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Meet the Sea Dragons of OZ and the Yeti Crab

Meet the Sea Dragons of OZ and the Yeti Crab
OZ is shorthand for Australia, and not related to a Wizard


Join the Crime Wave

Bad Biker Kitties Are On The Prowl

Bad Biker Kitties Are On The Prowl
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Formula Juan Racer: Numero Uno!

Formula Juan Racer: Numero Uno!
A Real Wild Juan

Sunday, May 12, 2013

When Mechanical Dinosaurs Roamed The Land Before Time

Did you see that episode of Matt Groening's TV show "Futurama" called "A Clockwork Origin" and think the robot dinosaurs in that show would make cool toys?  I did.  Then I remembered that there were toys similar to them in the 1980s.

They were teeny, tiny Tomy toy Dinosaur robots from Japan.  They could be found in the United States in 1985.

Robo Strux were "Robot Monsters" that looked like a Triceratops (Brutox), a Stegosaurus (Gordox), a Pterodactyl (Radox) and a T-Rex (Terox).

Your children will love trying to take over the world with robotic dinosaurs.

Best slogan ever for Robo Strux, spoken by the kid in this ad: "Once I finish building Terox, the world will never be safe from robot fury again!"

Radox and Terox get into a fight and threaten to destroy your living room.

Terox looks like the offspring of Godzilla and one of the Transformers.

Tonka knew that kids loved robots and dinosaurs.  That's why the dinosaur-like ZOD joined the GoBots in 1984.

Look for Shia LaBeouf to star in Michael Bay's GoBots movie in 2020.

Tyco launched its armor-suited Dino-Riders toy line in 1988.  That was a big year for dinosaurs.

Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and animation director Don Bluth joined forces for Universal's 1988 animated feature "The Land Before Time."  This USA Today article mentions popular tie-ins at Pizza Hut and J.C. Penney.

The Land Before Time proved to be a massive hit, spawning what seems like dozens of sequels, essentially creating the Direct-To-Video market.

By 1997, The Land Before Time hit Burger King in the form of wind-up toy dinosaurs.

Universal's "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" was the big summer movie in 1997.  Rather than use that film for its Kid's Meal, Burger King chose to use the latest Land Before Time project.

In 2013, Burger King did release a Kids Meal tied to "Jurassic Park 3D."

Littlefoot is a wind up toy that walks and moves his tail and head.  Back in 1988, I think he would be called a brontosaurus, but I guess the term "brontosaurus" no longer exists, so now he'd be called an "apatosaurus."

Check out the offer from CompUSA.  Better act fast before the chain goes extinct!

The Land Before Time has been described as "Bambi with scales."

Littlefoot does have the same coloring as Bambi.  And the same eyelashes.  And both characters lost their moms onscreen, traumatizing many young children.

Wind-up Ducky does acrobatic tricks.

Ducky did not appear in the movie "Pretty in Pink."  That was Jon Cryer (from "Two and a Half Men") and the character he played was named "Duckie."

Ducky reminds me of Thumper from "Bambi."

I think this tiny character stole the movie.

Technically, the Petrie toy is not mechanical.  It is a squirt toy.

The instructions say "Use water only."  What else would a kid use?  Don't answer that.

Petrie also flaps his wings.

Petrie is famous for having very different and inconsistent color schemes in various forms of media.  For this toy, they decided to make him orange and tan.

Spike chows down on some leaves.

It would have been darkly funny, but inappropriate, to have a Sharptooth (the T-Rex from the first film) toy chowing down on another dinosaur.

Spike was a dinosaur of few words.  He just ate stuff.

As the Land Before Time franchise moved forward, many new dinosaur characters were added.

Like Sharptooth, Chomper is a T-Rex.  That is where the similarities end.

Chomper rolls forward and has some terrifying chomping action.

The Chomper character became a series regular in the Land Before Time animated TV show.

A plush Land Before Time dinosaur toy appears in Universal's 1999 movie "Mystery Men" starring Ben Stiller.

Tomy had another line of robots called "Starriors" in 1985.

This makes me think of "Truckasaurus" from "The Simpsons," another animated Matt Groening TV series.

For more dinosaur fun with Denver the Last Dinosaur, Dinersaurs cereal, cowboys, Snoopy and more, visit Knott's Berry Farm: Kingdom of the Dinosaurs.

Also, be sure to check out Jurassic Park: Carnotaurus And Chaos Effect.

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