Hot Wire (Lanard CORPS! Construction)
If there’s one thing that the GI Joe line has lacked, it’s civilians. What is a kid to do if he wants to populate his battle scenes with background characters? Where are the support personnel–you know, the police, bystanders and general onlookers? Nowhere in the official Hasbro offerings. Luckily, Lanard Toys came to the rescue with a couple series of regular (and non-military) Joes. One of those series was titled CORPS! Construction.
Based on the same o-ring design of the 1980s figures, the construction line offered up some nicely generic fellows who could easily populate the background of any number of dio scenes or display setups. This particular member of the crew, an electrician named Hot Wire, is clad in shorts and a simple t-shirt. These simple, nondescript outfits have often been a boon for vintage o-ring GI Joe customizers, as they have the kind of clothing options that GI Joe often didn’t present. I’ve seen used the shorts from this same mold used in several Kwinn customs.
As cool at the figure itself is, the accessories are equally impressive and useful. With a wheelbarrow, tool box, drill, saw and even a screwdriver, this is heaven for diorama builders. I’ve often said not to give Lanard’s offerings too shirt a shrift simply because of their perceived status as a GI Joe “me-too” product. They did turn out quite a few toys that were fun, and even useful alongside Hasbro’s Joe. You just need to keep an open mind.