The Dino Riders Torosaurus with Gunnur and Magnus is a 1/24th scale action figure set of a Triceratops dinosaur with battle armor and weapons. Manufactured by Tyco Toys, it was released in 1988 alongside a Dino Riders cartoon series which follows the adventures of the honorable humans and evil Rulon who do battle on a prehistoric earth.
With incredible artwork by Ken Smith, and a toy concept that reaches levels of cool we’ve never seen since, the Dino-Riders Torosaurus 1/24 scale motorized battle dinosaur is burnt into my nostalgic 80s kid mind despite never being lucky enough to own one.
Note: 1988 vs 1987, my current understanding is that while many Dino Riders toys are advertised on eBay as 1987 models, this is likely due to copyright / trademark registration dates shown on products and packaging (and likely when they were manufactured), but not when the toys themselves were released. Check out The Golden Age of Tyco for more detail on when landmark products like this were released.
Story and Animated TV Series
See our article on the Dino Riders Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Golden Age of Tyco for details, however Dino Riders toys followed the action packed adventures of the human Valorians and evil Rulons who were accidentally sent back to prehistoric earth due to a time travel accident. Making the best of their situation, the Rulon use their mind control technology to force the large carnivores such as the T-Rex to be their battle wagons, while the more honorable Valorians use their telekinetic powers on more gentle giants such as this Torosaurus / Triceratops.
Outfitted for combat, the combination of good guys vs bad guys, futuristic weapons, and dinosaurs (a huge cultural phenomenon at the time), Dino Riders was massively appealing to kids (especially boys) worldwide, and I can remember owning a few myself.
Features and Packaging Details
Billed as a scientifically accurate 1/24 Torosaurus Dinosaur (also known as the Triceratops), the core feature of this larger scale dino was its ‘Real Walking Action’ with Synchronized Head Movement. “This massive Dinosaur looks alive!”, requiring 1 x C and 1 x AA battery.
Like many of the best Tyco RC toys from the era, the largest Dino Riders units featured flip-open layouts with large viewing windows so you could see the toy in-store.
With the dinosaur plain and unassembled, this would give kids themselves the duty of taming the dino and equipping them with all the armor, weapons, and pilot required to take on the evil Rulon warriors! No doubt this also saved a bundle in manufacturing costs also.
The underside of the front panel provides alot more information on its details and capabilities, such as:
- Torosaurus head moves like a powerful battering ram!
- Fully articulated Gunnar and Magnus figures lead Torosaurus into battle.
- Heavily armored and studded with laser cannons.
- Fully accessorized and ready for battle!
- The twin rotating command centers activate Torosaurus’s powerful grappling hook and winch.
- For battle, the armor flips up! Flashing laser cannons fire!
- Nothing stops Torosaurus! REAL WALKING ACTION! With synchronized Head Movement.
- Massive legs crush anything that gets in its path!
Parts and Accessories List for 9141 Torosaurus with Gunnur and Magnus
I could have found a more pristine parts list here, but come on, tell me that isn’t exactly how you’d expect to see it! Glorious! (See pic below).
Quality and Realism
There’s no doubt that our expectations of an ‘authentic museum grade’ toy dinosaur has changed over the last 30 years along with the science on how dinosaurs actually looked and moved, however the quality of this toy still shines through and the level of detail is better than I’d expected. It grounds the concept in some kind of reality and served to make the fights in both the cartoon and your own living room all that more real, especially when coupled with the futuristic looking weapons and armor, it was brutal, high-tech, and battle ready.
Collectability and Availability
Torosaurus is widely available on eBay, though you may need to do some work to find or piece together a complete set. The average costs for a mostly complete boxed set in average condition seems to be around the $150-200 USD mark, and unboxed around $100 USD however these prices will vary wildly over time, and depending on the exact condition of the item. Mint in box sets (still used) appear to be closer to the $300 USD mark.
Whether you were a fan of Dino Riders as a kid or not, it’s hard not to see something special in these toys. And while the cartoon series and production run of the dinosaurs was relatively short lived (just 3-4 years), it clearly made an impression upon the cultural psyche, and continues to be valued until this day, more than 30 years later.