John Eagle (Ultra CORPS!)
Lanard’s twelve inch Ultra CORPS! line filled a niche that the large scale GI Joe series wasn’t focused too heavily in at the time. Although the Joes were available as both real-world military and large scale versions of then current small figures, the execution of the scaled up little guys was lacking. With few exceptions, Hasbro had forgone full cloth outfits for a mix of clothing and molded plastic for the Real American Hero characters. Bummer. But Lanard was there to pick up the slack with a series of highly accessorized figures. For a budget line, they’re a real treat.
John Eagle makes for a great astronaut, if only for the imagery his name conjures. I always thought of the character as a de facto leader of the group, and this figure gives him a heroic look, although it doesn’t resemble his small counterpart. He’s usually been depicted wearing a watch cap, and he’s not known as a pilot. John Eagle’s original bio card set him up as a jungle and covert ops specialist. Maybe they thought Eagle made for a nice pilot name. It’s an odd choice, but I’m not going to argue with an astronaut figure that bears a resemblance to Chuck Heston’s Taylor.
It’s refreshing to get large scale space accessories that aren’t either from decades past or far-out science fiction material. I hope if the US Space Force becomes more than a punchline, they’ll consider outfitting them in such a fashion-forward manner as this, including the color-blocked white and blue rifle. Fabulous!