Time now to jump into the WABAC Machine and take a trip to 1988. It was a good time to be a kid or a collector. GI Joe and Transformers were still going strong, Barbie and Lego were around as always, and TMNT was taking its first steps towards iconic status. And then you had Dino-Riders. HARNESS THE POWER!
Regrettably, the vast majority of my Dino-Riders toys are long gone. But I did manage to hold on to a couple. First up is the Ankylosaurus.
Despite the fact that Ankylosaurus was the largest known ankylosaur, this is one of the smallest Tyco dinosaurs, measuring a mere 13 cm long. Just why the big guy got shafted this way remains a mystery. Adding insult upon insult, the second series of Dino-Riders included a very large and impressive Edmontonia toy. Perhaps the evil Rulons were unsuccessful in their vile scheme to wrangle a mighty Ankylosaurus adult and so were forced to settle for a juvenile instead. Yes, that’s it.
Size aside, this is a well-crafted ankylosaur for its time. The upper half of its body is covered in an intricate pattern of spikes, scutes, and grooves. The head has the standard ankylosaur profile, albeit with a slight underbite. The hips are appropriately wide and the tail club is about the right shape. The entire tail looks too small, however, (further proof that this is a youngster!) and each foot has only three toes.
The Ankylosaurus is articulated at its shoulders and hips. Its colour scheme is quite modest: grey with airbrushed reddish-brown and yellow and black eyes. Unlike nearly all other Tyco prehistoric toys, the eyes are not plastic beads. They’re simply painted on instead.
Despite its disappointing size, the Tyco Ankylosaurus is a fun and well-made toy, one that I played with for countless hours as a child. I’m glad to still own it.