I liked dinosaurs as a kid. I bet you also liked dinosaurs as a kid. I remember having a Jurassic Park T-Rex toy and pretending to feed it my action figures. It is almost impossible to talk about animated dino shows like Dino-Riders without talking about toys. Many animated series were and still are long toy ads. The old dinosaur cartoon shows were not an exception. In any case, let’s talk about old prehistoric cartoon shows! This is the first part one of a two part series.
Dinosaucers is an exception to the rule. There were originally plans to release a Dinosaucers toyline, and prototype figures were produced. However, the line was scrapped after the show was cancelled. The show is now remembered mostly for it’s awesome theme song and intro.
Without hearing/understanding the actual dialogue, Dinosaucers episode 1 is really confusing. There is never a real background story apart from these few facts:
1. Dinosaucers hate Tyrannos
2. Tyrannos are stupid and have a ray gun that can make others stupid.
3. Dinosaucers can dinovolve.
4. Secret Scouts are stronger than the Planeteers
Dino-Riders (1988)Dino-Riders was produced to promote Tyco toys. Look at this picture. Tyco knew their stuff. Prehistoric creatures with lasers fighting each other is a cool concept for both toys and our imagination. Apparently, if you any of the Ice Age Adventures series of action figures, they are quite rare.
The Land Before Time (1988)
In 1988, the first Land Before Time movie was playing in movie theaters across the world. In this animated movie, dinosaurs were not portrayed as terrifying blood thirsty creatures. Littlefood and his gang are cute and friendly. As a result, normal parents began to approve of their children love for prehistoric birds/reptiles. Of course, nerdy fathers never disapproved of prehistoric fascination. In the wake of The Land Before Time, Denver, the Last Dinosaur and Dink, the Little Dinosaur profited from the world’s love of Land Before Time.
Denver, the Last Dinosaur (1988-1989)
The Land Before Time film explored issues of prejudice between the different species. Denver also spoke to the youth about race issues. It showed a group of interracial American teens hanging out with an a rad dinosaur named Denver for a entire 65 episodes. You can now watch Denver the Last Dinosaur on DVD.
Like all animated series, Denver had it’s own toys. The rocking dinosaur also as used to promote Knott’s Berry Farm Kingdom of the Dinosaurs attraction and Ralston-Purina’ cereal brand Dinersaurs. How many cartoons except for the Flinstones promote cereal brands?
Dink, the Little Dinosaur (1989-1991)
Dink, the Little Dinosaur is essentially a plagiary of The Land Before Time. Dink and Littlefoot are both baby brontosaurus. The main characters have cute Pteranodon sidekicks. They have friendly adventures. I just wish I could get a glimpse of their Factasaurus clips. The factasaurus (I assumed he is a dinosaur) would teach kids about dinosaurs.