Lt. Falcon (1988 Night Force)

Just one year after his debut, Lt. Falcon was back. I admit that in 1987, I thought the figure was pretty amazing, with its realistic green beret look, and stoic face sculpt. The accessories were very nice as well, inclusing a two-part backpack, and a great new shotgun mold that a GI Joe figure could actually hold. In a year filled with strangeness, Lt. Falcon was like a breath of fresh 1985 air.

I had no clue about the Night Force thing until my return to GI Joe as an adult collector. Being out of the toy buying hobby, I wasn’t making trips to the local toy departments to check out the latest releases. The closest I got was occasionally (and quickly) peeking at the Sunday Toys R Us ads. I vaguely remember seeing things like the Skystorm and Condor, but I don’t have a recollection of Night Force. Now that I think about it, I’m not really sure when a Toys R Us showed up in my area. Through the 70s and 80s we had Toy City and Childrens Palace, but I don’t think TRU came to town until at least 1989. Then again, I could be wrong. I am old, after all.

Falcon’s color scheme is one of the coolest of the Night Force set. The muted colors all work together well, and the change of the sleeve color to reflect a vest actually looks very good. Having this mold in something other than a single camo pattern gives it new life, and thankfully it doesn’t end up looking odd, like a few of the other Night Force figures or even the later Sonic Fighters Falcon repaint. Could you picture this guy with a light-strobing, chirping electronic helicopter backpack?



  • I’ll admit, I got the Sonic Fighters version because I thought my brother’s classic Falcon was just so cool that I had to have it. The gray digital camo (and helicopter backpack) are a little odd, but that Falcon mold is just so great, even a subpar paint job can’t hurt it. I’m not sure which paint job I like better (original or Night Force), but Falcon always looks good and I think that’s a testament to how nicely designed his figure is.

  • Man, the Club did a nice job translating the design of this figure, but of course nothing beats the original.

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    I didn’t know about Night Force until after the Real American Hero line has ended, either. Of the three Falcons released during the line, I’ll admit that this one’s my least favorite, but it’s still pretty cool.

  • My first Joe was a hand-me-down which was half v1 Flint and half v1 Falcon. I dont remember what happened to him.

    My little brother had sonic fighter Falcon and he loved that figure.

    Regaurding the Green berets, i just saw Retroblastings Rambo episode and i wonder if Falcon was inspired by Rambo’s boss [i cant remeber his name as i havnt seen those movies in years].

  • At the time, I don’t think I had any knowledge of Night Force. We were possibly the farthest away from a Toys R Us at that time where we lived.

    Where we did live, a very large sparsely populated area, there were still toys to be found before these things were swallowed up almost exclusively into big box store distribution systems; drug stores, hardware stores, etc, small towns still would have GIJoe, Transformers, etc. even Ben Franklins.

    Now, with Falcon, I saw pictures of his 1987 version in the vehicle insert catalogs and on card backs, and I only physically saw one Falcon figure back in that same small town that was bought by a younger friend.

    I thought Falcon was very, very, very cool looking, and was soooooo wanting that figure. More classic “army” of military coloring, cool shotgun, and awesome backpack with an antenna! But this young friend was not interested in trading Falcon away.

    Another good friend at that time would often state Falcon (1987) looked like a rip-off of Flint (1985), which is a comment that as you mentioned Falcon had “1985 goodness” reminded me of that similar childhood friends notion from sometime in 1987 most likely, or summer ’88. Even just a couple years down the road, and neither of us having Flint, my good buddy was sort of in the camp where the new stuff was starting to (not in exact terms, but ) suck. Funny how he bought 1990 Sub Zero as his last figure, though, while questioning why I bought 1989 Snake Eyes not too long before that….

    Either way, today, 1987 Falcon in my toy world has taken on the role of a field leader, where Duke likely reigns in most others toy worlds.

    I wanted one version of each figure, the one I thought best represented my take on my figure/ characters, and 1987 Falcon beat out the Night Force Falcon for me, but it was close, especially closer in comparison to other Falcon repaints later.

    1987 Falcon had the full camo effect going on. This was something I found more appealing.
    Night Force Falcon had brown pants, not as exciting. And while I liked the black shirt, and it does work as a light vest, I don’t like it. The original intent was the bdu style camo shirt, it’s like coloring upper arms on an arah figure and calling them sleeves. The original design intent was more favored by me here.

    I think 1987 Falcons backpack straps stand out better, too, especially next to the differently colored neckerchief. On the Night Force Falcon, it ends up the same colors. On the 1987 version that neckerchief is also the same color as the green beret.

    Falcon is a Green Beret. So, a nice figure, a rarer TRU exclusive figure, but Night Force Falcon didn’t quite up the design of 1987 Falcon to make it better in my opinion. I found this to be true on a few Night Force figures, despite their more community popularity and prices.

  • I have an extra Night Force Psyche-Out free to a good home.Decent shape, though his nose is slightly flattened and his antenna on the back of his head is a little crooked. Any ways, I only have NF Psyche-Out, Light-Foot (black painted helmet, lol),and my pride of the Night Force collection-Night Force Charbroil, who cost me 95 dollars to complete-45 bucks just for his original helmet! Anyone want that fig-shoot me an email

  • @ KansasBrawler. I also have that Sonic Fighters Falcon, but mine is on a Spanish card-and the sound feature still works! Most other Sonic Fighters backpacks I see, most still have the original batteries and often times their is some corrosion present.

  • @troublemagnet
    I’ll take him!

  • Awesome,Aaron, shoot me an e-mail. I lost your address…

  • This is my least fvorite vintage version of Falcon. But, that’s like saying Hawaiin toppings are my least favorite type of pizza. It’s still pretty amazing.

    I actually have two full sets of this figure’s accessories, but no version of the figure. My brother got one Night Force pack in ’88 and the figure got trashed, but the gear survived. So, the awesome ’91 Falcon gets these Night Force accessories to make him even better.

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