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Saturday, May 26, 2012

#153 THE CORPS! – WAVE 1 (I) (1986)

From all G.I.Joe bootlegs that have been made, “the Corps!” are probably the ones which have had a larger lifespan and that have been sold most massively. The first units produced are from 1986, and as far as I am concerned, some repaints are still being produced (last “wave”, if we can call it so was produced in 2010 or 2011).

The first 18 figures (which will be presented in this and the next two blog entries, and which we will call “first wave”) were released in 1986 in the U.S.A. To Spain they would arrive some years later: in 1991 the first blisters packs were imported by El Corte Inglés. I don’t know exactly if this was the same for all department stores, but where I used to go with my mother, there were only blisters with 3 figures available, and they were sold for the same price (even a little less) than a single genuine Hasbro’s G.I.Joe. How could I let such an offer go? I bought all six packs at once.

The story behind this purchase remains unforgettable to me: A few days earlier, I had found a 5000 pesetas banknote (30 Eur) at the playground in school. There was nobody there except me, my mother and another teacher, I was very happy, and kept shouting: “Ha! I’ve found 5000 Pesetas!” (that was pretty dumb, but I was only 11). I gave the money to my mother, and in a visit to El Corte Inglés, she bought all the 6 packs plus a pair of trousers. Unfortunately, a few days after the purchase, the owner of the note appeared. It was another professor who had lost it; and during a conversation with the “witness” who was at the playground at the time, he came aware that it I had found the money. My mother had to return it, but I kept the figures.

Imagine what it would mean to receive so many figures at one time! I doubled (or even more) my figures in just one day, and played with them as if they were Hasbro’s figures. It would make a difference to me, and that’s why I still love these figures, and I have collected them. Some G.I.Joe collectors consider Lanards figures to be crap, maybe because they never had one as a child, or maybe just because elitism. 

In this and the next two entries, I will show and introduce the 18 figures in the first "the Corps!" wave. Here in the cardback are all 18 characters:

The first 6 figures in this wave are the following (Tactical Profile and Dossier is taken from the cardback of the figures, although there are several versions of each character) (Blister pictures are taken from a seller in

LARGE SARGE: One of my favorites ever, the figure with beard and cap reminds most people to some king of young Fidel Castro. Great colours, great accessories (exclusive for this figure, not assigned to any other Corp) and a great add-on to a figure collection, since there is no “original” G.I.Joe with this revolutionary image.
Tactical Profile: Hihgly skilled in all forms of combat, he enjoys using the latest high tech weapons and equipment. Perfected powerful close range anti-armor tactics.
Dossier: Former Marine Sergeant with global combat experience.

HAMMER: This figure is very similar to G.I.Joe’s Falcon, same colour scheme, same beret. A nice figure. Note that the backpack that came with this figure is similar/ a copy of the backpack that came with G.I.Joe’s Flint, even in the same colour.
Tactical Profile: Long range reconnaissance patrol and sniper mission specialist
Dossier: Former Army Ranger and expert marksman, he made his personal mission to combat terrorism in all its forms.

CROC: Surely you can recognise which model they took for this figure. No? Yes, he looks quite a lot like Crocodile Dundee with a moustache, and for this reason, it was a very cool figure to play with.
Tactical Profile: Responsible for long range scouting missions deep in hostile territory
Dossier: Born and raised in the Australian Outback. Has never lived indoors. Former Australian Special Forces scout.

TONY TANNER: Another figure with camo uniform, also one of the nicest in the first wave. The mortar he included is a great accessory, and the M-16 is one of the best weapons in Lanard’s Corps.
Tactical Profile: As an explosives expert he provides support in large scale demolition.
Dossier: Trained as an Army Engineer and as a Special Weapons Operative, he has a history of accomplishing even the most difficult mission.

FLASHFIRE: One of the two black soldiers in this collection, is in charge of the flamethrower. It has a great head sculpt, and came with a backpack that is copied from G.I.Joe’s Barbecue and the gun from G.I.Joe’s Torch.
Tactical Profile: Specializes in surgical combat techniques using advanced, fire based, close range weapons systems.
Dossier: Noted for his icy cool when the heat is on. Fearless and effective even when fully embroiled in fiery combat.

WHIPSAW: Also a cool figure, since it cames with the same great accessories as Tony Tanner had, and is only dressed with an harness. This lead me to think as a kid, that he should be a tough guy. I am looking for a figure to replace its arm and head, that are currently broken.
Tactical Profile: Ex-Marine Master Sergeant and Drill Instructor. Field Operative, specializing in developing new combat methods and skills.
Dossier: Team Leader of specialized anti-guerrilla units.

  • Toy Line: the Corps!
  • Year: 1986
  • Company: Lanard (Hong-Kong)
  • Size of the figure: 3 ½¨ or 8 cms.


  1. No debieron haber reutilizado el torso del buzo con Whipsaw, la ausencia de músculos siempre me ha radicalizado en esta figura.

  2. Thank you for writing this blog. Corps! were such great figures. I remember going on a family vacation as a kid and we ended up having to stay longer at a relatives than we intended, and so my folks bought me one of the big packages of Corps! figures. I was content for the rest of our vacation, and when we got home they fit seamlessly into my GI Joe collection. Before I had Cobra Commander, Destro or any of the Cobra leaders, Fox was the leader of the bad guys for several years, while Hammer was the leader of my GI Joe team!

    1. Hi Gordon Adair II,

      Many thanks for the comment, it was really nice to read your story, which is similar to mine. These figures are often neglected, because they are not the "real thing", but I always played with them and didn't really care if they were real American heroes or not.

      Also happy that somebody dared to comment here: my "the Corps!" entries are visited very often and even linked to other pages/message boards, but I received very few comments up to date, so 2xthanks to you!

      See you!

    2. thank so much for this information. Do you have some collector guide?

    3. Hola Norberto,

      Que yo sepa no hay ninguna guía oficial de esta línea de juguetes. Me he planteado escribir yo mismo una, pero es bastante trabajo y no tengo todas las figuras (me faltan muchas de las más recientes). Además es una línea un poco minoritaria, la guía no tendría mucho público.

      Si algún día la escribo, lo publicitaré en mi blog de manera adecuada.


  3. Not so much bootlegs as knock-offs. Bootlegs would copy intellectual property or molds. A few CORPS accessories are bootlegged from Hasbro, like Flashfire's pack and flamethrower. Hammer's smaller gun is Dusty's with the top handle removed.

    1. Quite right! I use "bootleg" and "knock-off" as synonyms, but I should take more care from now on.
      Thanks for the comment and the correction!

  4. I had a TON of GI Joes as a kid. Even the "holy grails" such as the Flagg, Defiant and Terrordome. I say this not to brag, but to reinforce the importance of these wonderful Corps figures. Even with all the officially licensed Joe product i had, i thouroughly enjoyed going to Kmart or Walmart and picking up Corps (and Remcos American Defense) figures and fully incorporating them into my Joe-Verse . From the mutipacks of figures to the wonderful vehicles, this line was completely compatible with Hasbros offerings. And just as fun! I'll admit, they were never made members of my actual Joe team. I kept several Corps (and American Defense) figures as part of their own team of specialized squad. Similar to the Oktober Guard i guess. On the same side as the Joes, but sort of a rival. Other Corps figures were used as either a seperate villain team (i had code named The Cabal) or as freelance or bounty hunter type evil for hire characters with no allegiance to any specific terror group. These Corps figures, and their brethren, expanded the possibilities of my Joe world beyond Hasbros scope and truly captivated my imagination. Thanks for this article and the memories it brought back. I'm currently in the process of rebuilding my Joe collection from my youth, and I'm seriously thinking i may need to track these guys down to compliment it again!

    1. Many thanks for this wonderful comment!

      I never had a great joe collection (maybe around 25 figures), but I had all Corps from the first wave. According to their looks, they were sent to fight for Cobra or for the joes, but I love the idea of being a separate group.

      We have to admit that they fit perfectly and are a great add-on to greater collections. I would definitely go for these figures again (at least all the v1's), if possible, with their accesories. Pay atention to all thumbs, they are easily broken.

      Tell me when you get them. I bet they'll bring you good memories, besides the Terrordrome and all the other stuff!

  5. I have Whipsaw's arm replacement but not the head the arm has been with me for a long time, I was hoping we could trade only if you have Dragon Han's right arm purple color.

    1. Hi, thanks for the offer! I already completed that figure (I had to search for an arm with exact colour, since there are several shades of skin) and finally, I replaced the complete figure.
      I´ll look for the arm you need, I am not sure if I may have a spare one.


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