I have a different perspective when looking back on 1988-1990 figures. Those were the years during which I wasn’t collecting, so the years on either side hold different kinds of memories for me and also seem to affect my opinions. The ’82-87 period is most definitely colored by nostalgia, particularly the first four years. 1991 began my adult collecting, and came at a time when more and more of the processes behind making toys was being revealed to collectors. It was also a time for me of increased cynicism, with the rise of the secondary market, eBay and the dreaded scalper. The good thing about being a Joe collector in the 90’s however, is that the speculators, for the most part, stayed away from the new Joes.
Since he falls in the in-between period, I have absolutely no connection with Recoil. He’s always been a fresh looking figure to me for that reason. His design incorporated a few new elements that really set him apart from earlier figures. The digital camo, although commonplace now, was quite striking after years of traditional patterns. The helmet was a huge departure even from the newer styled helmets seen on figures like Law. This helmet is really strange, and looks like a precursor to the Halo-esque helmet of the soon to be released Retaliation trooper. The helmet doesn’t provide any protection for the sides and back of the head, but maybe that’s the way a badass lurper prefers it. I’m also reminded of Snake Eyes, what with the LRRP specialty, blond hair and glasses.
The late 80’s also gave rise to new accessories and weapons, some of which were admittedly strange, like Recoil’s over-under combination pistol. The powder blue makes it even more odd. The mine case is the nice kind of extra accessory that quite a few of the ’89 and ’90 figures featured.