Following in the footsteps of 22-minute long toy commercials posing as cartoons (like Transformers or Jem and the Holograms) DreamWorks Animation and Netflix are about to release a new series called Dinotrux starring what could be the most toy-friendly characters ever devised: construction vehicles that are also somehow robotic dinosaurs.
It’s like if the creators of some of the greatest toy lines of the past 30 years got together in a room and spliced together all the best parts from their creations. They’d be left with a Frankenstein-like merchandising monster combining almost everything a kid could ever want in a toy—minus a built-in cookie dispenser. Just check out Netflix’s official trailer for the original series and you’ll understand:
Dinotrux will be available on Netflix starting tomorrow, but Mattel’s accompanying toyline isn’t actually going to be available until October 1 exclusive at Toys “R” Us. So it gives kids plenty of time to watch the series (again and again and again) and decide which characters are their favorite, and which they must have in toy form.
Leading the toy charge is the Mega Chompin’ Ty Rux, the show’s main t-rex-like protagonist, that includes battery-powered lights, sound effects, chomping jaws, and a swinging wrecking ball tail. Don’t let those tiny arms fool you, though, that tail probably isn’t going to tickle if a toddler hits you with it.
Following Ty Rux is a character called Garby, inspired by a stegosaurus, that also features sound effects and phrases from the show. But instead of buttons, Darby’s sounds are triggered by kids pushing the free-wheeling robot in different directions. It will also gobble up pieces of ore, and then send them flying back out its rear, in what is probably one of the more realistic dinosaur-like features.
All of the Dinotrux characters will also be available as a series of die-cast toys, reminiscent of Tonka trucks or construction toys from ERTL. They’ll feature limited articulation, but are 100 percent kid-powered so you don’t have to worry about a steady stream of annoying sound effects, or constantly having to feed them batteries.
Just make sure to explain to your kids before they head off to school that the real dinosaurs that roamed the earth millions of years ago didn’t have headlights, tank treads, or wrecking balls. The crushing news will be easier to hear from a parent than a teacher.