Jet Skier (Lanard Toys)
What would you do if I said the words Lillian Vernon and Lanard toys in the same sentence? Would you stand up and walk out on me? Maybe you would quickly click the back button on your browser, and come back tomorrow for an actual GI Joe figure? That would be fine, but I think you’d be missing out.
In my collecting of Lanard’s flagship toyline, and frequent GI Joe imitator, I’ve sought out the figures that most strike my fancy in terms of oddness. I suppose I’m the same way with GI Joe, and many other toylines, but at times Lanard seems to be a bottomless pit of toy crazniess. Among the K-9 Corps, Blade Warriors, and phantasmagorically funky Space Cowboys, I thought I’d seen it all.
Then during a search online for more Lanard toy info, I happened upon a listing for a Lillian Vernon jet ski. Weird, but not unexpected, as Lanard had produced many toy vehicles over the years. It wasn’t until I did some more digging through the few Corps! related messages on various toy forums that I discovered a figure was part of the set, and exclusive at that.To find that a mail order catalog company sold toys back in the 80s-90s wasn’t all that surprising. To find that they sold an exclusive figure/vehicle combo was surprising.
The jet skier is a combination of the Chopper head and Shark body. The two disparate parts wouldn’t seem to fit together, but as this is the only helmeted CORPS! head that could pass muster as sporting headgear, it serves its purpose.
Sadly, I have yet to locate an original jet ski for the figure to ride. I hold out hope that I’ll discover one at the annual warehouse sale, or via an obscure auction. Until then, my jet skier mans one of the miniature jet sleds packaged with many a CORPS! figure back in the 80s. If I ever find one of the battery powered beauties as shown below (hopefully the one with the ginchy yellow and vac-metal finish), you know it’s going in the tub at least once during the kiddos’ bath night. You know, for research.