Fans and collectors of the long running GI Joe figures by Hasbro will undoubtedly, during their time, have come across the well known knock-off line “The Corps” figures by Lanard Toys. It’s pointless in trying to deny it! We all had them infiltrating our collections at one time or another! They’re cheaper though less articulated and are more readily available on store shelves than Joes are currently here in Australia.
Though recently, Lanard re-branded the Corps line as The Corps Elite Vs The Curse, released a bunch of brand new vehicles, mega play sets and figures, introduced new characters with better articulation and launched a website featuring bios, artwork and mini comics. It’s a big and bold move for the company, but a smart one, especially in an age where its competitor in Hasbro’s GI Joe are becoming more and more scarce on toy shelves and collectors are screaming for more releases.
The biggest and best change to the line is the introduction of two female characters, never seen before within the Corps line. Somehow, over all these years, there has been zero female presence within the Corps line which, looking back, is rather odd considering Lanards influence of Hasbro’s Joe line which contains a strong female presence with characters like Scarlet, Lady Jaye, Baroness, Agent Helix…the list goes on.
That’s all changed now with ‘Snake Bite’ and ‘Puma’ permanently added to the roster and due to their popularity, could lead the way to even more gals to future Corps releases. Snake Bite, the red headed Aussie chick and Puma, the gun toting bad-girl brunette feature a brand new head sculpt each though share the same body, but also feature increased articulation on a Corps figure. The new figures offer 6 points of articulation from hinged knees, ball jointed hips, swivel mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, and a ball jointed head (standard Corps figures usually offer 4-5 points of articulation) which will keep the Joe fans happy. The paint apps are nice with Snake Bite’s funky side shaved red hair and green/grey camouflage and Puma’s brown pompadour pony-tail and red/brown uniform. The only miss is Snake Bite is missing her eye under her red fringe.
The brand new three figure packs also offer up a series of weapons (of which the girls have two throwing daggers, a pistol and crossbow each AND with added ports, these girls can hold all their weapons at once!) along with a motorcycle which, judging by the articulation needed to put the figure on, is made specifically for Puma and Snake Bite.
These new Corps figures have been floating around England and the USA for a few months now and have recently begun popping up in Target stores here in Australia oddly branded through Target’s budget Kids Space line (I say odd as Lanard’s website lists KMart as the official Aussie distributor for the line and Kmart confirmed to me that these figures aren’t releasing until Jan 2016) The price point for these figures are pretty neat also with the three pack selling at Target for $8 each (yep, $8 for three figures, a bunch of weapons and a vehicle!) and single carded figures for only $3 each – though, just like everywhere else, Puma and Snake Bite are not sold individually.
Where Hasbro’s effort with GI Joe being literally non existent on shelves anymore, Lanard’s newer offerings have arrived at the right time and with the right price point. Affordable, visual, fun and diverse! You can find the figure packs via Target Australia under their Kids Space budget toy line right now or as the official Corps Elite branding in Kmart Australia in Jan 2016.