Lanard has recently given their rather fun CORPS! action figure line a make-over. Now dubbed ''CORPS! vs Curse,'' the range has been expanded to not only include re-brands of existing figures but also introduces new characters and - coolest of all - new sculpts and vehicles. But they didn't stop there, as they've also launched a range of 6'' figures, dubbed the "Super Soldiers.'' Last week we looked at Slash (AKA ''Masked Guy'') and today it's the turn of ''Oculus.''
Let's begin with a look at the figure's sculpt.
Unlike Slash, Oculus uses what appears to be a completely new sculpt. Compare the two figures and you'll see that whilst he retains the same CGI/cartoon-like angularity, he's a much bulkier, chunkier-looking figure. From what I gather, it appears of the six available figures in this wave of Super Soldiers, four are based on the Dragon-Do body types and two are modeled in this chunkier, heavier style.
It's a matter of personal taste as to which is ''best.'' Personally I like both equally, as it adds variety to the line-up beyond simple color-, accessory- and head-swaps.
It's also worth noting the difference in the body proportions. Oculus' legs appear slightly short (that, or his torso is overly long) and it gives him a very different silhouette to the leaner Slash's. Again, it's a matter of taste as to which is better (if either) but it fits in with the slightly cartoon-ish look of the Super Soldier line.
The sculpt detailing is neat. I like the body armor and combat fatigues look and everything is rendered in the same, slightly angular style. There's a definite sense of character to Oculus, as conveyed by his curled lip and facial scars. I also like that his thigh includes a port into which his pistol can be slotted for storage. A holster would have been more lifelike, for sure, but this works just fine.
The articulation set-up is identical to that of Slash - that's a head ball joint, double-joint shoulders (both rotate and bend), twist-joint elbows, twist waist, ball-joint hips and single bend-joint knees. As Oculus is sporting a pistol, rather than a two-handed weapon, the articulation works a little better here and although I would have loved to have bend-joint elbows, I can live with the twist ones. It's also worth noting that this figure's joints are significantly tighter than those of Slash, although my Oculus' waist joint is still very loose, almost to the point of making me wonder if it's supposed to be some kind of Knock Out Punch Action! feature.
Paint - where it's used - is neatly applied. The head details are well defined and I like that his chest strap and belt are both painted, with the app continuing to the rear (sadly that's not the case for his camo, though...) I also like the Curse Death's Head on his shoulder pad and his tattoo. Talk about being dedicated to a cause!
And as mentioned above, Oculus comes with a pistol as his accessory. It's a neat-enough weapon, although it does more closely resemble a flare gun than a revolver. Maybe it's some kind of energy weapon or a single-barrel sawed-off shotgun. It fits well into either hand and can, as I stated earlier, be attached to his thigh/hip courtesy of a port-and-peg system.
I know a lot of collectors are really excited about the 4'' offerings Lanard has just unleashed - and with good reason, as the new sets, particularly the sets featuring the all-new female sculpts, are impressive. And that's a shame in one sense, as I feel the new Super Soldier line isn't receiving as much attention as it really deserves. Maybe it's because of the scale or the more angular/cartoon-ish rendering of the figures. Or maybe it's because people simply haven't found them in as many places as the 4'' figures. Either way, the Super Soldiers are a line that's definitely worth seeking out.
If you like the aesthetic of Hasbro's Marvel Mashers or have fond memories of GI Joe's Sigma Six line, then you're sure to enjoy the Super Soldiers. They look just so cool and although not everybody may like this new look, I'm personally a big fan and look forward to completing my collection very soon.
There's also just something so fun and tactile about the figure's scale and sculpt that makes them a pleasure to handle and pose and, if I were given to playing with my toys, I know these guys would survive a rigorous play session in any environment - both indoor or outdoor.
It's difficult to really sell the value-for-money angle without devaluing the actual figure, something I've always had trouble with when it comes to writing Reviews of Lanard's CORPS! figures but the truth is that these are first-and-foremost really great toys that kids will love playing with and older collectors will appreciate for their retro charm and cool aesthetic. The fact that they're selling for about $5 is the secondary reason as to why you should be buying them.
As for Oculus himself, he's a really fun figure. I like his slightly odd proportions and chunky, boxy feel. And sure, the elbow joints - and their lack of bend - are a little irksome and the waist joint is very loose but that's really not something to get too upset about, especially when you consider that this figure is retailing for less than half the price of the aforementioned Hasbro offerings...
Fun for all ages. And budgets.