John Eagle (2003 Lanard CORPS!)
Lanard’s Corps! line didn’t really follow the typical 80’s good guys vs bad guys logic of action figure lines like GI Joe. Because there weren’t media offshoots like a comic or cartoon, and the mythos wasn’t as strongly portrayed on the packaging, kids were left to interpret how these guys related to one another.
Whenever I saw Corps! figures in the stores as a kid, I thought John Eagle looked like the leader. Maybe it was the card art, but he sure looked to be the in-command type, even though his garb was of a commando type, with dark sweater and knit cap.
Most of the Corps! personalities of the 80’s made the transition to the redesigned 2000’s line. John Eagle was reworked a bit, looking younger but also retaining his commando style with signature cap. These days, he’s also equipped with more communications tech and climbing gear as well.
This version of the figure was part of the Sniper Scout series, a slightly higher price point single figure assortment that included snap-on camouflage pieces. When placed on the figure, they made a sort of ghille suit. This was around the same time as the GI Joe Spy Troops era, in which many figures came equipped with cloth camouflage suits. I’m not sure which came first, but it is interesting to note.
The camo look is effective, and I like the play value of snap-on bits more than a simple cheap green cloth poncho. I’m glad to see a me-too series like the Corps! continue break out and find its own originality. That’s actually been happening since the line’s beginnings, and I hope it continues.