Gone are the days of ordinary plastic action figures: this year it’s all about the stomping, ground-shaking carnivores tearing up jungles and anyone who gets in their path - by this, we mean remote control dinosaurs!
Part robot, part deadly beast, remote control dinosaurs make a fascinating choice for science-minded youngsters. Not only providing plenty of fun, they’re great for teaching children valuable STEM skills like logic and problem solving to raise the next generation of leading innovators!
From futuristic designs to faithful replicas, the scope for play with these fearsome Jurassic creatures is a never-ending one. So, discover the ultimate roaring, havoc-causing models in our guide to the weird and wonderful dinosaur toys on the market today.
Are there dinosaur toys with special effects?
Of course! Following on from robots that were all the rage in 2019, the revival of remote control toys has brought with it a rediscovered love for our Jurassic friends - and this time they’re bigger, better and cooler than ever!
With that, there’s no better way to bring these prehistoric creatures to life than with some terrific special effects. From swishing tails to dance moves that’ll give Michael Jackson a run for his money, remote control dinosaurs deliver oodles of entertainment no matter your age.
For younger enthusiasts, a basic remote control or a simple on/off button ensures controlling their vertebrate pal is a straightforward affair with no fiddly keys to cause frustration. Dinosaur toys with more intricate designs are suited to older kids who will appreciate the multitude of functions available; animated flashing eyes, authentic roars and dynamic movements are just a few effects that will stimulate imaginative minds.
Remote control dinosaurs come with different special effects and some common ones you can expect to find include:
- Realistic sound effects (think roars, bellows and more)
- Flashing lights, particularly around the eyes for an additional fright factor!
- Various movements - from swinging tails, to stampeding, and head shakes
- Smoke effects that give the impression of a fire-breathing beast
deAO RC Intelligent Dinosaur Robot
Standing at 15cm tall with a sleek white exterior, the deAO RC Intelligent Dinosaur Robot makes a strong impression from the start - and one that gets cooler with every roar, movement and smoke effect!
That’s right: this revolutionary robotic dinosaur has the means to petrify even the bravest of paleontologists with its terrifying smoke-breathing abilities and angry flashing eyes.
To counterbalance its hair-curling characteristics, the dinosaur can throw some serious moves on the dancefloor, including a cool 360-degree spin that’ll provide plenty of laughs. Little ones will particularly love the demo mode that allows the dinosaur to show off its skills, while older kids will appreciate a more tailored experience with the programming mode.
Together with a remote control that showcases a selection of buttons, the comprehensive list of controls ensures kids will be kept entertained time and time again. Coming in at an entry-level price point, there’s a lot of fun to be had with every penny spent.
- Suitable for kids aged five years old and above
- Fill with water for a spectacular smoke effect
- 8m signal range between dinosaur and transmitter
- Parent-friendly price that won’t break the bank
- Remote control with 19 buttons for numerous functions and non-stop fun
- Requires lots of power with 6 AA 1.5v batteries (not included)
With its fiercely formidable appearance yet lovable nature (for a carnivore, at least!), the Sun Cling T-Rex has the power to simultaneously scare and delight - ensuring endless thrills for youngsters and big kids alike!
At 25cm in height, it’s one of the larger models on our list and with its flashing lights and booming dinosaur sounds, it makes a great contender for your little one’s toy box.
Operated with a simple on/off switch, it’s designed for younger dino enthusiasts who might find handling a remote control tricky. Simply turn it on and watch in awe as the dinosaur stomps around terrorising anything that gets in its way!
Roaring sound effects and flashing lights add to its predatory character, and parents can have additional peace of mind knowing the dinosaur’s body is crafted from non-toxic recyclable ABS plastic.
- Large design for maximum effect
- Simple on/off switch that’s easy to operate with little hands
- Runs on 3 AA batteries (not included)
- Remarkably realistic design to exhilarate youngsters
- Sturdy design to withstand energetic play
- No volume control for parents, so prepare with ear plugs!
Winner of the 2017 Independent Toy Awards, Dash the T-Rex brings some serious competition to the table - all thanks to its ability to transform from slick robot racer to jaw-dropping remote control dinosaur in an instant. Its awesome 2-in-1 design brings twice the fun and will keep youngsters on their toes!
A cool LCD screen allows your little one to customise the dino’s eyes, while the press of a button will encourage Dash to sprout off some fascinating dinosaur facts and fun phrases.This makes Dash a great RC dinosaur toy for little natural history fanatics who want to learn more about their prehistoric pals as they play.
Dash is operated with a remote control and buttons on its body to make it ultra-easy for young minds to master, and the controller is shaped to fit comfortably in little hands.
Designed to withstand enthusiastic play, its robust build is ideal for young children and means parents won’t have to worry about those occasional bumps and knocks to the toy. The dinosaur toy comes with demo batteries but it’s best to stock up with some more powerful ones to keep it going for longer.
- Perfect for 3 to 8-year-olds
- Delivers educational fun for inquisitive minds
- Includes demo batteries to get started straight away
- Interactive toy with lots of functions to keep them entertained for longer
- Innovative car-to-dino design ticks off two interests!
- Calls for lots of juice with 8 AA batteries
Inspired by the much-loved Jurassic World universe, the Destroy 'N Devour collection boasts a line-up of the most remorseless beasts known to populate the planet millions of years ago - including the ravenous, deadly Indominus Rex!
With its ability to bend down, pick up and feast on a scrumptious 3-inch action figure, this battery-operated dinosaur toy brings a new edge, and has the capability to terrify competition away with one alarming growl.
A ghostly white scaled body, beastly teeth and long, dagger-like claws lend to a particular menacing appearance that’s sure to thrill the bravest youngsters. Numerous buttons located on the dino’s body activate different special effects, including arm movements, slashing sounds and jaw chomping.
As part of its unique design, the Destroy 'N Devour Indominus Rex has an LED light housed in its throat that lights up the outline of a mini action figure upon being swallowed, though bear in mind that the human action figure will need to be purchased separately.
- Operated with buttons on the body rather than with a separate controller
- Part of a large Jurassic World range of toys
- Ideal for children aged 4 years old and above
- Can chomp down and swallow mini action figures for seriously realistic play!
- LED lights in the dino’s throat give it added fright appeal
- Fewer functions than remote control dinosaurs
Delivering quadruple the fun, this seriously impressive remote control dinosaur from deAO Toys showcases a trio of mini dinos to accompany the terrifying, carnivorous beast. With its ability to shake its head and flap its wings, the walking, roaring T-Rex is sure to be a hit amongst young dino enthusiasts.
The ferocious dinosaur measures 47 by 28 centimetres and comes complete with a matching remote control for your little one to steer their impressive new toy with.
With the ability to control its legs and head movements, it provides the perfect balance of attention-grabbing play without being too complicated for younger kids to use. Together with its realistic design, sounds and lights, it’s guaranteed to keep them entertained for hours on end.
You can even activate the fire-breathing effect by adding water through the lid on top of its head - a function that’s bound to excite youngsters!
- Breathes fire, roars, and walks with lights
- Includes a fossil-shaped remote control for easy navigation
- Ideal for mini paleontologists aged five and over
- Comes with additional figures and accessories for more dino fun!
- Easy to assemble so there’s no waiting around for playtime
- Stores only a small amount of water so will need refilling regularly
Delivering full terror in one cute, compact form, Rampage is a reptilious critter with an eerie toxic glow! Part of the adorable finger puppet-style collection from WowWee that has taken the toy world by storm, this dino’s petite size certainly doesn’t hold it back.
Your little one can tame their dino to have it nuzzle and purr in the most affectionate way, or unleash its wild side, complete with roars and radioactive effects that’ll scare anyone who comes within close proximity.
Showing off its ferocious nature in a pint-sized package, the tiny triceratops can snap its jaws, light up its belly and grip with its claws, cleverly reacting to touch, motion and sound by its owner. Blending charm with (gentle) ferociousness, its blinking eyes and cute factor will make it a favourite addition to their toy box.
Despite its minute dimensions, its glowing horns and ferocious greeting call when powered on makes Rampage just as terrifying as any dinosaur on this list!
- Clings to your youngster’s finger with its gripping claws
- Smart design that responds to touch
- Perfect for dino fans aged six years and above
- Unique pet-like design to pop on their finger and carry anywhere
- Lots of special effects packed into a small frame
- The tiny build with its small parts is not suitable for the very young ones
What about non-robotic dinosaurs?
Of course, if remote control dinosaurs are not to your youngster’s taste, there are plenty of alternatives to pick from. From sequinned stuffed dinosaurs with plenty of cuddle potential to scarily realistic action figures, these dinosaur toys don’t require a remote control to come to life!
Meet Tremor, the extremely huggable dino! A welcome option for youngsters who prefer their dinosaurs friendly and affectionate, this stuffed dinosaur makes a lovely alternative to the hair-raising designs of the prehistoric predators so often seen.
At 15cm tall, there’s plenty of Tremor to embrace, making it the perfect plush toy for bedtime cuddles and playtime alike.
Big glittery eyes give this dino an oh-so-sweet demeanor, while the reversible sequins on its body mean Tremor can cleverly change colour from a gorgeous turquoise shade to pink depending on the way it’s petted. Sparkly and plush, what’s not to love about this adorable addition to the Ty Flibbables collection?
- A friendly, sweet dinosaur toy for more sensitive children
- Gorgeous two-tone colourway in striking aqua and pink
- Suitable for little ones aged 3 and over
- Covered in beautiful sequins to catch the eye
- Comes with a delightful poem and a birthday like all TY plush toys
- A little tricky to keep clean with instructions to hand-wash the surface only
Highly detailed with a soft touch, this large foam rubber dino will make a brilliant addition to your youngster’s growing collection of dinosaur toys. A stuffed foam interior concealed in a durable rubber body makes it comfortable to handle with little hands, and the realistic colourway is sure to appeal to aspiring fossil scientists.
Featuring an impressive build of 36 to 40cm (depending on the exact model!), there’s plenty of potential for imaginative play. Whether your child will be building their own Jurassic jungle or incorporating the rubber dino into their existing toy box, the superb quality will ensure the fun continues for time to come.
With a range of impressive species to collect, will it be a ferocious T-Rex, the gigantic Brontosaurus or another imposing dino?
- A large, striking build of 36-40cm delivers more thrills
- Sturdy design that can withstand knocks, bumps and throws
- Recommended for ages 3 and above
- Jumbo sized for maximum impact
- Detailed, realistic design for science-minded dino fans
- Assorted designs means you don’t know which dinosaur you’ll land on
With its bright blue plush body, squishable face and calming nature, the Sleeptime Lites Blue Dinosaur is another friendly Jurassic creature on our list. A soft toy that cleverly projects rainbow-coloured lights, it’s the perfect cross between a plushie and a dinosaur with special effects.
Little ones will love having their very own pillow pet and the soothing glow that illuminates their room. Transforming your youngster’s ceiling into a starry night sky, it will make bedtime something to look forward to.
There’s a built-in timer that automatically switches off the toy after 20 minutes, allowing your little one plenty of time to drift off to the land of dreams. You can also set the speed at which the light show options change to adapt to the atmosphere: a gentle pace is ideal for getting your little one to sleep, while the faster mode will be perfect for playtime.
Creating a tranquil atmosphere perfect for dozing off in a peaceful slumber, it’ll be a favourite amongst children and parents alike!
- A soft plush toy with the ability to project lights
- Boasts 3 colour modes and adjustable light show options
- Crafted from BPA-free, phthalates-free materials
- Comforts and soothes little ones at bedtime
- Crafted from a soft chenille fabric for extra huggability!
- Can only be surface washed so best to keep away from messy playtime
Some final thoughts
With dinosaur toys aplenty, virtual toy shop shelves are filled with models to appeal to all personalities, ages and levels of bravery. Between highly detailed, realistic models, their contemporary counterparts, and even huggable dinos available, there’s no shortage of candidates to inspire a love for natural history.
While monstrous remote control dinosaurs naturally take centre stage, the new designs of non-battery operated dinosaur toys should not be overlooked. They offer more timid children the opportunity to carve out the kind of playtime that appeals to them and to use their imagination to the fullest.
Whichever type of dinosaur toy you opt for, you want to look out for a sturdy build (particularly important for younger hands that may not be used to handling toys with as much care as older children), age suitability, and, of course, an eye-catching design to spark interest.
Gigantic or miniscule, each dinosaur toy featured in this round-up has its own unique appeal and allows youngsters to create a dinosaur world to suit their style - whether it’s filled with hungry meat-eaters or amiable herbivores!