Sensei Kabuto (Lanard CORPS!)

Lanard’s Corps! line, in the midst of aping Hasbro’s 1980s GI Joe offerings, introduced an assortment of figures that branched off in a unique direction. Among the alltogether military operatives came football players, a wrestler, a hockey player, a track star and a martial arts fighter. And you thought the Joe team’s addition of the Fridge was fanciful.

Sensei Kabuto, being a martial artist, is the one character in the assortment that doesn’t solely have a sports oriented background. His talents in a fighting art at least can be more reasonably applied to a military group than a guy who previously brandished a hockey stick or ran track.

The CORPS! sports series was also memorable for its unique weaponry. Kabuto’s armament of choice is a hand held fireball catapult. I’m sure you’ve all seen martial arts tournaments during which the contestants break out into battle with flaming versions of medieval weapons, right? Actually, the bio card mentions that the catapult is used to create a smokescreen. Hadn’t thought of that. Pretty impressive.

Par for the course with Lanard, many of the series’ molds were recolored and given inline skates for a later series titled Blade Warriors. I kid you not. That’s where my blue bedecked Kabuto originated. Unfortunately, I don’t have his skates.

The sports figures wouldn’t be the end of Lanard’s experimentation with broadening the scope of their Joe scale action figure product. In the 90s, medical and rescue toys would come to the forefront, as well as more offshoots, like space and adventure/exploration themes. They even put horse in space. God bless Lanard Toys.


  • Old CORPS were fun. Now days they can’t even maintain a standard articulation.

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    The dude’s head reminds me of Ram Man. If you hadn’t included the dossier photo, I would’ve never guessed that thing on his head was supposed to be protective head gear from boxing. And it’s cool he came with his own homemade wrestling championship belt.

  • Wow, this guy is just amazing. Rob, no lie, I love when you trot out the Corps! stuff. I love seeing the wackier side of toy-collecting from Joe’s most famous also-ran.

  • My Brothers wife is into martial arts. I must ask her if there is an event at the any of the championships which involves fireball catapult thingies.

  • You can’t fault Lanard for lack of enthusiasm. I like how they condensed the file cards and still gave you all you needed to know about each character to flesh ’em out as individuals. No wonder the brand has lasted so long.

  • Gotta love the Corps! I have the original version of this figure, as well as all of his sports buddies ( but I’d forgotten all about the Blade Warriors version. I’m sure I had all twelve Blade Warriors at one point, I wonder which box they’re in???

  • @Dekkard
    Where the blade warriors the ones that came with rollar blades? I used to have the motorcycle cop guy. I remember when i picked him up, my Mother couldnt stop laughing at him. At the the time i had no idea why.

    I used to pretend the “odder” looking corps guys [such as Sensai Kobutu here] were Dreadnoks as they werent millitary looking.
    On a simmilar note, I always thought Fox was a bad guy [cause he looked like a German]. It wasnt until i was 18 and saw the TV movie “Wheels of terror” [based on the Sven Hassel book of the same name] did i get the impression that maybe Fox was inspired by David Carradine portrayel of the lead antagonist in that]

  • Wow! This guy is even sillier than Hat Trick Lemonade!

  • @Skymate
    Yes, that’s right they had actual working rollerblades, unlike Hat-Trick Lemonde. There were 12 of them – 6 with blue colur schemes like this one and 6 with red schemes. I did have then all at one point and I remember I dug them out a few years ago to photograph for a collector in the US.

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