by: Jason Elizondo (robotGEEK)
Diamond Toymakers was a company founded in 1969 by Sid Diamond, who started the business by selling yo-yo's, then transitioning into stickers in the 80's, securing rights to hot properties such as Pac-Man, E.T. and Donkey Kong among others. They eventually created the famous "scratch and sniff" stickers that are still collectors items today. I don't know a whole lot about them, but at some point in either the early or mid 80's, they dipped into the action figure market, most notably securing rights to the Arnold Schwarzenegger hit Commando.
In 1985 they released a line of Commando toys and action figures which included a line of 6" figures including John Matrix (the rarest figure in the entire toyline), a 7.5" John Matrix figure and 2 different 16" John Matrix Super Action Figures. From what I can gather, both of these Super Action Figures are identical, with only the box being different; one red and yellow (pictured) and the other black and grey. Same company, same line, same figure, just different packaging.
I don't recall ever seeing these big bad boys in the toy store when I was a kid, but the one I do remember wasn't an action figure, but rather their Mega-Ultra-Super-Duper-Rare Commando Combat Vest Set, which included the vest, a grenade, knife and I.D. I remember seeing it at a toy store in my local mall back in '85 or '86 and begging my mom to get it for me. I wanted to be John Matrix for Halloween that year. Alas, my pleas were in vain. She didn't get it for me, but I've been on the hunt for that Combat Vest Set ever since so if anyone out there can help me out, please feel to contact me. It's my Holy Grail of 80's toys and the one thing I will never give up on trying to get. But moving on.
My obsessive toy collecting has pretty much stopped recently since I've gotten most of the toys I'd been after. But there are still a handful that I still need to get, most importantly the Commando Combat Vest Set (1985) from Diamond Toymakers. If you know of one, please let me know. I'm more of a casual toy hunter these days, only browsing for long-lost childhood toys from time to time. But I'll always be a kid at heart, and the hunt is always on.
Check out this great article I found about the Diamond Toymakers Commando line of produced and unproduced toys via The Arnold Fans website by clicking HERE.