1998 The Corps! Bio-Wing Battle Squadron Kash Kobra

1998 The Corps! Bio-Wing Battle Squadron Kash Kobra

Today we’re going to keep it simple and look at a fun, brightly colored toy. I’ll go over all of the basics about the figure and its accessories and provide plenty of photos. We’ll do it in that same gallery/quick review style I use for most small GI Joe vehicles.

So while you’ll probably learn everything you want to know about the toy, this won’t be a full review. I just don’t have it in me right now. But we can still have fun anyway.

Let’s take a look at the 1998 The Corps! Bio-Wing Battle Squadron Kash Kobra. He’s green and yellow and fun all over.

Kash Kobra is a member of the Corps! sub-line known as Bio-Wing Battle Squadron, released sometime around 1998. There were at least two series of repaints of this series, and I’m not 100% sure if this one is the first release or second release. I think it’s the first release, so let’s go with that. Feel free to correct me in the comments, though.

Bio-Wing Battle Squadron tells the story of an Earth ravaged by environmental and political disaster. Some intrepid, high-tech eco-terrorists make some cool jetpacks with a cybernetic interface and bristling with weapons. Since the CEOs who ruined the planet are all people with names and addresses, the Bio-Wing Battle Squadron is making house calls.

Our heroic eco-terrorists are all biophysicists who bonded their equipment and themselves with animal DNA. In our guy Kash Kobra’s case, we have to assume he is now approaching the area where Cobra Commander was after he inhaled those Lovecraftian spores in the movie. Kash Kobra was once a man, but now he’s something better.

Seriously, that’s the story for the toy line. Take a look at the packaging below if you don’t believe me. It’s absolutely brilliant. Great work, Lanard!

Unusually for Lanard, Kash Kobra was made with all new parts. He may share some pieces with his fellow BWBS members, but he doesn’t share parts with any prior Corps! or Star Force figures, which I assumed he might.

As far as I can tell, Kash Kobra is the only member of the BWBS to wear a fully-enclosed suit, meaning he’s more suitable as an astronaut or a space trooper than anyone else in the line. He also looks awesome. The snake motif for the helmet looks excellent and unlike anything I’ve seen on any other toy. The plastic isn’t haphazardly painted– it’s actually got a nice marbling effect, varying between neon green and bright yellow. Top that off with some black highlights for the suit’s hardware and some nice pops of blue, and you have one hell of a color scheme.

Despite being made of all new parts, everything isn’t perfect with Kash Kobra. Some points of articulation feel just a little bit loose or a little too tight. He also has an o-ring “pull” like you see on some older Hasbro comic pack GI Joe figures or new factory custom figures. Despite that, he still stands up and poses pretty easily. He’s maybe a little bit harder to deal with than an average Corps! figure, but not by too much.

He’s not perfect, but he is pretty good.

He also has a different build than most o-ring Lanard figures. The buck is not the same, nor are the proportions. He’s just slightly skinnier and taller than the average GI Joe or Corps! figure. He has a gaunt, gangly look to him. Maybe that’s a plus for someone flying a big jetpack around– you want the operator to be more sleek and weigh less than the average person.

Despite his differences, he still fits in with normal 3.75″ o-ring sci-fi military figures well enough.

As for accessories, Kash Kobra comes with plenty. Lanard really packed the figure’s bubble to the brim with brightly-colored baubles.

1998 The Corps! Bio-Wing Battle Squadron Kash Kobra comes with:

  • One yellow laser gun (similar to some Star Force weapons, but its own sculpt)
  • One yellow handheld scanner/toolkit/whatever you can imagine
  • Four yellow missiles
  • One large green, yellow, and black jetpack

The jetpack is obviously the star of the show, so let’s save it for last.

Kash Kobra’s hand grips are much more “open” than the average Corps! figure’s, and his accessories have thicker handles. He holds them just fine, as the more open grip makes wedging the accessories in quite easy. He holds everything securely and I don’t think there’s any danger of broken thumbs. I like both the gun and the scanner/toolkit. These two accessories can really represent anything you can think of, which makes them extra fun.

The jetpack is mostly one big, solid piece of plastic. The back/top side has a bunch of great technical details, most of which are picked out in either black or blue paint. There are guns, hatches, thrusters, refueling ports, and the required Corps! logos. It looks great. I especially love the front of the jetpack’s snake head motif.

When you look at the front/bottom, there’s not much detail. The same cool marbling technique you see on the figure is present on the jetpack, though, and that keeps it from looking too boring.

You plug the four missiles onto the front/bottom of the jetpack, which stay on quite securely, and then plug the figure’s back onto the vehicle. Then he’s ready to go. He stays on just fine and this toy is completely safe to whoosh around the house without fear.

1998 The Corps! Bio-Wing Battle Squadron Kash Kobra

There is one odd detail, though– the only moving part on the jetpack is the snake head area, which hinges upwards like a jet’s cockpit. I thought maybe the figure could stick his head through it when he’s looking ahead in flight mode, but his articulation doesn’t allow for it. I really have no idea what this feature is supposed to accomplish.

Here’s a look at how the figure and his Bio-Wing look when you put them together, as they’re meant to be.

The jetpack is also large enough to function as a figure stand. It stands up perfectly on its rear thrusters, even when you have the pilot plugged in. If you wanted to display it that way on a shelf it would not require any extra support. That’s kind of a cool feature.

Those are the basics on 1998 The Corps! Bio-Wing Battle Squadron Kash Kobra. Now let’s do a quick little review and see how compatible and comparable this toy is with/to GI Joe stuff.

1998 The Corps! Bio-Wing Battle Squadron Kash Kobra Quick Review

1998 The Corps! Bio-Wing Battle Squadron Kash Kobra

I find that the plastic on this toy is overall pretty nice. The Bio-Wing itself is sturdy and could probably survive being thrown at a wall or being sailed down the stairs. The missiles also attach securely enough that I wouldn’t worry about them falling off.

The figure attaches pretty well, too, but is only secured by a back peg. When I first saw the hinge at the toy’s snake head, I thought maybe it could fold down over the figure’s chest, which would be awesome. Sadly, though, he only has the back peg to connect him to the vehicle. Which is honestly good enough, even if I wanted a little bit more from it.

The figure itself is pretty good, but is maybe a bit underbaked compared to a normal Corps! figure. The details and coloration are very nice, and I love the sculpt. But the joints feel just a tad less robust than what we usually got from Lanard in the 80s and 90s. That might be due to the figure’s slighter build. I am glad that the thumbs don’t seem to be in any danger of breaking, though.

With any Corps! figure, a GI Joe comparison is inevitable. Kash Kobra’s Bio-Wing is similar in size to something like a Cobra CLAW or Jetpack, but has fewer moving parts than either of those toys. It’s pretty simple in comparison.

1998 The Corps! Bio-Wing Battle Squadron Kash Kobra

I was also hoping I could use the Bio-Wing with GI Joe figures– particularly Star Brigade stuff. Those otherwise excellent toys usually lacked proper backpacks and unique weapons, so I thought this might be a fun way to give them a little extra “oomph.”

Unfortunately, the Bio-Wing’s back peg is too big for a standard GI Joe figure. Which is extra sad because the colors match the 1993 mail-away General Hawk figure perfectly. And lord knows he could use a better jetpack. You could maybe get it to work with some poster tac or by using another method, but I didn’t try very hard. I was too bummed out that it didn’t work right away. The Dragon Fortress is Fickle Above All Else.

So how does this toy fit into a collection, then?

Well, if you want to play by the Bio-Wing Battle Squadron’s story, it’s pretty self-evident. The BWBS concept is a post-apocalypse edgelord fever dream, but I think it kind of rules. I only wish Lanard made some CEOs and politicians for Kash Kobra to terrorize.

Kash Kobra also makes for a good astronaut or space trooper figure, especially with his jetpack. He could also be an earthbound jetpack trooper, a diver, or a hazmat specialist. He has a cool design that lends itself to many different science fiction scenarios.

The Bio-Wing’s snake motif might make for a nice Cobra space vehicle or jetpack, too. I’m honestly not thinking too hard about how I might use this in a collection or how I see it working in a shared GI Joe/Corps! universe. It’s a good toy on its own merits and I absolutely love the look of it and the color scheme. For me, this is just a colorful space trooper with a jetpack. The space trooper’s name sounds like it could be a Limp Bizkit song, though, so some of the other spacemen make fun of him behind his back.

Overall: If you love The Corps!, like 3.75″ o-ring figures that do something different, or just like brightly-colored 90s toys, I can recommend this set. It’s a little hard to find and a little expensive, but it’s a cool piece to own. For the average GI Joe or Corps! enthusiast, this toy is only Mildly Recommended.

Closing Thoughts on 1998 The Corps! Bio-Wing Battle Squadron Kash Kobra

Thanks for joining me! I have the other five figures in this set, as well, and I’ll get to them at some point. I bought them from Black Major of all people, so thanks to him for hooking me up. They certainly fulfill my requirements for “weird neon toys” and that’s all I can ask for.

What’s your favorite oddball Lanard toy? What’s your favorite jetpack toy? Let me know in the comments!

12 thoughts on “1998 The Corps! Bio-Wing Battle Squadron Kash Kobra

  1. Man this thing is slick! The opening front part is super confusing; I’m trying to think of uses. Maybe it’s supposed to “bite” like a cobra? There aren’t any teeth, though. I’d probably find some way to use it.

    I kinda like how the figure thinner than most figures! Really runs with the snake angle. The whole sculpt is fantastic. I’m also surprised he holds on to the weapons well! I saw those hands and immediately assumed he wouldn’t be able to hold stuff. Glad I was wrong!

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  2. Corpscommandercody

    I really love these guys and wish I had at least one more- you know me, I love all things Lanard. Glad your story was better than mine- I opened a Max Manta and broke one thumb due to a large weapon grip and I broke the OTHER arm due to moving it. He is now safely glued together and not played with very much.

    Also your quick review was still rather in depth! I think it was quite alright.

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  3. I could be wrong about the timeline, but I believe yours is the second, repaint version of the figure, released around 2003. The first had orange belts and pads where yours is black. The repaint wave also had “Corps” logos and other stickers on the gliders to make them look fancy, whereas the originals were more plain.

    I have five of the originals (just missing Vlad Vandal v1) and all six of the repaints.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah the concept alone goes great with Eco Warriors. I think I’ll go into that more on the next one, as I think Kash Kobra is a better astronaut than he is an Eco Warrior, but the opposite is true for the rest of them.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for that, Josh! I was just going by the ‘1998’ date on the packaging, as sometimes that’s the best you can get with Lanard stuff. I’ll update the post here in a bit with your info. I appreciate the extra information and insight.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dracula

    I thought I knew about all the wild and wacky stuff Lanard released under the Corps! line through the 90s, but you continuously prove me wrong, and I’m glad of it. I did actually know about this one prior to reading this, as you know, but it was in fact you who first introduced me to them when you posted them on your Instagram a while back.

    The Biowing Battle Squadron are definitely the heroes we need right now, or at least the heroes I like to pretend we need. I feel pretty damn helpless in this bleak-ass world most days and the BWBS is the exact kind of fantasy that helps ease the pain a little bit. I thank them for it.

    And I thank Lanard for putting the name “Kash Kobra” on a package.

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  5. I don’t really recall any of the non-standard CORPS! figures from the late ’90’s. There were lots of desert figures, Star Force and Hummer/Tank gift sets. But, I missed all the other oddball items. Most likely because I never really paid much attention to the Corps besides being pissed they weren’t Joes.

    I doubt I’d have bought any as I was not a CORPS! fan at the time. But, I do wonder if my opinion would have changed had I come across some of these toys.

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  6. animatedtako

    Man those proportions really threw me off, I thought for sure he must’ve been taller and more Spy Troops like. I was pretty surprised to see the height comparison. That thin waist and long legs are so interesting, kinda ahead of the curve when you think about how Hasbro’s new sculpt efforts would go. It makes the Corps! switch to new sculpty T crotch figures kinda odd knowing they had already taken a stab at some modern feeling O-ring sculpts. Though, I’m sure the same cost savings Hasbro had in mind for ditching the O-rings in the first place was just as attractive to Lanard.

    Thanks for the look at this guy! I only ever saw these one time at what I’m pretty sure was Big Lots, which was weird to me because even then I mostly knew Corps! stuff from Walmart. It’s really surprising to me they were never reissued or repurposed beyond those two times, considering how long of a tail many Lanard molds had!

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      1. animatedtako

        Thanks! That’s awesome. This is a great site. Seeing those head shot illustrations unlocked a memory of looking at a card back and wondering who these other guys I never saw were!

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