Mirage (Lanard CORPS!)
So is this another instance of Hasbro losing the trademark to a previously used toy character name? Mirage has been the moniker of both an Autobot and a GI Joe. Now it’s also the name of a Lanard CORPS! agent.
I wasn’t initially impressed by the revised construction of these figures. Like their 80s predecessors, they aped what was going on at the time with GI Joe. In the early 2000s, that meant the t-crotch in place of the o-ring. While the construction wasn’t all that bad in terms of playabilty, some of the characters designs were a little uninspired. With later assortments, the toys’ look improved, if not their articulation. Also on the plus side for little ones (you know, kids who actually buy toys), the figures stand up to pretty rough play.
Mirage, a member of the martial arts oriented Shinobi Squad, looks equal parts Mortal Kombat and commando. The head sculpt is full of personality, and doesn’t directly mimic anyone in particular from the GI Joe mythos, although I can’t help but see some Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow in him. Overall, the sculpt style is cartoony, and while that direction may not work for the more straight-up military figures in the series, it suits the more fanciful figures well.
My favorite aspects of the figure come from the gear storage features. He’s got stowing points for his sword, throwing blade and knife. Other figures of recent vintage also incorporated these features, and it’s nice to see Lanard do something like this during a time when action figures seem to be trending toward simplified accessories.