Protoceratops (Tyco)

Protoceratops was a smaller more primitive ceratopsian dinosaur that lived during the late Cretaceous in what is now Mongolia.  Size wise it is most commonly compared to a sheep and many fossilized specimens of this dinosaur have been discovered from tiny eggs and hatchlings all the way up to full grown adults.  Little proto, despite being adorable, was also pretty tough given the fact that it lived in a harsh desert environment and had to coexist with one of the most famous predatory dinosaurs of all time, Velociraptor.  Here I shall be reviewing for you Tyco’s (the company responsible for the beloved Dinoriders toy line) version of this well known and well studied dinosaur.  Interestingly enough this is the figure used as a reference when famed author and illustrator of the Dinotopia series, James Gourney, to create the hero character, Bix.

Tyco Protoceratops alongside early concept model of "Bix"

Although a lot of Tyco dinosaurs seem to be quite outdated at this point in time.  Their Protoceratops actually remains very modern looking.  It is standing upright, not squatted down like their other ceratopsian toys.  The front legs could arguably afford to be a little splayed given today’s view on the animal’s posture but it’s not that glaring of an inaccuracy.  What I do like is how the shape of the head seems to be right on par with the actual skulls that are known.  The number of digits on the front limbs is too few and the number of digits on the back limbs is correct.  For scientific accuracy, this figure isn’t half bad.

The action feature on this one is simple but very likeable.  The head is on a ball swivel so it can be turned and twisted pretty much any way that is physically possible.  What is cool is the fact that the real animal’s skeleton where the skull meets the neck is actually designed very similarly to this so this action feature is actually pretty true to life.  I should also mention that all four limbs are also movable.

The color scheme is very earthy but not boring since it utilizes more than just one or two colors.  The main color is a typical brown and the underbelly and legs are an off-white color.  The feet and muzzle are painted a very dark gray.  The eyes, as with many Tyco dinosaurs, are made up of tiny translucent beads which I personally think looks really cool.  The figure has a good amount of detail as well.  As you can probably make out from the photos it is covered in a very healthy amount of individually sculpted scales and wrinkles.

In conclusion this is a nice little toy.  I obtained mine as a little kid.  It was part of the Smithsonian dinosaur toy line and came packaged with the Tyco Struthiomimus.  Unfortunately it is also very old so the most likely way of obtaining one would be through ebay.

5 Responses to Protoceratops (Tyco)

  1. Damage: Yes it did. All of the Tyco dinosaur toys were originally part of the Dinoriders franchise and all of them came with some sort of detachable armor and a humanoid figure. They were later released as just dinosaur toys for the Smithsonian Institution which is what I have. Here is a photo of what you most likely had.

  2. Mine arrived today (coincidence!), love this little guy! It’s smaller that I imagined, but that’s a good thing!

    @David Tana: that’s cool! I also really like the picture with de Tyco toy next to the Bix model.

  3. Did this at one point come with a dinorider that snapped on? I still have the protoceratops, but I could swear I got it for Christmas one year with a dinorider in tow.

  4. I actually had this little guy (from the Dino Riders series) when I was a kid, and named it “Bix” after Gurney’s Protoceratops. But I certainly never knew it was the original inspiration.

  5. Great little figure. I got mine in that Smithsonian double pack with the Struthiomimus too. Always loved it!

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