Ethan “Spade” Crowne (2010 Corps!)

A Corps! figure? Really? Yes, what can I say–Ive been inspired by Joe knock-offs/wanna-bes lately.

Lanard’s Corps! (don’t forget the exclamation point) have been around since Joe’s heyday in the 80’s, and continue to be produced today. The series has always been kind of like a less refined cousin of Joe, and if you squint the old 80’s versions looked pretty similar. Corps! figures are almost always guaranteed to show up in older Joe lots at yard sales, secondhand stores and eBay. Discount stores have been their biggest supporter; in fact I can’t recall seeing Corps! merchandise in a store like Toys R Us, at least not since the 90’s.

When the Joe line’s style took a turn to a new direction in 2002, the Corps! followed suit. The o-ring construction gave way to a t-crotch (a horrible term if I’ve ever heard one) and continues to the standard for the line. In 2010, Lanard released several new molds, and have gone in an interesting direction with more specialized looks for the characters.

Spade is part of an air based sub-group in the line, called the Flying Force. The figure is remarkable for its stylish look, something that’s been missing from the Corps! line of late. The high-collared buttoned up waist jacket and eye patch lend the figure a dashing, roguish look befitting a pilot. Proportions tend toward the cartoonish, with broad shoulders, narrow waist and large hands, feet and heads. This newest series also has molded in holsters for knives and guns, a really nice touch for a budget line.

The figure certainly doesn’t fit into the modern Joe style as well as his Corps! predecessors blended with vintage Joes, but it’s an interesting figure none the less. It’s always nice to see a me-too series get creative from time to time.

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