Thursday, July 26, 2012

REVIEW: The Corps! Rapid Assault Combat Copter

Produced by Lanard | Released Unknown

More from The Corps!
The Corps! line from Lanard is swiftly becoming my favorite guilty pleasure. And yes, I say ''guilty'' because when stacked-up against a GI Joe or other (more expensive) figure, these toys simply can't compete in terms of detail and complexity. Yet at the same time, there's a certain charm to these toys that makes them fun - albeit very toy-like - collectibles and the Rapid Assault Combat Copter is a prime example of this.

NOTE: The Rapid Assault Combat Copter is available in multiple colorways and with variant pilots. This version is the bronze/silver vehicle piloted by Fixer. From what I can gather though, color and figure-differences aside, they are all identical. 

The Rapid Assault Combat Copter - Fixer
Let's start by taking a closer look at the bundled pilot, Fixer.

As with all The Corps! figures, Fixer is not a vehicle-exclusive figure and is available as part of a three-figure multipack and as a stand alone, single carded figure. I assume that these versions include accessories and weapons, though, both of which are not present with the pilot version of the figure.

Sculpt and Design
As you can see from the images here, Fixer is rather uniquely proportioned. Essentially, his body is simply too short and his arms are too long. This seems to be a common trait of the earlier Corps! releases, with the more lifelike proportions of figures such as Bolder being introduced with the ''New Recruits'' figures.

As a result, Fixer does look somewhat odd and his proportions seem less Team Fortress 2 and more akin to some of the ''younger audience'' figures such as the Fisher Price DC Heroes or similar. If you dig that aesthetic then you'll probably like this toy but if you want GI Joe-style realism, look elsewhere.  The actual sculpt is fun, though, with some neat detail on his weapons and a nice ''chunky'' feel to the whole thing.

Again, it seems Lanard introduce some changes to the figures between their earlier releases and the later New Recruits, with the former featuring a minor difference in the head/neck articulation. Fixer's neck joint not only rotates laterally but also includes a slight forward/backward tilt not seen on Bolder. And although he sports the same T-crotch joints, his legs seem to be slightly more ''planted'' than Bolders, as you can see from the above images.

The Corps! figures are clearly not as poseable as some other figures of the same scale but they offer a lot more in terms of articulation than figures from such lines as Mattel's Young Justice and The Dark Knight Rises.

Fixer's color-scheme is unusual, to say the least. His grey coveralls are cool but then it seems Lanard contracted Hasbro's Neon Paint Syndrome and decided to apply day-glo green detail to his belt, holsters and webbing. It's not hideous but it's also slightly schizophrenic - there are instances, such as his holsters,  that are painted bright green but the app stops short and misses detail such as leg straps.

The actual app is acceptable-to-poor at best, with a few splodges and mis-applied blobs contributing to what was already a weak design.

Rapid Assault Combat Copter
With Fixer out of the way, let's look at the real meat of the deal, namely the Combat Copter.

Sculpt and Design
Let's get it straight from the off: this is not a realistic, lifelike toy but rather is reminiscent of the fantasy vehicles found in the Real American Hero line of toys (indeed, I think the designers may have been eyeing the Cobra Fang when they came up with this one.) Again, if you're looking for realism look elsewhere but if the idea of a Fang-like vehicle appeals to you then you'll certainly dig the Combat Copter.

The basic design is sound enough. There's ample space for Fixer in the cockpit, the rotors and tail blades spin with relative ease, the front-mounted double cannon has a solid pivot mount and the control stick even moves. Add to this detachable missiles and removable side ''wings'' and the overall package is surprisingly good. There's some nice additional detailing such as a front-mounted camera pod, an additional low-slung cannon and a pretty neat bit of engine detail to finish off the overall look. Of course, if you're expecting a lifelike vehicle then you'll probably scoff at this but as a quasi-fantasy Real American Hero-style vehicle there's a lot to be said for this toy.

As mentioned above, the rotors and tail blades spin, the twin cannon is mounted on a pivot (allowing for a fair range of movement) and the control stick can be moved.

The Combat Copter sports a limited paint app. The rotors are detailed with orange warning chevrons but the majority of the color comes instead from the pre-applied transfers. If you're tired of applying ''No Step'' decals then this will come as a relief.

The dull-bronze chassis is complimented by silver/grey detail on the rotors, landing struts and other accessories, with a rather bright yellow/gold plastic being used for the cockpit seat and engine components. It's a little bright but it's not so hideous as to be distracting. And let's face it, this isn't intended to be a hugely lifelike rendition of a real-world vehicle, so we can forgive it for straying a little into the realms of the garish.

Extras and Accessories
The set features a collectible ''dog tag'' of Fixer's details which - in reality - is no more than a laminated piece of card with a fastener attached. Fixer himself does not come with any accessories in this incarnation.

Final Thoughts
Fixer is a pretty average example of the older style of The Corps! figures. He's chunky and durable and clearly designed to not only be played with but also thrown over balconies, buried in the yard and dropped out of windows. And that's something he'd manage with ease. There's enough poseability to make him fun but not so much as to make him feel fragile and whilst he'll never compete with a figure like a GI Joe or even the Marvel Universe line, he's got enough articulation to allow you to have a lot of fun playing with him.

However, in all honesty Fixer is just an added extra. The Combat Copter is the real star here. And as I said above, if you're a fan of the Real American Hero-style of comicbook/cartoon vehicles, then you'll be right at home with this one.

The Combat Copter sports a lot of surprising detail. The chassis sculpt has a lot of detail (including air intakes, switches, display panels and more) and the moving parts and ''play features'' such as the cannons and missiles are well produced, from plastics that feel no cheaper than those seen with some of Hasbro's recent releases.

But if you're still not sold, then here's something that will, I'm sure, make your decision a little easier. The Rapid Assault Combat Copter - with Fixer - is just $6. For less than you'd pay for a GI Joe figure you can get your hands on this surprisingly fun, funky and yes, Joe-compatible mini-copter. And you'll even get a figure to pilot it too. If that's not enough to win you over then I really don't know what else I can add.

A cheap - but by no means cheap-feeling - vehicle that will provide a lot of nostalgia to collectors of vintage Joes but that also offers a lot of fun in its own right.

Final Score: B+

Image Gallery


  1. I like these in the same sort of guiolty nostalgic way as you do. I think they make up in 'fun' what they lack in quality. It's something much of the more recent Hasbro lines have overlooked.

    1. There is a certain kind of ''innocent charm'' to them that really makes you feel like you should be playing with them. And in all honesty although the paintwork is a little sloppy at times they feel no cheaper than some of the stuff Hasbro has released over the last few years (Captain America: TFA toys, I'm looking at you!)


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