Riding high on the mutant mania from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Playmates introduced the Barnyard Commandos in 1989. This small toy line was designed by James Groman for the American Greetings Corporation. These simple soft, squeezable polyplastic figures had no articulation at all. With each figure only coming with a single weapon accessory that pegged into the figures, the battles between these commandos were left to the imagination. While most of the Commandos stood on four legs, some stood upright on two.
The Barnyard Commandos mutated after they came into contact with materials from an abandoned military experiment. Thanks to these radioactive materials, these animals became hyper-intelligent with a penchant for military tactics. They then split off into two groups: the R.A.M.S., Rebel Army of Miitary Sheep, and the P.O.R.K.S., Platoon of Rebel Killer Swine. As they battled it out for control of the barnyard, each group communicated with a special code language. The R.A.M.S. used “baa code” while the P.O.R.K.S. used “pork latin”.
Each toy was released on colorful card-backed packaging. On the back of each card was a small series of comic panels that told the backstory of the Barnyard Commandos. Near the bottom of the card was a small file card that provided the bio-information of the character.
Each package also held a special insert that provided even more information on the commandos. Depending on which side the character was aligned with, the insert gave a short brief that welcomed the reader to the team, even providing them with the logo and song for that unit. It also had a section that provided a codex to decode the team’s code language.
There were only two series of toys for the Barnyard Commandos with only 16 figures in total. While the first series concentrated on the figures, the second series expanded with a selection of four different vehicles. This brand even managed to make a brief appearance at Burger King as toys for their kids’ meals.
Like most toy lines in the 80s, Playmates attempted to link the Barnyard Commandos with a cartoon series. Produced by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson with IDDH from France doing the animation, the series was planned for 13 episodes. Unfortunately, the poor reception of the first four episodes led to the early cancelation of the series.
Despite the short run of the original Barnyard Commandos, the brand received a second chance when Megalopolis announced in 2020 that they planned to create a brand new series of toys under their Premium DNA banner. This toy line surfaced in 2022. Unlike the original series, the new toys had articulation and were made of hard plastics. These boxed action figures also came with a wide array of accessories. The other notable difference between the two toy lines was the size, with the new ones easily dwarfing the originals.
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How to use the Identification Tool to find your action figures and toy lines
Do you have an old-school G1 Transformers toy you are trying to identify? Don’t know the name? No problem! I’ll help you use this identification tool. For example, just type in “jet” in the figure name field and hit search. You’ll see all the Transformers G1 Toys that are jets. Maybe try “car” and select the color “blue” and a list of Transformers matching those results will appear. Maybe you don’t know what the finished vehicle will make, so try searching by “red” only. Did you forget to remove “car”? Now search just the color “red”. Perhaps you know the name, but can’t spell it try “Wheljck” instead of “Wheeljack” and all the Wheeljack characters are listed for you.
We have all the G1 Transformers list of characters in our database. You can search by Transformers name, as well as just line or subgroup. You can identify Transformers that are all red or all the figures that are orange. The Transformers toy list can even be sorted by package type. You can identify which came with a sticker sheet, or which came without instructions. Want to know all the 1984 Transformers toys and none of the others from 1985-1990? No problem, just select the release year from “1984” to “1984”. Perhaps you just want to know the list of G1 Transformers “Autobots”, or just the “Decepticons”, our ID tool can do that.
Mostly we made this so you could see if your action figures were missing some accessories or parts. So you can see that too.
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