Hiro Yamato (Lanard CORPS!)

With all the ninja action that promises to take place soon in GI Joe Retaliation, and the plethora of ninja action figures soon to be on the pegs, I figured that covering Lanard’s CORPS! ninja would be appropriate. Like a few other figures from the line, I was initially confused about whether the guy was a hero or villain, and the bio information doesn’t clearly make him out to be a member of the CORPS! team or villain. I hate to beat a dead horse, but Lanard really could have benefited from having clearly delineated villains in the original series.

Not given a fantastical or mysterious code name, Hiro Yamato was always just out there publicly, using his real name. I can respect that, after all, I’m doing the same thing. Although I’m not a ninja. I am however part of a daring, highly trained special mission force. Okay okay, a podcast. The propensity for given names rather than code names among the CORPS! team is an element that sets it apart from other GI Joe wanna-be toy lines. Sure, the line aped Joe in a lot of ways, but it was also doing its own thing in a lot of areas.

This isn’t the first version of the figure, instead coming from the early 90’s, when the line eschewed military hues for the brighter colors of the day. Where have I seen that before? Hiro doesn’t fare too badly in the color respect, and this is one of my favorite repaints of the mold. There are a lot of versions to choose from for a collector, as I can recall seeing at least five different paint schemes over the years. The red mask is quite striking, and though I’m not sure what’s going on with the stripes (should camo be restricted to the center of one’s fatigues?) the figure as a whole has a bold and fun look. He’s not going to sneak up on anyone, unless maybe they’re in a teal wallpapered hallway, but sometimes a ninja just has to go for style points.



  • My favorite version of Hiro Yamato is the black suit with insignia. I believe Lanard was poising Hiro as their answer to Storm Shadow much as Dragon Han basically stood in for Quick Kick. (Hence the vagueness surrounding Hiro’s hero/villain status.)

  • I remeber showing this guy to my Grandmother in the supermarket back in the day in the hopes of her buying him for me. She didnt have her glasses on so she thought his name was ‘Tomatoa-head’. I was only seven so i couldnt read very well either. From then on, i called him ‘Tamatoa-head’ for many years

  • I like this guy, good colors & interesting camo. I like him even more as “Tomatoa-head!”

  • Come to think of it. none of my relatives called the C.O.R.P.S figures by their real names. Jones was “Indy’, Fox was “Rommel” [ha], the motor cycle cop was ‘That village person’ and for the past twelve years, my Dads been calling the Indian guard fellow ‘Osama’

  • Just bought this figure yesterday at a local comic shop! Is the crossbow his only accessory?

  • Only had a couple Corps figures growing up. I never tied Joes up to firecrackers, but this guy definitely was a victim of a bombing during my childhood.

  • Another ‘want to own’ figure from the Corps line for me…I like this version very much.

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