In 1987, Kenner introduce a brand new way to play with the Bone Age toy line. Rather than just create another set of toys filled with dinosaurs and cavemen, Kenner decided to add a new twist. They created a large range of skeletal dinosaurs that could break apart and be built into brand-new configurations. These bones could be rearranged into weapons, vehicles, and even fortresses.
Thus, these toys combined the standard action figure excitement with the innovation and imagination of building toys. While each toy had instructions for a form that Kenner thought up, players could produce brand-new formations, especially if they had multiple figures. So, buyers were enticed to buy more pieces from the line.
The main action figures of the line were the dinosaur bones, which each came with a 3” caveman action figure with five points of articulation. These boxes each featured a small cut-out file card that contained short bios for both the dinosaur and the caveman. cavemen action figures were also sold separately.
While there was no overarching story for the Bone Age toy line, the toys were split into three different clans. There was the Stone Clan, the Ice Clan, and the Lava Clan. Each clan had different dinosaurs and cavemen assigned to them.
Within the Stone clan were T-Rex, Deiton, Anklor, and Clodus. Meanwhile, the cavemen for the clan were Crag the Clubber, Kos, and Lud.
The Ankor toy, and Ankylosaurus, came with the caveman Tuk. This toy could be reassembled into a catapult launcher or a hot rod. It also featured stones that it could launch with its tail.
Then, the Deitron toy, a Dimetrodon, came with Brac. Kenner advertised that Deitron could use his sail fin as a weapon. They also gave instructions on how to turn this toy into a firing jet fighter and an attack fortress.
T-rex, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, was originally the largest toy of the line. It came with Crag the Clubber and was able to throw two rock bombs with its arms. This toy could be rearranged into either a bomber jet or a fighting fortress.
Later on, Kenner introduced Codus, a prehistoric crocodilian, to the line. This toy came with Brunt. Codus could either snap at enemies or capture them in its jaws. He came with instructions to become a scout copter with spinning blades.
Then there was the Ice Clan which featured Dynacus, Petro, and Tritops. This group also had three separate cavemen: Nord, Skog, and Tund the Thunderous.
Dynacus, a Deinonychus, came with Zur. This figure had a special launching tail attack. Otherwise, it could become an artillery launcher.
Next, there was Ptero, a Pteranodon, that came with Brog as his rider. This toy could fire rock bombs from its legs. Kenner gave instructions to turn this toy into an attack copter or a land skimmer.
The Triceratops, Tritops, came with Tund the Thunderoud as his rider. This toy featured two launching horns. It could turn into either an armored tank or a hut crusher.
Finally, there was the Lava Clan with Brontus, Plesior, and Stegus. This group’s stand-alone cavemen were Bull, Karn, and Vold the Voracious.
Brontus, the Brontosaurus, was introduced late into the line. This toy dwarfed the T-Rex toy, giving the Lava Clan a fighting chance. It came with Volc the Voracious. Brontus’ skull could function as an escape pod. Meanwhile, this toy could be rearranged into a fortress with a mobile attack vehicle or a street dragster.
Then, Plesior, the Plesiosaurus, came with Molt as its rider. It featured fins that could snap down on enemies. Kenner’s instructions showed how this toy could become either a capture fortress or a jail cell.
Finally, Stegus, the Stegosaurus, came with Org as his rider. Its tail activated the launching of this dinosaur’s plates. Stegus could become either a rambolt artillery launcher or a sleek charger.
Aside from the dinosaurs and action figures, Kenner also released a healthy range of action weapons. These toys could either function as stand-alone vehicles or attach to the bone constructions to create brand-new weapons.
There was the Hammer hook, which launched a tethered skull, and the Club Flinger that sent stone axes flying. There was also the Bola Bomber, a wheeled cart that slung a rock bola, and the Spear Slinger, a revolver car that fired three stone missiles. Finally, there was the Ram Bammer, which smashed forts and shot skull missiles, and the Tangle Trap, which launched a net at enemies. Notably, some of these weapons were reused for the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves toy line.
If the line had continued, Kenner would have released more bone creatures. They had shown previews of plans to add prehistoric mammals and reptiles. They even may have included insects.
Unlike the standard for toy lines in the 80s, Bone Age did not receive any assistance from either a comic book or a cartoon series. So, there was no lore to explain the battle between these three tribes. Even the toys gave scant details on the nature of the characters and their battle.
Despite the lack of marketing, Bone Age made an appearance as a Burger King toy line. These kids’ meal toys featured four different bone sets which could be mixed and matched. Both T-Rex and Deitron from the full line appeared here. However, there were also two new additions: Mastus the Mastodon and Fangra the Sabertooth Tiger.
Unfortunately, there have been no whispers of reviving the Bone Age in the modern age. However, it is possible that the recent Fossilizers from the Transformers toy line were inspired by these toys.
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