Animal Ambush: Dark Waters (Lanard CORPS!)
On the eve of the annual Lanard Toys sale, I thought it would be fun to delve into one of the many odd items I’ve picked up from sales past. Each year presents at least a few interesting deviations from the usual fare that shows up at Walmart. I’m hoping the pattern continues this year. Stay tuned this week to find out.
Dark Waters, part of the Animal Ambush series from one of the more recent CORPS! series, harks back to the Adventure Team days. If you were a 70s kid, you remember when Joe tangled with gorillas, buzzards, sharks, octopi and other denizens of the animal world. Though such a thing would probably be less favorably viewed now as an alternative to “war” toys in the more politically correct atmosphere of our time, the sets sure look like fun. These smaller, deluxe sized figure/playset combos are a low price point type of item that’s been sadly missing from GI Joe lines in recent years. Who knows, maybe Joe could get a shot in the arm if it ventured back into the globe-trotting adventurer theme. I’d certainly give it a look.
Lanard has paired figures with animal sidekicks/opponents several times in the past. The most famous probably being the Mountie and horse set (or maybe the Space Cowboys). In this set, Carlos “Gills” Perez tussles with a shark that has developed some of the strangest natural camouflage ever seen. At least, I think that’s camouflage. I suppose they’re meant to appear to be tigershark markings, but the pattern is only on one side. And what’s with the yellow dots? Very very odd. The bigger headscratcher is the underwater mine that’s painted the same way. Who’s blending in with what? The character’s thought bubble on the package sums up my thoughts perfectly.
Though I’m usually the type to open a toy and, you know–play with it–I can’t bring myself to break this set out of it’s cardboard and plastic prison. Underwater toys are quite difficult to photograph without building some kind of diorama, or at least hanging the diver from a line, so I’ve left them be in their nicely placed packaging display. It’s a very striking set anyway.