Condor Strike (Power Commandos)
I don’t think any figure quite sums up the crazy possibilities (with maybe the exception of Lightning Mobutu) of what’s possible when a knock-off toy maker throws caution to the wind and goes all-out on a ridiculous concept. Witness Condor Strike, a baseball/-themed me-too corollary of 1980s GI Joe, produced years later in the 1990s. The most apt comparison I can draw would be the litany of Italian knock-off films produced after the success of the second Mad Max motion picture. It seems the more extreme the take off on the original, the sweeter the end product.
To some extent, the CORPS! and American Defense went this route, with Dreadnok analogues like Whispering Willlie and sports-related good guys like Slugger. I guess they figured if GI Joe had success with a concept, a competitor could just emulate what Hasbro was doing, and success would follow. Along the way, the creators put their own unique spin on things, amped up the crazy, and restraint wasn’t foremost in their minds. We are so much the richer for it.
Condor Strike is I believe the ultimate expression of a baseball-themed military operative. Guys like Hardball and Slugger can’t compete at this stratospheric level of high-concept toy design. Where other ballplayer/action heroes go for at least a jersey in their theme, Condor Strike eschews all but a simple cap among his festoonery. Even the file card foregoes mention of a baseball analogy. What is obviously a bat is referred to as a laser rod.
The figure, like the other Power Commandos, takes some of its cues from GI Joe parts, but the result is a more bloated, less crisp sculpt. Part Viper and Techno-Viper inspired, he doesn’t look nearly as badass as his card art. I do like the combo baseball cap and balaclava combo though. Reminds me of the 90s Firefly update.