Hiro Yamato (Lanard CORPS!)

If you’re not a fan of repurposed and repainted action figures, you would do well to avoid the 1990s CORPS! figures. This version of Hiro Yamato popped up sometime in the 1990s, along with others, like his fellow martial artist teammate Dragon Han. There were several rounds of repeated camo and other uniform decos in the years following the line’s debut in 1986, from simple green camo to a strange amoebic patterned grey and white. The partial yin/yang symbol on the jacket was an odd element of this particular variation, as it was featured on other non-martial arts figures like John Eagle.

I found this Hiro in a three pack a few years ago at the annual Lanard warehouse sale in the Kansas City area. The colors are interesting for a ninja, and the woodland camo is certainly a departure from the designs seen among most of the GI Joe ninjas. Nunchuk came close, with a green and black tiger stripe number, but this outfit is quite unique in comparison. I doubt that Lanard was trying to cop the look of the New York ninja’s PJs. The slightly lighter contrasting colors of the boots, gloves, jacket trim and especially the mask are my favorite touches of detail on the figure.


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