The Dino Riders Commando series is a short series of figures sold in blisterpacks during wave 2 (in 1989). The blisterpack included one figure and several accesories/weapons, and both the figure and the accesories are based in new casts that are similar among them, but that were not available or reused for any other reference in the whole toyline.
They were made in shorter runs than the classic 2-packs (see #704) and are therefore much harder to find today. In addition to this, some of the accesories were really small and if you are a completist, like I am, you´ll have trouble finding all of them. Buying them MOSC is most of the times the only way to get them 100% complete.
- The Commando figures were:
- Astra, commander
- Bomba, munitions expert
- Kameelian, Infiltrator
- Glyde, paratrooper
- Faze, artillery expert
- Rok, mountain warfare expert
As you can see, they are quite "military". Their specialties are related to war and weapons, something which is difficult to fit in the Valorian´s background of pacifism. My guess here is that Tyco got this figures from another source and instead of marketing them as a separate toy-line, they decided to sell them as Dino-Riders. This has happened many times before, being the better known example the Meteorbs in the MotU toyline (see entry #580).
Despite being the same size, the Commando figures are somehow casted in a more detailed way, they have futuristic military outfits, the look more "human" than the original Valorians: one of them has sunglasses, another one a moustache, and a third one, a beard (which within the other figures only Mind-Zei has, not considering all the Ice-Age Cro-Magnons!).
The only figure from this subseries I currently own is Astra, as you can see in the pictures it is MOC, It is somehow the most impressive figure from all six, the one with the most elaborate uniform (he is the squad leader!)
The card depicts all 6 Commandos in action surrounded by a few dinosaurs. One of the commandos is seen riding a Valorian Deinonychus, while the Pteranodon and the T-Rex attack. The backcard is quite ordinary and shows all dinosaurs from wave 1 (including the Torosaurus) and the 6 Commando figures.
Note the retail price for this figure was 2.69 US$. Uhm, if I had know I would have bought hundred of these... And also a detail pic of the "1 Point" Proof of Purchase which, as in many other toylines, was used to access to special promotions.
FACTS and FIGURES:
- Name: COMMANDO ASTRA
- Toy Line: Dino-Riders (Wave 2)
- Year: 1989
- Company: Tyco (U.S.A.)
- Size of the figures: 2½’’ or 6,5 cm