10 Best Dinosaur Toys in 2017

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dinosaur toys

Ever since Jurassic Park opened in cinemas worldwide in 1993, people have been fascinated by these prehistoric giants that it had spurred sequel after sequel of blockbuster films. From the aggressive marketing efforts of these movie franchises came a lot of toys, playthings, and souvenir items that have become iconic signatures of a bygone era that is slowly gaining popularity in modern consciousness. And if you think that the 93 Jurassic Park has long been overshadowed by its 2015 rendition, a 5th installment is already in the making and is expected to be released by 2018.

But long before the Jurassic Park started capturing our imagination, many kids have already grown in the company of dinosaurs, most notably Barney, B. J., and Baby Bop. Of course, who could ever forget the 1914 Gertie the Dinosaur or even the lovable dinosaurs of The Land Before Time, Little Foot, Cera, Petrie, Spike, and Ducky? In fact, many of today’s most loved children’s shows have dinosaur characters, proof that these veritable creatures are something that need to be admired, not feared.

To show our respect for these lovable creatures’ invaluable contribution to child growth and development, we are bringing to you the top 10 dinosaur toys you and your kids will surely love.

10 Dinosaur Toys Your Kids Will Love

1Tyrannosaurus Rex by Schleich 

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Age Range: 3 to 15 years old

If you want a realistic looking Tyrannosaurus Rex, then you simply have to get the toy dinosaur from Schleich. This very realistic replica of the most fearsome and most famous dinosaur of all time can help your kids expand their full imagination as they try to pretend roaming the jungles of the Jurassic Period in search of the T-Rex’s prey. Hand-painted with such realism, the Schleich T-Rex makes for a very interesting display piece. It’s made of high quality vinyl plastic.

What We Like about It – The sense of realism is extraordinary. This can help enhance the imaginative and make-believe play of children and can help strengthen their counterfactual reasoning and divergent problem solving skills. It is also ideal for encouraging creative thinking.

212-Piece Dinosaur Toy Figures by Kids Imaginative

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Age Range: At least 3 years old

With about a dozen very colorful and ultra-realistic dinosaurs, the 12-piece Dinosaur Toy Figures Play Set is a wonderful addition to any kids’ dino collection. It comes complete with a digital dino-themed coloring and activity book as well as printable dino flash cards. All the dino toys are made of BPA-free and lead-free plastic and includes a T-Rex, a stegosaur, a triceratops, a spinosaur, a pachycephalosaur, a ceratosaur, an apatosaur, a euolocephalus, a parasaurolophus, a styracosaur, a brachiosaur, and the famous velociraptor. All dino models range in size starting with 5 inches tall and can be as long as 7 inches.

What We Like about It – It’s ideal for encouraging children to enjoy their imaginative and pretend play with these dino animals. This can help enhance problem solving skills while expanding their vocabulary, language, and communication skills.

36-Piece The Good Dinosaur Figure Play Set by Disney

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Age Range: At least 4 years old

Let your kids relive the adventures of Arlo, the Apatosaurus, in the 2015 Disney Pixar films The Good Dinosaur. Let kids play the character of Arlo, Butch the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Thunderclap the pterodactyl, Forrest Woodbrush the styracosaurus, Bubbha the velociraptor, and Spot the human caveboy friend of Arlo. Guide Arlo and Spot as they move from one adventure to the next until Spot is finally reunited with his very own caveman family.

What We Like about It – It’s an excellent addition to any toy dinosaur collection. There are other characters in the movie adaptation. Unfortunately, Disney only managed to squeeze these 6 figures in their play set. Only time will tell if they will expand on the collection or not. Great holiday gift, too.

4T-Rex Dinosaur Plush by Melissa & Doug

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Age Range: 3 to 15 years old

Standing a full 27 inches tall and a full 32 inches long from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail, the T-Rex Dinosaur Plush is one of the best stuffed toys you can ever give to a kid who simply adores the venerable T-Rex. The plush toy is made of premium grade soft polyester fabric and is beautifully finished with the bright greenish-blue hue of the real T-Rex. It can conveniently stand on its 2 hind legs for display purposes. And when kids are done playing with it, they can simply turn it into a comfortable pillow to help them go to slumber land.

What We Like about It – The soft cushiony materials make it ideal as a sleeping aid especially for young children. It has a very colorful body which can help kids reinforce their color recognition. Also ideal for imaginative and make-believe play.

5Neat-Oh! 160 Dinosaur Collector Toy Box and Play Set by ZipBin

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Age Range: 3 to 8 years old

It’s a colorful dinosaur-themed toy organizer storage box and a play mat rolled into 1. That’s the most fitting description we can ever make about the Neat-Oh! 160 Dinosaur Collector Toy Box and Play Set. The storage bin comes with fully zippered sides so that it can be easily unfolded to become a Jurassic play mat. Zip it up and the play mat converts into a box which can accommodate up to an additional 100 toy dinosaur collection. It already includes animals, boats, action figures, and vehicles as well as other playthings for a complete kiddie adventure.

What We Like about It – It already comes as a toy box so that in itself is already a very big plus. Additionally, the idea that it can be converted into a playmat is something that is also extraordinary. At the very least, you don’t have to worry about buying a separate playmat.

(Hey! Like This Product? Then You May Also Want To Read: Best Toy Boxes For Kids)

6Tyrannosaurus Rex Dinosaur Toy by Colonel Pickles Novelties

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Age Range: At least 3 years old

Standing a full 5 inches tall and with an overall length of 12 inches from the tip of its nose down to the tip of its tail, the Tyrannosaurus Rex Dinosaur Toy is something that your kid will surely love displaying in his or her own toy cabinet. The jaws of the T-Rex is fully articulated giving it is signature menacing grin. The only thing that is missing from this ultra-realistic dinosaur is its patented roar. Nevertheless, that should be something that any kid can replicate with much enthusiasm.

What We Like about It – The toy is as real as it can get. Unfortunately, at only 5 inches tall, we surely would have loved it if it were at least 2 feet taller. Then it would be rightfully called the king of predators.

7Inflatable Brachiosaurus by Jet Creations, Inc.

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Age Range: At least 4 years of age

With a fully inflatable 27-inch tall body with a full 4-foot long body, the Inflatable Brachiosaurus is one of the largest toy dinos you will ever find in the market today. From the tip of its distinctly shaped head down to the tip of its blunt-end tail, this 48-inch long dinosaur is one of the most lovable herbivores among the many residents of Jurassic Park. Its body is beautifully hand-painted with the green with black stripes that have become one of the signature markings of such creatures.

What We Like about It – The size of the inflatable brachiosaurus is simply amazing, This is helpful in really encouraging imaginative and pretend play.

8The Good Dinosaur Arlo Exclusive 19 ½ Plush by Disney

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Age Range: At least 4 years old

Let your kids relive the adventures of Arlo, the Good Dinosaur with its 19 1/2 –inch plush replica of this famous 2015 Disney Pixar film. With its large bulobous head adorned with its signature polka-dotted nose and wide-eyed face, Arlo’s rounded polka-dot body with long and slender legs tipped with large bulbous feet can make for a really excellent companion for kids’ playtime activities or even during naptime.

What We Like about It – It’s made of super plush material making it highly comfortable for children’s naptime chores. It can also double as an excellent display stuffed toy.

9Chomplingz – Tiger Tail Interactive Dinosaur by Zoomer

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Age Range: 5 to 10 years old

If you have played Zombie Dash before, then you will surely be reminded of the characteristic big head of the zombies in the game with the Chomplingz – Tiger Tail. This is not your ordinary dinosaur as it can mimic the behavior of a playful dog chewing on its bone. It’s fast and it really runs after its own bone in pretty much the same way as you would expect your Mutt to run after its stick.

What We Like about It – It’s a unique take to the classic dog-catch-stick trick. The only difference is that it’s not a dog but a dinosaur shaped like a T-Rex. Just wait to unleash your kids’ imagination with this.

10Roboraptor X Dinosaur Robot by WowWee 

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Age Range: 8 to 15 years old

Want your kids to take full control of their own dinobot? Designed like the intelligent velociraptors, the Roboraptor X Dinosaur can be controlled by any iOS and Android device. It comes in 3 modes – cautious, playful, and hunter. Technically, it’s up to your kid to decide how he or she wants to take command of the Roboraptor. It features highly realistic and very fluid body movements including bi-pedal motion.

What We Like about It – Helps encourage imaginative play among kids while at the same time strengthening their problem solving skills. Clearly the dinosaur robot of the century.

How We Chose the Top Dinosaur Toys in Our List

Choosing the best and most popular dinosaur toys for kids is not really easy. Sure, everyone knows the T-Rex and the other species of the Jurassic and Cretaceous Period but we also had to look at other giant creatures like the brachiosaur, the triceratops, the brontosaur, and the pterodactyl, just to name a few. Of course, these are merely toys but we had to make sure that they are nevertheless developmentally appropriate for the age group that they are designed for. We then had to look at the toymaker’s reputation and credibility. If there are any indications of awards or certifications related to the design and manufacture of such toy dinosaurs, then we had to carefully consider that as well. Of course, we had to look closely at what other people are saying about these products. Overall, the whole process of identifying and scrutinizing each product took us quite a long time to complete. Nevertheless, we were able to accomplish it giving rise to our now famous top 10 dinosaur toys for children of all ages.

From Jurassic Park to Kids’ Imagination

Dinosaurs always have a very fearsome reputation. Some of their direct descendants still roam the planet in pretty much the same way as they once did. For example, the largest known lizard, the Komodo dragon, has a very terrifying character. However, you don’t even have to travel to Indonesia to know that the dinosaur’s most distant relative, the crocodiles, caymans, and alligators, all have equally fearsome reputation. These creatures strike fear in many of today’s children. Animal experts all agree that it is up to us to help educate children about these animals.

Enter the non-threatening environment of Barney and Friends, the Land Before Time, and Dinosaurs and our children today have a more or less positive experiences related to dinosaurs. Child developmental psychologists say that the toned down approach to learning about these prehistoric animals can be quite effective especially among children. The use of friendlier tones of voices plus the use of vivid colors can all help to project a more non-threatening nature of these animals. This allows kids to approach such living organisms with a much more open mind simply because they are no longer dictated by preconditioned fear.

Compared to adults who may think that dinosaurs are vicious man-eating creatures, the gentle nature of many toy dinosaurs present these animals to children in such a way that their imagination is brought to the fore. Sure T-Rex will still have its gnarly menacing razor-sharp teeth but these have all been subdued in such a way that they resemble the teeth found in ordinary human beings. If you don’t believe us, try imagining Barney, Baby Bop, or even B. J. complete with razor-sharp canines and lateral incisors. Do you think kids will learn to love them? The point is that many of today’s children’s dinosaur animation has clearly tamed the wild in these animals making them friendlier than a pitbull terrier or even a squirrel.

Playing with dinosaurs can have two very important benefits for children. First is the realization of the existence of prehistoric animals that once ruled the earth. All of these animals are no longer around for us to really appreciate them. The closest children will ever get to see a real-life dinosaur is by visiting one of those museums of natural history where they exhibit fossil remains of these ancient animals. Unfortunately, doing so will leave a lot of things to the imagination. The young mind will have to fill in the gaps and spaces with makeshift flesh and hardy leather-like skin complete with scales and other anatomic features. Now, of course, the second best thing is to really play with toy dinosaurs that mimic their sound as well as their movement. This helps children realize that these animals are essentially just like any other living organism. They will still require food and water and they need to have some form of protection against predators in the wild.

The second benefit is primarily focused on the use of children’s imagination. It is through imaginative and make-believe play that children can create their very own fantasy world where dinosaurs roamed the earth and that humans were merely another part of the larger ecosystem. They can start pretending to be Little Foot or even Dino from the Flintstones. It is in using their imagination that kids tend to begin appreciating causal relationships and the power of deductive reasoning and of establishing patterns of predictions. They begin to understand some of the unique characteristics of certain dinosaurs that make them ideal in certain ecosystems. This allows them to explore their creative and imaginative thinking.

When played with other children, toy dinosaurs can be a great conversation piece. Children can expand their vocabulary allowing them to better communicate their thoughts and feelings to fellow children as well as to their parents and other grownups. As they harness their language and communication skills, they begin to understand the importance of social interaction and how this can lead to improved self-confidence and self-esteem. In a way, it is through social interaction that children learn to appreciate their own happiness and sense of contentment.

The Bottom Line

There are many reasons why people look to toy dinosaurs for inspiration especially in terms of helping their children grow and develop to their optimum potential. From toy dinosaurs to lovable children’s dinosaur TV shows and computer games, these toned-down versions of ancient animals have become a major centerpiece in helping children grow healthier and more developmentally-attuned. With our list of the top 10 toy dinosaurs for children of all ages, we are confident that you, too will feel more empowered taking care of your kids.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!
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