• The only Night Force members I have (gotten via flea markets) are Sneak Peek, Outback, and Lightfoot. Except for Sneak Peek, they just need some new parts.

  • Growing up, these ads tortured me because I would see them in the newspaper, but the closest TRU was 40 minutes away and we NEVER went to that town to shop. It still disappoints the 11-year-old version of me.

  • Make sure to have classic style bills. Any of the current offset or colored bills will get you looked at as funny as if you pulled out a $2 bill then or now. Though shouldn’t any currency issued by the government be valid at any time? Ah the issues of time travel and the law. Or is it a case like ex post facto (ex pre facto?)? TRU & Child World/Children’s Palace ususally had the best prices while Kay-Bee Toys gouged like crazy. That legacy can be seen on price tags of stuff on ebay. Some TFs they sold were $3-4 more than what TRU, CW/CP sold it for.

    Anyway, the funny thing is now a TRU exclusive would be big and prominent and widely seen but at the time? It was a recipe to being obscure and widely overlooked. How the toy-selling store landscape has changed over the years. The legacy can be seen on price tags on cardbacks, boxes (including with Transformers). So many smaller chains that are long gone.

    Random fact that I just recalled. During most of the time the Defiant Space Shuttle Complex was out, US space shuttle flights were prohibited. After the Challenger disaster in January 1986, the next space shuttle flight was 9/29/88. Just as with the Columbia disaster resulting in no flights from 2003-05, over 86-88, NASA was figuring out what went wrong and trying to make sure it wouldn’t be repeated on future launches. Only during the last 4 or so months of the 2 year sale window (actually, it seems larger vehicles came out closer to the fall time so it would’ve been 1 1/3- 1 1/2 years more accurately) were there space shuttle flights while it was on the shelves. The Crusader Space Shuttle (1989-90) didn’t have this issue. Funny part is Transformers had a similar timing issue, of many space shuttle figures being out when there were no space shuttle flights. Sky Lynx & the Combaticon Blast Off were shuttles and were sold from 1986-87, never once having a space shuttle flight during their sales window. Triple Changer Astrotrain, sold from 1985-86 did coincide with space shuttle flights during half his sales window.
    /end- random history lesson

  • Holy bollocks, I never new those Night Force vehicles were that cheap originally! Yeah, I never knew about Toys ‘R’ Us stuff because the only one I knew of was near my grandparents’ house in the Chicago area. I think one finally moved in about an hour away from me when I was in middle school, but it was long after Joe was done. I never knew that the Night Force stuff had printed ads to go with it. Most Joe fans I recall talking about finding them back in the day just found them kind of randomly on the pegs at their Toys ‘R’ Us with no real fanfare. Neat piece of Joe ad history, Rob.

  • Where i lived as a child, the nearest T.R.U was two hours away [in Belconan, Canbaerra]. This add makes me nostalgic for when T.R.U actually had decent stock. My last trip to one [in Febuarry this year], i was so underwhelmed at the lack of stock and variety, i couldnt see how they were even turning a prophit. 98% of the boys toys were Jabba the Hutts fat dancer [from 2008] and Fin Mcmissile from Cars 2 [2011]

    As for space shuttles, Astrotrain was also released inbetween 1989 and 1992 as part of the Australasian releases but i’m unsure if there were any launches than. Oh and when Jetfire was released in early ’03 as part of armada [he was also a spaceshuttle] the release date down here was on the same day as the disaster. I immediatly rushed out and bought him as i thought he would be recalled

    As for time travel, think about it. We’d all be bumping into our younger selves and buying all the stock, thus our younger selves may never be introduced to the brand. We need the Masters time paradox machines.

  • Those prices are heartbreaking. Thirty bucks for a WHALE? Twelve bucks for a Maggot? Repaints, yeah, but they seem so affordable now. Of course, if I’d asked my dad for ’em back in the day he would have bitch slapped me into next Tuesday.

    You never know what you have until it’s gone.

  • Sometimes old toy catalogs can drive you crazy! Keep in mind, though, with inflation that $30 Night Striker is equivalent to $60 today. That seems appropriate, since the Eaglehawk cost around $43 last year. $5.99 (or $12 today) for two figures is still a nice deal. And what’s with the SHARC torpedo on the Night Blaster’s laser cannon?

  • @ Skymate
    Yeah, safe to say there were some launches then. I meant their original, primary market release (which would be the US & Japan), though only the US & Russia had space shuttles (their Buran only made one flight. In late 1988 IIRC).

  • @Little boa
    Thanks for the link. I had no idea there were so many launches. I dont know much about space travel anyway. Most of my knowledge comes from Deep space Homer so i’m unusre how releiable that is

  • The Challenger blew up on my birthday 1/28/86. I was home from school that day, talking to a classmate while it was on TV. Only later did I realize it exploded. @Acer. E-mail me your addy for that NF Psyche-Out.

  • Didn’t live close to a Toys R Us either (nearest was 100+ miles away). First saw Night Force on vacation. The only Night Force vehicle I bought was the Night Raider, second weakest of them all (the Sharc sucks because it was only designed for that Deep Six figure). So years later I lived closer to TRU’s so I had no excuse other than money. People harp on Night Force’s rarity, compared to mass retail releases sure, but every TRU had a lot of these in stock back then, especially compared to their exclusives of the past 15 years. I’ve felt it’s an overrated team, one that had it been mass released wouldn’t have the fan hype that it does.

    The ads make the orange parts less obnoxious than they were, at least on the Night Raider. They were significantly brighter.

  • Looking at the data I compiled from Yo Joe.com, the Night Force figures, in terms of their abundance are less common than recall Roadblock from 1992 and fit in with the lower half of Battle Corps figures from 1993 on that metric.

  • Wow, I actually remember that ad from when my 11 or 12 year old self was getting these toys. I had a Toys R Us nearby. I don’t remember if it was a birthday or Christmas, but I did get all of the Night Force figures, but no vehicles.

    I remember individual Joe figures being about $3.50, maybe, and there were a few special occasions where as a reward I could go pick out a figure. Good times. 🙂

  • Inflation or not, still good prices, something with picking cans and collecting on Michigan’s $.10 deposit as the primary money maker back in my day, I would have been able to afford these.

    Only issue was no Toys R Us for well over 100 miles….., possibly as much as 200!

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