Tuesday, May 29, 2012

#154 THE CORPS! – WAVE 1 (II) (1986)


How the Corps! came to my collection was already told in the last entry. In this entry, I will make a short introduction to Lanard, the company that made them, and to the series self.

Lanard Toys was founded in 1978 and based in Hong-Kong, although they have design centers in Europe and the U.S.A. Even if they were founded in 1978, almost nothing is known of this company before 1986, the year in which they started their production of “the Corps!” line. This line was previously known as “Gung-Ho!”, but due to a lawsuit fromHasbro in 1988, “Gung-Ho!” became “the Corps!”.

During many years, “the Corps!” was the only toy line available in their catalogue. I guess this line was very profitable, even after the disappearance of Hasbro’s G.I.Joe in 1994, because Lanard has developed itself to a big toy company, multiplying the number of toy lines, and improving the quality of their products.

There is unfortunately not much more information on the web about the company, I don’t know why. If you try searching information about them, you’ll come to two very polemic affaires. First is the trademark infringement claim from GM in 2006, and the second is the violation of a Hasbro patent in 2010.

The first affair had a great impact in the media, as Lanard was selling without authorisation a military vehicle which was very similar to the Humvee, even the words “Hyper-Humvee” appeared on the boxes. Lanard, however wasn’t sentenced for that but retired the vehicles for sale.

The second affair ended similarly, as Lanard was producing and selling an air-pistol similar to the ones produced by Nerf.

Something else I wanted to comment about the corps, is the packages in which they were sold. I have included the pictures of the carded figures so that you can see the original illustrations, which I think they are quite good. Note the halo of the figure in yellow, orange and red, very similar to the one used in Hasbro's G.I.Joe. It is also interesting to note that the figures were packed individually, in double packs or in triple packs. In further waves, there would be even more possibilities to buy packs of figures.

BENGALA: An Indian soldier! Extremely cool figure. Its turban and the beard, make it an unmissable figure! Very well chosen are the accessories: the backpack is a copy of Lowlight’s and the rifle is the optimal weapon to hunt elephants, or tigers or whatever. I also like quite a lot the colour scheme, in which the brown shirt gives it the aspect of a desert troop.
Tactical Profile: Desert and arid, low mountain survival and tactical expert.
Dossier: Third generation member of the Royal Bengal Lancers. Works best solo. Prefers advanced guard or scout positions.

BOOMERANG BILLY: This figure also has an Australian flavour, since it came with three boomerangs and a small backpack to carry them. The rifle is a modification of Lamprey’s and the colour scheme is also similar to a desert camo, ideal for the Asutralian Outback!
Tactical Profile: Commands all ground-to-air defense systems and remote electronic surveillance
Dossier: Former member of the Australian Armed Forces. Highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat and state-of-the-art weapons systems

JUNKYARD: The second Black soldier in the collection has a “guerrilla” outfit in grey, could also be intended as an urban troop. It is also one of the coolest figures for me that were ever made. The accessories are specially interesting, including a small rocket launcher and a backpack, copied from G.I.Joe’s Major Bludd.
Tactical Profile: Responsible for all field communications and combat navigation during operations.
Dossier: Trained in all modern weapons and communication systems, he developed new satellite based navigation equipment.

JOHN EAGLE: My favorite figure as a kid, I always though he was some kind of mountaineer, although it was maybe intended to be a sailor… The weapons do not match very much the figure, since they are not firearms… but I also loved to play the silent guy that attacked with his silent crossbow without being noticed, in a ninja style. Looking for two replacement arms with painted hands.
Tactical Profile: Trained in martial arts and a veteran of many long range reconnaissance missions. Former Special Forces Green Beret.
Dossier: A master of covert jungle operations. Leading mission strategist.

GUNNER O’GRADY: My second favorite figure as a kid is a tank driver, a little bit in the G.I.Joe’s Heavy Metal style. It came with a great UZI, and some futuristic rifle.
Tactical Profile: A brilliant tactician and former Army General he now plans and leads all large scale armoured missions.
Dossier: Field commander of heavy Armored Combat Units.

JONES: Definitely not between my favorites, It came with the same pilot jacket than the previous figure, a cowboy hut and strange sunglasses. I now think he was probably made after Wild Bill, and that he should be an aircraft pilot, but I am not sure at all. The black gun is similar to Dr. Mindbender’s and the grey pistol seem a little bit like Flint’s one, although it is clearly no copy.
Tactical Profile: Counter espionage and covert mission specialist. Head of Mission Intelligence Services.
Dossier: Former professor of archaeology and history, he first saw service in counter espionage operations.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: BENGALA, BOOMERANG BILLY, JUNKYARD, JOHN EAGLE, GUNNER O’GRADY and JONES
  • Toy Line: the Corps!
  • Year: 1986
  • Company: Lanard (Hong-Kong)
  • Size of the figure: 3 ½¨ or 8 cms.

4 comments:

  1. Gran post :) . Pues yo creo que Jones es una copia de Indiana Jones, no sólo el nombre, es tambiéna arqueologo y lleva sombrero. Para mí, parece demasiado un civil.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ostras, ¡es verdad!, no lo había pensado nunca, includo después de copiar el "dossier" con lo de la arqueología... no sé qué me ha podido despistar: las gafas, las armas de fuego,...

    Buen intento de Lanard, pero fallido en mi opinión.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replies
    1. Depending on where you live, I would suggest the usual auction and online sale sites: ebay, todocoleccion.net...
      If you want to have them complete (with accesories) they are more difficult to find, but with some patience everything arrives.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...