The Dinosaurs of Tyco’s Dino-Riders Toy Line

The Dinosaurs of Tyco’s Dino-Riders Toy Line

Dino-Riders is an action, adventure, sci-fi, fantasy animated television series that was custom made to create a relatable storyline and to introduce Tyco’s toy line. Gerry Conway and Carla Conway created Dino-Riders while Ray Lee directed it, with Steven Hahn directing the first and last episodes of the animated television series.

The animated television series ran for just a season and only had fourteen episodes. The show premiered on the 1st of October then televised weekly until the 31st of December in the year 1988. This was also the same year Tyco released its Dino-Riders toy line.

Cartoon Series Plot Overview

The Dino-Riders animated television series focused on the tribulations of a race of very peaceful humanoids who had been living harmoniously on their home planet, Valoria. Meanwhile, the Rulons were an extraterrestrial race of humanoids who resembled some known Earth’s animals like Snakes, Crocodiles, Ants, and even Sharks. Both the Valorians and the Rulons were from a very distant future from ours.

In the series, the Valorians lived happily and went about their daily habits until the evil Rulons attacked their world. After the invasion by the Rulons on the Valoria, the Valorian’s home, Questar, the leader of the Valorians, leads a small group of Valorians to seek refuge away from Valoria, with the help of a spaceship equipped with a Space-Time Energy Projector (STEP) as a get-away space shuttle.

Escape From Valoria

During their escape, the small group of Valorians accidentally traveled back about 65 million years back through time and space to Earth. On arrival on Earth, the Valorians encountered Earth’s primitive animals, the dinosaurs, and other animals. Then, the Valorians utilized their Amplified Mental Projector (AMP) to speak with the dinosaurs telepathically. Since they could easily communicate, the Valorians became friends with the dinosaurs that inhabited the land.

Unknown to the Valorians, the Dreadlock, the Rulon ship that carries the Rulons fierce leader, Emperor Krulos, and a sizable number of Rulon soldiers followed them. Once they caught up, the ship locked in on the Valorian’s ship with a tractor beam. Thus, the Valorian’s ship dragged the Dreadlock to the prehistoric Earth. The Rulons then used their brainbox to brainwash and control the dinosaurs they encountered for their selfish reasons, unlike the kindhearted Valorians.

With both species stuck on a primitive Earth, the Rulons launched many attacks towards the Valorians in hopes of stealing their technology and completely eradicating the Valorians. However, the Valorians triumphed over the evil Rulons with the help of their allies, the dinosaurs, who fought alongside them of their own accord. The Valorians subsequently changed their name to the Dino-Riders in honor of their partnership with the dinosaurs.

The Dinosaurs from the Dino-Riders

The Dino-Riders' Dinosaurs

The Dino-Riders television series was iconic for many things. For instance, it was one of the most successful animated television series used to market a toy line. However, the most significant feature of this television series is the array of Dinosaurs portrayed in this television series. Of course, there were very popular Dinosaurs, like the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Protoceratops. However, the show also featured the less popular dinosaurs like the Edmontania and the Kentrosaurus.

The cartoon series split its featured dinosaurs into two distinct sects. The first is Valorian’s dinosaurs. The Valorians communicated telepathically with these dinosaurs thanks to their Amplified Mental Projector. Meanwhile, the order sect is the Rulon’s Dinosaurs. Unlike their Valorian counterparts, the Rulons controlled these Dinosaurs against their will with the help of their brainwashing device, the brain box.

The Valorian Dinosaurs

These dinosaurs are friends of the Valorians who also help them fight against the Rulons evil force. The Valorian Dinosaurs include Brontosaurus, Torosaurus, Diplodocus, Deinonyclus, Styracosaurus, Quetzalcoatlus, Pterodactylus, Stegosaurus, Edmontonia, Dimetrodon, Pachycephalosaurus, Struthiomimus, Protoceratops, Pachyrinosaurus, and Chasmosaurus.

The Brontosaurus


The Brontosaurus is a large, long-necked quadrupedal dinosaur. It is an extinct member of the Apatosaurus sauropod dinosaur. During the 80s, scientists believed that it lived in North America over 150 million years ago. However, for years, the authenticity of this dinosaur has been under review. Many scientists have believed that the founder of the Brontosaurus incorrectly assembled the skeleton. However, even today, the status of this dinosaur is up for debate.

In the Dino-Riders, Brontosaurus was the largest dinosaur that the Valorians rode. With its immense size and power, whichever side the Brontosaurus is on is the winning side.

The Torosaurus


The Torosaurus is a member of the herbivorous ceratopsid dinosaur family, which lived around Southern Texas between 68 to 66 million years ago. A perforated frill distinguishes this dinosaur from others of its family line.

In the animated Dino-Riders series, the Torosaurus was very common among the Valorians as they rode it to combat against the Rulon’s Triceratops.

The Diplodocus


The Diplodocus was a member of the Leponspondyl amphibian family that roamed the waters around 298 million years ago. Like most members of its family of dinosaurs, this creature had a very long neck. Along with its neck, a very long tail was the main defining feature of this dinosaur.

In the Dino-Riders animated television series, the Diplodocus is an ally of the Valorians and helps them defend against the Rulons attack.

The Deinonychus


The Deinonychus is another Valorian dinosaur that joined the Valorian in their war against the Rulons. Deinonychus is a member of the dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur family. This dinosaur’s very sharp claws, especially the large gouging claw on its feet, distinguished it. The Deinonychus lived about 115 to 100 million years ago.

The Deinonychus made a lot of appearances on the Dino-Riders animated television series, both with the Valorians and the Rulons.

The Styracosaurus


Like the Brontosaurus, the Styracosaurus is a large dinosaur that has four legs and a huge and bulky body. The Styracosaurus is a member of the Ceratopsian dinosaur family. Meanwhile, it lived about 145 to 130 million years ago.

In the cartoon series, the Styracosaurus aided the Valorians in their fight against the Rulons.

The Quetzalcoatlus


The Quetzalcoatlus was a prehistoric Pterosaur, a family of flying reptiles that lived alongside the dinosaurs. This pterosaur has the distinction of being the largest known species found to date. Most notably, this creature has over a ten-meter, or thirty-three-foot, long wingspan.

In the animated television series, the Valorians used the Quetzalcoatlus to counter the Rulon’s Pteranodon, along with other pterosaurs.

The Stegosaurus


The Stegosaurus was a member of the extinct Stegosaurid thyreophoran dinosaur family. Evidence shows it must have lived in North America about 150 years ago. The public easily recognizes this dinosaur from its pentagonal plates that run along its back. The Stegosaurus is a very popular dinosaur, especially in popular culture.

Meanwhile, in the series, the stegosaurus played a significant role in the episode, “Revenge of the Rulons”.

The Protoceratops


The Protoceratops is a member of the ceratopsian dinosaur family, proven to have lived in North America about 145 to 100 million years ago. Unlike the more popular Triceratops, the Protoceratops were small in stature and did not have any horns.

In the animated television series, when equipped with night vision accessories, the Protoceratops serves the Valorians as a mobile recon unit.

The Rulon Dinosaurs

The Rulon Dinosaurs are the ones that the Rulons selfishly controlled. They include Tyrannosaurus Rex, Deinonyclus, Quetzalcoatlus, Monoclonius, Pteranodon, Ankylosaurus, Kentrosaurus, Saurolophus, Placerias, Triceratops.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex

Tyrannosaurus Rex

The Tyrannosaurus Rex is one of the most popular dinosaurs that appear in multiple movies, cartoons, comics, and other pop culture media. This ferocious predator is a very large bipedal dinosaur with two short arms. It is a member of the Tyrannosaurian theropod dinosaur family that lived on Earth around 68 to 66 million years ago.

In the Dino-Riders animated television series, the Tyrannosaurus Rex was the largest dinosaur threat that Valorian dealt with. On several occasions, under Emperor Krulos’ influence, the Tyrannosaurus Rex led the charge against the Valorians.

The Pteranodon


The Pteranodon is a flying lived that lived alongside the dinosaurs in North America about 68 to 66 million years ago. When most people think of pterosaurs, this creature comes to mind.

In the Dino-Riders animated television series, the Pteranodon was a Rulon dinosaur. The Rulons attached their weapons to the dinosaur and used their flight capabilities to deliver the weapons to the Valorian camps. Thus, the Pteranodon was an important weapon in the Rulons’ arsenal.

The Triceratops


The Triceratops is a member of the ceratopsid dinosaur family that lived in North America about 68 to 66 million years ago. The frill at the back of its head and three horns defines this dinosaur. Like the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Triceratops is a pop culture icon that has appeared across multiple media.

In the Dino-Riders television series, the Triceratops was a common dinosaur among the Rulons, who often rode it into battle.


The Dino-Riders animated television series proved to be an amazing avenue to exhibit many dinosaurs. It also showed Tyco’s diligence in not just sticking with popular dinosaurs but unveiling some very beautiful extinct creatures. With the show providing the story, Tyco created the replicas and action figures of all the dinosaurs that the animated television series featured.

The company successfully produced the Dino-Riders toy line in three waves. Tyco produced the first series in 1988 and consisted of twelve dinosaurs. Then, they released the second series in 1989 that featured ten more dinosaurs. Finally, Tyco produced the third wave in 1990 which only featured three dinosaurs.

So, if there are any of the dinosaurs in the first Dino-Riders television series that you admire, be rest assured you can get the replica.

Do you have old and used Dino-Riders toys?

If you have a collection of old and used toys, you can turn those toys into cash. There is no reason to let those old toys collect dust. Contact us today to sell your Dino-Riders toy collection.

About the author

Author: Chris Ingledue 


Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their own versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!

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2 thoughts on “The Dinosaurs of Tyco’s Dino-Riders Toy Line

  1. You’re showing the Rulon Quetzalcoatlus. The Valerian one was gray. The Rulon one was released very limited with Pachyrhinosaurus and Chasmosaurus and is expensive

    1. Yes, it was an editorial choice to select that image for a general showcasing of the dinosaur based on the quality of the picture. I have corrected the picture and swapped it out though.

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