I know very little about Lanard toys. I picked up a space 2-pack after college and the figures yellowed immediately, souring me on buying any more until this year. I had an eye on the Kong toys from 2017, but it was the Big City Brawl! Lizzie that caught my eye in late January. It was really big and super impressive in the box - it's a 22-inch mutant alligator for $15, with a 3 3/4-inch action figure. I don't know if you follow other toy lines, but that's bizarrely cheap. Hasbro's last monster in Star Wars was a potato-shaped Rathtarr with tentacles coming out of it, and that was about $20 with no action features. This set has a figure with more articulation and fancier monster paint for less money. It's significantly bigger, and while it's a less significant license it really made me reconsider looking at Lanard stuff. I also went out and got a clearance King Kong and am eyeballing the upcoming Dino Clash toys on online forums. What I'm saying it with Hasbro and Mattel failing to deliver toy action figures for kids, it seems Lanard upped their game significantly. Not only are they getting licenses, but The Four Horsemen are contributing sculpts on some of these things. Considering a couple of bucks can get you a couple of figures, I decided it was time to examine the part of Walmart's action figure aisle that I had generally ignored.
If you're a long-time G.I. Joe fan, you'll recognize the articulation being similar to the first wave of "new sculpt" figures with no O-Rings from the early 2000s. You get swivel hips and waist, rather than pivoting parts, and a grand total of 14 points of articulation. He stands, he sits, and he seems like he might fit in vehicles if I had yet bought any form Lanard. And I'm considering it - the figure has no accessories but looks like some sort of private military person to run around and stop a monster. Without a gun, I suspect he will not succeed.
The paint job is good, but not amazing. It's on par with other Hasbro 3 3/4-inch figures, although the paint on the microphone headset doesn't quite cover the entire device. Other than this, it's a great little action figure even if it's not perfection. It looks like a toy with big broad shoulders, but the overall construction is good enough that I would say it's better than the Owen we got for Jurassic World from Hasbro. It's not as good as their Joes or better articulated Star Wars designs, but it does feel significantly more like a toy. I don't feel that this is fragile or might break, which is also a plus. Also, out of the box it smells funny.
The reason I bought this figure was Lizzie - I saw it in Walmart, examined it, and said "I should get this." I came back a few days later, looked at it again, and said the same thing. And then I went back to buy it - and it was gone. The store was picked over. I went to another Walmart, which was also picked over. And another. The fourth had some left, so I'd say the reaction is positive so far.
The regular Lizzie looks like a decent average alligator figure that Lanard could probably reuse in the future. This mutant Lizzie is a beast for the ages, covered in spikes and a club tail. Big fangs and this gnarled face just looks amazing, with big curved tusks giving it a design I've never seen before. It's a radical departure from the lizard-meets-Godzilla design used in the video game series. It stands on four legs and measures a whopping 22-inches long.
You can flail the tail with your hand and pose the legs, but the real toy feature are its chomping jaws. There's a button behind the skull that activates an opening mouth and flapping "ears," a pair of frills that wiggle adorably. They're pink, matching the underbelly of the beast.
The paint job is stunning, with fades making the rubbery spikes and bizarre skin feel and look more lifelike than any $15 monster toy should. Unfortunately with the great sculpting and awesome deco comes bad gluing - you can see some adhesive that didn't dry quite right running in some of the seams. There's also a pin in the jaw of the beast that wasn't set right, although I can't be sure if it's only my sample or the norm. The glue issue could also be unique to mine, but hey - this is what I got.
The mouth can't actually eat a figure, but it is big enough to cram in the monster's face so he can pretend to bite down.
After some nice Skull Island toys and now Rampage, the world of action figures is Lanard's to lose. Other companies have increased costs to appeal to collectors while manufacturing labor makes even a cheap toy expensive. With an action figure and a creature in every set with decent pricing and articulation, but a little less deco and sculpts that would best be called appropriate for toys or unrealistic, Lanard may be on to something. Hasbro's G.I. Joe line got a massive price increase with its movies, turning people away. Lanard's The Corps line has multiple sets with figures hovering around $2, give or take. They may lack the deco and refined, crisp figures but they look decent and they're cheap. This is the kind of company you wish would try Indiana Jones or pretty much any one-season wonder toy line tie-in for a movie just to see what they do. With a creature that seems as good as almost anything as you might see out of a major toy company and an action figure that's better than average, it almost pains me to say I want to buy more of this stuff. Bring on Dino Clash, I'll happily try some if they hit American shores. Until then, try one or two of these. I think you'll enjoy them.
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