Dino-Riders was an awesome cartoon / toy franchise which existed from 1988-1990. In the same vein as Transformers and GI Joe, Dino Riders was the story of a conflict between the heroic Valorians, who waged war against the evil Rulon Empire. They accidentally traveled through time to ancient Earth, and shortly after they strap futuristic weapons onto the dinosaurs. In every episode they fight for control of the STEP energy crystal, and the Valoreans always won in true 80's cliche manner, with everyone managing to avoid injury despite the hundreds of lasers being shot in each battle.
The toys were excellently made, and many are prized by collectors. The dinosaurs were all highly detailed and came with weapons and either a Valorean or Rulon warrior. Some of the dinosaurs were even motorized, allowing them to walk! The most well known of the toys are likely the Diplotocus (which came with the Valorean leader Questar) and the T-Rex (which came with the Rulon leader Krulos).
Dino-Riders may not be as widely remembered as Transformers or GI Joe, but it still captured everything that was great (and stupid) about 1980's action cartoons and toys. Let us pray that it is one day revived, either as a movie or a new cartoon series.
Guy 1: "Hey, do you remember Dino-Riders?"
Guy 2: "Oh yeah, they were awesome! I have the T-Rex, and he still walks!"