25 Nights of Nineties Nostalgia: Bone Age

On Freeform Friday we find Kenner in a bit of weird spot. MASK had petered out and their other toy-lines were beginning to close. Desperate ideas were thrown around the room, and one such idea was a sequel series to MASK. For this toy-line, Kenner was going to take it back to the beginning, no not the beginning of MASK and VENOM or even the beginning of Kenner. They were taking kids back to the beginning of time with BONE AGE!!

Bone Age was a toy-line about cavemen who owned giant dinosaur skeletons that could turn into vehicles. Seriously, Kenner was either scraping the bottom of the idea barrel or were under-appreciated geniuses. Every kid fell in love with dinosaurs at some point in their life and having one that could turn into a car you could drive sounds like the greatest idea the Flintstones never had.

Yabba Dabba DON'T!
Yabba Dabba DON’T!

The best example would be Tritops, a triceratops skeleton that could become either a four-wheeled transport with capture claw or a missile firing wide-spread battle station clearly meant to run down a large amount of people at once. The relation to MASK was undeniable, as the cave guy that came with it even had a little bone helmet he could wear. Still, for a toy that started out as just a skeleton, it conveyed a great amount of personality. Having three separate modes was something not even Transformers pulled off well half the time, but every toy in Bone Age pulled off with flair.

It is nothing less than tragic that the Bone Age toy-line did not become a phenomenal hit. Sadly, the toys sold awful and fell into even worse obscurity than its predecessor, even though many would argue it was less deserving of that fate than MASK. If nothing else, the Bone Age line reminds us of how awesome and bonkers toys can be with enough imagination.

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Al Baldino is half bear, half owl-bear, which makes him some sort of terrible fraction no one wants to think about. He's a co-host on the Line Cutters every Wednesday at 7pm EST.