Lt. Falcon (25th Anniversary)
There are not a lot of figures in my collection that actually make me sad inside. Sometimes, there may be a bad figure, but I can usually find at least one redeeming quality. Unfortunately, 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon isn’t one of those figures. That’s a big shame because I liked KansasBrother’s 1987 Falcon—so much, in fact, that I got the Super Sonic Fighters version when it came out because I thought the character and figure were so great. However, if my first exposure to Lt. Falcon had been the 25th Anniversary version, I don’t think I’d have quite the soft spot I have for him. Overall, he just kind of fails and it’s very good that Hasbro made versions of him in the 30th Anniversary and 50th Anniversary lines so this terrible figure isn’t the only modern representation of a fan-favorite character.
Just a quick glance at 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon shows you that he’s got some major problems. The reason 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon has so many problems is because he uses a lot of 25th Anniversary Duke parts. His upper legs are from 25th Anniversary Duke while his shins are new. The 25th Anniversary Duke legs are fairly tall and it makes 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon look a little too lanky. Seriously, in real life, I’m a tall guy and it looks to me like a life-size 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon would probably even make me feel pretty short. That’s just an odd look for Lt. Falcon in my mind. The torso comes from 25th Anniversary Duke and that’s the only good Duke part that he uses. The 25th Anniversary Duke torso is decently proportioned and looks suitably military, however, it does look a tad squat due to Lt. Falcon’s very long legs. The 25th Anniversary Duke torso is obscured by a couple of new add-on pieces. First of all, he gets a new set of webgear. It’s a great piece even if it is a tiny bit off model. The webgear looks like a military web belt and straps and I appreciate the realism. Up top, 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon also picks up a removable neckerchief. It’s a good piece and is a nice nod to the original figure’s mold. The biggest problem for 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon is that he shares his arms with 25th Anniversary Duke. First of all, they have the bad elbows, but the bigger problem is that these aren’t the fixed Duke arms that have the articulation cut moved to his rolled up cuff instead of the middle of his exposed forearm. These arms have always looked terrible and they don’t do 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon any favors. Up top, 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon has a brand new head, but man is it bad. I don’t mean to be superficial, but 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon is just plain ugly. Considering the character has always been a pretty boy who isn’t afraid to throw down, being this homely is a pretty major deviation from his standard look. I do see a little bit of vintage John Wayne in his face sculpt, but even that’s a stretch and it doesn’t change the fact that 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon looks a bit like an early hominid instead of a modern human. Overall, 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon’s design is a major miss and there’s not a lot positive to say about him.
While his design may be weak, 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon’s paint work is decent, but there are still some issues that create problems for him. Most of 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon’s color is provided by the plastic he’s molded in. That helps him, but it does create a few problems. First of all, the green Hasbro used for the figure is a bit paler than the vintage figure and it leaves him looking kind of washed out. Secondly, the green plastic looks rather plastic-y. There’s just an unnatural sheen on the figure that makes him look like a plastic representation of a person rather than an actual person. In addition to the green, 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon has black camouflage splotches covering the figure. They’re enough to make him look camouflaged but it doesn’t make him look overly busy. On his left shoulder, he has the same Green Beret insignia that we saw on the vintage figure. However, since the modern version is much lighter in color, the insignia doesn’t stand out as well against the figure’s shirt as it once did. The webgear is molded in a lighter green with black and silver detailing and it looks quite sharp, though the webgear has the same plastic-y look that the rest of the figure does. The skintone paint is also applied rather thickly. It makes 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon look a little waxy and unnatural. Honestly, the only place his paintwork is effective is on his beret. The green is a nice dark color and the detail work on the insignia is neatly applied.
Thankfully, 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon does have some great gear, but the gear doesn’t do enough to offset the overall weakness of the figure that I can call him anywhere close to a successful figure. Like back in the day, 25th Anniversary Falcon’s primary weapon is a shotgun. However, thankfully, Hasbro decided to go with a different model than the modern assault shotgun they used extensively with Flint during the 25th Anniversary line. Instead, they chose the longer barreled combat shotgun that was first used a lot during the Joe Vs. Cobra years. I like this piece a lot and it does feel a bit fresher because it hadn’t gotten used a lot in the intervening years. It also helps make Lt. Falcon look a little less like Flint even though they both carry shotguns and wear berets. Though many 25th Anniversary line figures didn’t get backpacks, Lt. Falcon did and the Hasbro folks did a great job with it. I remember the vintage Lt. Falcon figure’s backpack because it was one of the ones that had a radio antenna sticking out of the top. To recreate this look, the design team really pulled out all the stops. Instead of being a static piece, 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon’s backpack can actually open thanks to a flap on the top. Inside the backpack, there’s a large radio that the iconic antenna can plug into. However, the radio is awfully big and the antenna is even larger. I know that military equipment like radios tend to have larger antennae to make them more reliable in the field, but seriously, with the bend in the antenna, the antenna is still long enough that if you place it on the stand next to Lt. Falcon’s leg, it reaches almost up to his knee. That’s a ridiculously long antenna. That makes it look a little weird when it’s sticking off the top of the figure’s backpack. In scale, I think that antenna would stick out almost a foot out of the top of his backpack. I think part of it is that the backpack sits up quite a bit higher on the modern figure’s back than it did on the vintage version, but thinks still look a little off Finally, the vintage Lt. Falcon backpack had a place for him to carry a large knife and this version does as well. The knife looks exactly like the vintage piece and it’s a great piece, even if it is a little wicked-looking. The notches in the blade add some visual weight to the piece and it’s nice that Hasbro was able to replicate those details so well. It’s just kind of a shame that there wasn’t more attention paid to the figure itself.
The 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon figure is somewhat of a rarity in my mind—a figure that just kind of fails across the board. I know that a lot of the early 25th Anniversary figures had their problems, but there was often at least something redeeming about those figures. This version of Lt. Falcon doesn’t really have anything going for him. Even his great accessories look a little awkward for some reason. Add in all the dated parts he uses and the plastic-y look the figure has and it’s hard to find anything good about him aside from the fact that he was packed in a comic pack with the 25th Anniversary Nemesis Immortal figure. When the fact that a figure is packed with something much better is its only selling point, that’s a pretty big problem. I was okay with 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon as the cost doing business to get Nemesis Immortal, but looking back at it, it’s not even really worth that. The 25th Anniversary Lt. Falcon is just a bad figure and a rare misstep for Hasbro.