The best dinosaur toy
If your kids would like to play with their very own prehistoric pals, it's time to buy them dinosaur toys. Dinosaur toys are one of the most diverse categories in the industry. While there are plenty of realistic iterations featuring ferocious teeth and claws, there are also a wide variety of friendly figurines and plushies. Basically, there's a dinosaur toy for every kid -- and many adults find themselves fascinated, too.
To find out more about dinosaur toys, check out our buying guide, which includes reviews of a few of our favorites at the end. Our top choice is Papo's Spinosaurus. This jurassic wonder is sure to inspire imaginative play with its fine, textured detail and action-ready stance.
Considerations when choosing dinosaur toys
There are dinosaur toys for kids of all ages, from infants through adolescents. As expected, dinosaurs "evolve" in terms of their features to be suitable for certain ages. Those geared toward toddlers, for example, have rounded edges and friendlier faces than more realistic dinosaur toys designed for 10-year-olds.
It's common for kids to gravitate toward certain types of dinosaurs or to pick a favorite one. This certainly helps to narrow your search for dinosaur toys, as you already know you're looking for a stegosaurus or pterodactyl. If your child would like to explore other dinosaurs, there are variety sets that come with a collection of different species.
Toy manufacturers take liberties when it comes to accuracy and detail in dinosaur toys. Even so, there are many toys that feature realistic detail and texture when it comes to skin, articulating parts, or scale sizing. Dinosaur toys geared toward older children, as well as educational models, often feature more accurate detail.
Popular types of dinosaur toys
Figurines: Dinosaur figurines are available in a broad range of sizes, from only a couple inches tall to those that are three feet long. More often than not, they're made with high-grade plastic or rubber and are durable enough for heavy play.
Interactive: If your kids are fascinated by snarls and roars, choose an interactive dinosaur toy. These vocal critters produce sounds when pressed, and there are even some that respond to voice commands. These toys sometimes come with a set of batteries. When it's time to replace them, you may need to access them through a panel that's screwed into place.
Plushies: Dinosaur plushies are popular for younger kids who wish to cuddle with them at naptime or bedtime; some can double as pillows. There are even plushie sets featuring a whole family of dinosaurs. These can have interactive elements including vocal sounds, music, or flashing lights.
Building toys: LEGO and Playmobil manufacture dinosaur-inspired sets. If your kid loves building as well as dinosaurs, these dinosaur toys are a home run. As they come with smaller parts and require some degree of independence for assembly, they're typically geared toward kids ages eight and above.
Dinosaur figurines and plushies start at $4 apiece and can cost as much as $50 for full-fledged sets. Interactive varieties and building sets cost anywhere from $10 to $60. Collectible dinosaur toys can cost $75 and above.
Q. How do I know if a dinosaur toy is educational?
A. Dinosaur toys geared toward classroom or educational use may be packaged differently than regular toys. They typically state how and why features and details are scientifically accurate, and they list the scientific names of the dinosaurs.
Q. How do I access the panel in my interactive dinosaur toy to change the batteries?
A. These panels are usually flush and have tiny screws to secure them, and a screwdriver that small may not be part of your regular toolbox. If the toy didn't come with a set of its own, invest in a set of eyeglass repair tools to open the panel.
Dinosaur toys we recommend
Best of the best: Papo's Spinosaurus
Our take: High marks for realistic detail and posing.
What we like: Open mouth showcases teeth. Made from high-quality hard plastic that holds up to rough play.
What we dislike: Expensive, and may appear a bit ferocious for younger kids.
Best bang for your buck: Boley's 5-Piece Jumbo Dinosaur Set
Our take: Budget-friendly variety pack featuring five popular dinosaurs.
What we like: Flexible yet durable plastic. 100 percent nontoxic and lead-free. Realistic coloring and texture.
What we dislike: No movable parts.
Our take: Combat-ready creature with several articulating parts.
What we like: True-to-film sculpting. Button-operated motion. Decent price considering the size of the toy.
What we dislike: Some clicking sounds with button operation.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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