The corps! were never a copy, they were a "for use with"
I mean if we want to get technical Then A Real American Hero copied Mego's O Ring construction from Mego's Micronauts, C.H.I.P.S , Dukes of Hazzard, as well as Tonka's Play People military line, Remco's Sgt. Rock ( which debuted before a real American hero). And flat out copied designs of the 1980-81 Mego Eagle Force artwork to create quick kick, storm shadow, the cobra trooper, wild bill, doc, and several other of its characters.
this whole GIJOE was first mentality is flawed. I'll tell you why, its simple G.I.JOE was merchandised through a cross platform method putting it on everything when a real american hero debuted in 1982. that's it.
So collectors think than anything else is a knock off. But gijoe 1982 was a knock off from the properties listed above. as the o ring construction was flat out ripped off from mego.
Now did the Corps! come after A Real American hero, YES.....but like so many mid 80's brands it was never made as a rip off, it was designed for use with.......Hows that saying go?...Knowing is half the battle!