinoRiders.

The story goes like this.  The Valorians are human telepaths that get their butts womped by a race of evil anthromorphs that made up the Rulon Empire.  After their planet falls, the Valorians get on their remaining ship and try to hightail it back through time.  The Rulon attach their tractor beam onto the Valorian ship just before it makes the jump with the result being both ships crash landing on prehistoric earth.   Realizing that they are surrounded by scads of biological war machines, the two sides use their reptilian planet mates to do battle.  Thus the DinoRiders  were born. 

The DinoRiders cartoon had all the makings of bad (or is that good?) ’80′s entertainment.  Classic good vs evil,  can-do-no-wrong leader of the good guys up against a mighty villain with completely incompetent henchmen.  What truly made the show great was the combining of two forces that kids were unable to resist.  These were laser beams and dinosaurs.  The toys for this were awesome!  Highly detailed dinosaur models were equipped with copious amounts of futuristic artillery.  Your younger siblings didn’t stand a chance in a toy war if you had these cold blooded killing machines on your side.

Sadly, as awesome as it was the show only lasted all of 13 episodes on the tube.   The toys stuck around for several years after the show until they too ran their course and were discontinued in 1990.  I’m still waiting for Questar’s triumphant return. Come on toy guys; these things were great!  Where’s the dino love?

If there were one toy or series of toys you could to bring back, what would it be?

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