Thursday, May 31, 2012

#155 THE CORPS! – WAVE 1 (III) (1986)



In this entry I’d like to talk further about these figures. As you can see, the all have unique head sculpts, but arms, body and legs are repeated for different figures. There are only 8 types of body, 6 types of waist… for 18 figures, and this is probably the biggest flaw in this collection. It is true that with different colours and combinations it is difficult to notice that some parts in two different figures are actually the same, but if they had designed more body parts, they could have expanded the Corps universe much further.

In a second wave new figures were created, but surprisingly, these new parts were used only for the new figures, and not recombined with old parts to produce more new characters. I expect to show them here some other time soon.

Further waves had almost no new figures because Lanard decided to focus in new series, like the futuristic/space-themed S.T.A.R. line, or the Action Rescue line, specially after 9/11. These parts could also have been recombined to create new characters, but I guess the Corps line was not so successful as these other lines at the time.

The body parts are sometimes criticized due to the big size of their heads, but in my opinion, these are correctly casted, and have the proportional size to their bodies.

After the first wave of figures which I have show in the last three entries, the second wave 1990 was released with many repaints (also new figures, as said before) in very bright colours and flashy outfits. This is curious, since Hasbro didn’t create any bright coloured figure until 1991, so it cannot be said that Lanard copied Hasbro this time. In following waves (1996, 1999, 2001,…) the figures recovered more suitable colours for war and combat, and some of them were decorated using similar colours creating “teams”, but this is something I’d like to talk some other time.

To finish this series of articles, I’d like to say, that I am working in a visual guide of all Corps figures ever released. If you’re interested in helping me with this guide, please contact me. I still need some pictures. Thanks!

SHARK: The frogman is also a great figure, mostly because of its accessories and its grey suit. He really looks like a frogman. This is the only figure with specially designed legs, that simulate flippers.
Tactical Profile: Underwater exploration, surveillance and demolition
Dossier: Annapolis graduate and former Commander in the Navy SEAL’s. He has never had a mission fail, no matter how difficult.

FOX: Maybe my favorite figure today (not during my childhood) together with Bengala is Fox, some kind of nazi general, with a patch in the eye. Great colour scheme, an unmissable figure! There seems to be one variant of this figure with a different waist part.
Tactical Profile: Strategic mission planning and command. Excels at large scale, multi-force operations.
Dossier: Impeccable service record in High Command of NATO forces. Brilliantly directed operations combining land, sea and air power.

DRAGON HAN: A grey ninja, is quite difficult to see in this colour scheme, which by the way is very original, since it has two shades of grey. This figure has exclusive weapons, not used for any other figure. Unfortunately missing both finges, I am looking for two replacement arms with painted hands (Already found!).
Tactical Profile: Close range combat expert. Develops and practices devastating martial arts techniques.
Dossier: Served as advisor and martial arts instructor in the U.S. Armed Forces. He is a Grand Master in Taekwondo and Aikido.

HIRO YAMATO: The second ninja in the troop, this one is dressed in a black kimono, what makes it more likely to end in the team of the baddies. Also a great figure, came with a crossbow and quiver.
Tactical Profile: An expert covert operative. Specializes in silent reconnaissance and intelligence gathering.
Dossier: Member of an ancient and secret ninja clan. Trained since birth in all major martial arts, he lives by a fierce warrior code.

CROWBAR: The last two figures are two urban punks. They were also very likely to join Cobra (or most precisely the Dreadnocks). I love this figures in that criminal outfits, which I imagine to be made of leather and chains. Many spikes, and a cool helmet are the main features of this figure. That came with a small rocket launcher and a backpack that is copied from Major Bludd.
Tactical Profile: Reckless frontal attack
Dossier: Misspent youth as an enforcer in a inner-city gang. Very big, but not very bright. Strong sense of fair play. Sides with the underdog.

WHISPERING WILLIE: The second punk is made of exactly the same cast than Crowbar, but with another head sculpt. Also a great figure, he is so cool he has no trousers on. The weapons that were packed with this figure are the shotgun mentioned before (see Jones in the previous entry) and a triple-chainsaw, which is probably the most interesting weapon in the whole series. It is exclusive for this figure.
Tactical Profile: Does not understand tactics. His attack is always direct & overpowering.
Dossier: Brief formal military experience until he was discharged as too looney for service.

FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: SHARK, FOX, DRAGON HAN, HIRO YAMATO, CROWBAR and WHISPERING WILLIE
  • Toy Line: the Corps!
  • Year: 1986
  • Company: Lanard (Hong-Kong)
  • Size of the figure: 3 ½¨ or 8 cms.

6 comments:

  1. oh my god i love those toys!! had so many of the mwhen i was a kid...

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    1. Many thanks for the comment! I also played a lot with them as a kid, that's why I like them so much.

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  2. Great old toys! Not too easy to find carded these days. I have some great memories of these in the 1980's. I had a mix of CORPS and GIJOE, mostly CORPS because I think they were cheaper for Mum and Dad to buy.

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    1. Hi, many thanks for your comment! The same in my case, or maybe 50%-50%.

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  3. Great page! I wish you had it for the later CORPS! figures as well. Can you recommend one for the series 2 and on? We reference your page on our facebook page for CORPS! identification. https://www.facebook.com/groups/ActionFigureIdentification/

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    1. Hi Matt,

      Many thanks for your comment, I am very happy to see that the articles I write are being followed and shared by people like you. I'll take a look at that Facebook group. Maybe I should join too!

      So far I talked about series 1, 2 and 3. For some circumstances, I can only take pictures of my figures very rarely. My Corps! entries are the most popular in the whole blog, so I am willing to take more pictures and write more about them. Maybe in July or August I could present more figures. You'll have to wait a bit for new material.

      So far these are all links for the entries I have published:

      SERIES 1
      http://toysfromthepast.blogspot.com/2012/05/153-corps-wave-1-i-1986.html
      http://toysfromthepast.blogspot.com/2012/05/154-corps-wave-1-ii-1986.html
      http://toysfromthepast.blogspot.com/2012/05/155-corps-wave-1-iii-1986.html

      SERIES 2 and 3
      http://toysfromthepast.blogspot.com/2013/05/278-corps-waves-2-and-3-i-1990-and-1992.html
      http://toysfromthepast.blogspot.com/2013/05/279-corps-waves-2-and-3-ii-1990-and-1992.html
      http://toysfromthepast.blogspot.com/2013/05/280-corps-waves-2-and-3-iii-1990-and.html

      SERIES 3
      http://toysfromthepast.blogspot.com/2015/08/578-corps-wave-3-iv-brickwall-crusher.html
      http://toysfromthepast.blogspot.com/2015/08/579-corps-wave-3-v-lightning-mobutu.html

      In entries #278 and #279 I have spotted some things which are not 100% correct, and I need to revise everything. By the time I wrote the article I didn't know some key facts yet. The error lies in that some figures listed as Series 3 are actually series 2, and some figures from series 3 are missing, I will correct it asap.

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