Special Force Units (Lanard CORPS!)
The multi-pack figure concept has been a huge part of the Lanard CORPS! marketing strategy for most of its history. A cursory search for carded figures often turns up three packs, eight packs and even twenty-four packs. Yep, at one point, you could buy twenty-four CORPS! figures in one fell swoop. Amazing. The line continues to throw numerous repackagings at consumers, even in its modern Total Solider iteration.
Just a few years ago (2008 to be exact) this set showed up. Touted as a collectable vintage series, and a limited edition, this set also called attention to the figures’ whopping 18 points of articulation. At the time, the newer figure construction had been introduced as a replacement for the old o-ring style. A bummer, to be sure. Seeing old molds on the shelf was a welcome sight, and even more so to see a few of the interesting later o-ring CORPS! characters. Full Proof, Justin Case and Lars Laser are all here, although their names are a bit mixed up on the packaging. While most of the set are simply repaints, there is one newly created character, the mysterious Stryke. No explanation is given as to who he is, but since he and Gasman are pictured by themselves on the package’s back, I have to assume he (and the former good guy Gasman) is intended as a villain. He’s also painted with a goatee, so he definitely must be a baddie. I would certainly use him as such. Lanard has just never quite been able to create a solid enemy for the CORPS! Maybe that’s not their point, but the vintage line feels lacking in that area.
I hadn’t picked this item up on its original release, later spotting it (twice) at the annual Lanard Toy Sale in Missouri. It’s an interesting set, and its exclusive paint jobs make for a good pick-up for a CORPS! collector.