Sky Raptor (Lanard CORPS!)
As extensive a line as the CORPS! action figure series is, it’s no match for GI Joe in terms of vehicles and playsets. In just their first two years, the Joes and Cobras had amassed a force of tanks, artillery, aircraft and bases that was unmatched in the action figure aisle. Lanard’s initial vehicle offerings were a bit paltry by comparison. Thankfully, the company has more recently produced a range of interesting rides for its also-ran operatives.
The Sky Raptor has been notoriously hard to find. An odd occurrence, considering the usual Lanard vehicle releases seem to be fairly abundant, particularly at WalMart. I’ve never seen one at a store, and was only able to find this example at last year’s local annual Lanard sale.
The vehicle is unusual for a CORPS! product in that it is packaged in a closed rather than a window box. The box itself kind of touts this fact, making its need for assembly a selling point. That’s an interesting concept in this age of pre-assembled toys, and is a throwback to Hasbro’s old build-it-yourself practice of the 80s and 90s.
Once it’s together, the Sky Raptor is a bit bigger than the Cobra Firebat. It features two rotating engines, a one-man cockpit, several missiles, and a moveable chin gun. Stickers are closer to the paper style of Hasbro in the 90s, but they do add to the look of the vehicle. Having paint apps on the cockpit is impressive, especially for a budget toy. Older Joes fit easily inside, as the cockpit is designed for the newer style Lanard figures. I haven’t tried to fit a modern figure inside, but the seat looks roomy enough to accommodate.
Overall, it’s very light, but doesn’t seem breakable or cheaply made. The plastic has a softer, more flexible quality than most GI Joe vehicles. One minor gripe is the lack of landing gear. The Sky Raptor just basically lies flat on the ground, which doesn’t make for very inspiring display options. Then again, this is a toy designed first and foremost with kids in mind, and I’m sure, looking at the style of this aircraft, that little ones would be too busy flying it around the house to worry about landing.