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.

5 comments

  • Definitely one of the coolest KO-Joe’s I’ve seen. These Power Commandos are top-notch ascetically, IMHO.
    Thankx for posting, I’m always pleased to see the update emails pop into the inbox. Keep it comin’.

  • Never gives up his prey? How about “He feeds on dead things” ..that’s more like a Condor!

  • The figure’s arms look a little dull, but in the card art he’s got not-Viper arms, which would’ve spiced him up, and the not-TeleViper vest. In fact, that’s some pretty sweet art! The waist looks like a modified Eel’s waist, and the head might be a mod, too. I’m surprised his card didn’t mention how he uses his golden boots to crush his enemies.

  • James From Miami

    Is a laser rod the same thing as a lightsaber? Or is it something different? Anyway, the colors on this character’s uniform on the artwork on the cover, might look like the colors of the uniform of the 1990’s Firefly, but, to me the head of this figure reminds of the head of the 88 Shockwave. I’m just wondering if the head of this figure is smaller than the one of the 88 Shockwave. If so, it would sure make for an interesting Shockwave custom. And did anyone else noticed that the rifle that’s included with this figure, kind of looks like the weapon that was used by the Cobra troopers in the 1980’s G.I. Joe episodes? But, the barrel on it, looks like the one from the rifle of the 84 Baroness.

  • The card art looks like one of those 90s video games that you found in a mom and pop rental place or a non-chain arcade

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