Night Creeper (1993)

Much like the redesign of the Viper in 1994, the Ninja Force Night Creeper took one of the more iconic looking Cobra troops and changed it up just in time for the Real American Hero era to come to a close. It’s a shame too, as style on display with this figure really suits the function of the troopers, as well as evoking one of the better Cobra motifs in the line. The Cobra hood shaped helmet is pretty impressive.

I’ve never fully been able to grasp exactly what the original Night Creeper design was going for. Was it a take on a traditional ninja guise, or was it just another attempt at making a cool and intimidating uniform? The new version certainly goes further in presenting something to play up the techno aspects of this force of deadly and viscious ninjas. The helmet and padding give more of an impression of high technology than the simple uniform of the older figure.

I still don’t get what exactly the high tech aspect is. I assume again it relates to the helmet, like the 1990 figure. Maybe there are image intensifiers built into it. The file card is no help in this area, as it simply repeats what the previous version established. In the end, you have to use your imagination, something that happened more often at the end of the era, as many figures either weren’t portrayed much or never even showed up in the remaining Joe media, the Marvel comic.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The colors. They’re bright. Hey, it was the 90s. At least it wasn’t Zubaz. Looking at the color scheme with fresh eyes, the combo now reminds me of a Sweet Tarts package. Maybe that’s the purpose of these guys. They’re a secret force of ninjas on loan from Willy Wonka.


  • In terms of weapons distribution (to give each Ninja Force figure a unique weapon specialty), I’d give these guys the barbed sword and dual-bladed knives that the orange Slice from this same wave came with.

    I’ve seen someone make a traditional-construction figure out of this by swapping out the torso for that of the Battle Corps HEAT-Viper.

  • I’ve unintentionally army built this guy. Whenever i buy a mixed bag there is always a couple of him in it.

  • I’m not a fan. Maybe better colors would help, but he’d probably still look more like a villan from “The Black Hole” than a Cobra. And yeah the colors…looks like if you touched his shirt the body heat might leave a handprint.

  • Somebody at Hasbro was on a major Sweet Tarts binge because those colors are awful. In fact, none of the various Night Creeper versions have had a suitable color scheme for my tastes, going back to 1990.

    It certainly is a nice mold, although more trooper-like than anything ninja, especially with that grenade bandolier strapped across his chest.

  • When this guy was on the shelves, the Marvel comic 141 featured the Night Creepers in this new design. The comic essentially sold me on wanting some Night Creepers. I thought and still do think that the Night Creepers look awesome in the comic.

    This could be one figure that I was fairly disappointed with almost immediately. I had a mail-in ’83 HISS tank on display on the shelf, and a well used HISS tank driver that sat in the drivers seat near permanently. I didn’t really even want this Night Creeper in my box of figures as it was going to be used the same as ’84 Deep Six, so into the HISS turret I set this figure where it sat for many, many years.

    Until a trade opportunity came and out it went.

    I find it interesting how Ninja Force Zartan I totally dig, and I rather liked Slice and Dice, despite all their ninja limiting moves, but the Night Creeper here left me uninterested.

  • I’d love to see this guy done up in the more muted colours of Night Creeper v1. It might save the entire mold.

  • If you look at the card art, Night Creeper here was intended to have the weapons’ spure that came with the orange Slice.

    The ribbed padding on the legs is reminescent of Night Viper, wonder if that was intentional or a mix-up?

  • @Scott–

    I had the original Night Creeper and loved that figure, but was left rather cold with the Ninja Force version. Then, when I finally got to read the entire original run of Joe comics (I wasn’t into comics when I was still collecting Joes back in the day), that same issue sold me on that look for the Night Creepers being pretty cool. Such a shame the figure itself (due to the gimmicky construction) doesn’t work as well as it could.

  • Not really a fan of this figure. The original was much cooler-looking. They looked a little like an urban ninja and their colors were subdued. The purple here isn’t as subdued as the 1990 one and the electric blue doesn’t help, but it was 1993 neon was in. Some neon schemes work, but usually when as a highlight on an otherwise dark or subdued color figure. True, it could be worse, but it also could be better.

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