1991 is my favorite post-1986 year for figures. The main line saw new interpretations of old standbys for the Joe team and Cobra’s forces. This new edition of Sci-Fi is a tasteful update to his original figure. Say what? A 90’s Joe tasteful? Yes. Regardless of what you’ve heard on the grapevine about the dreaded decade of Eco-this and DEF-that, there are quite a few good figures to be had from ’91.
Two things I’ve always thought about ’86 Sci-Fi: man that head looks like Robocop, and man I wish that helmet was removable. This figure addresses both of those concerns quite well. The headgear now looks less like a space helmet and more akin to an experimental laser trooper’s protective equipment.
The chest protector and gauntlets bring to mind the original Flash figure, although the hints of color throughout the uniform also recall Sci-Fi’s first outfit as well. I don’t quite understand why the short hose connects the helmet to the shoulder fired laser cannon, but maybe it’s supposed to integrate with some sort of targeting system in the helmet.
I find the laser rifle disappointing, mostly due to the lack of a stock. Since the vintage figures aren’t able to get a good two handed grip, this rifle just kind of floats out in space and has a tendency to droop to the side when posing the figure. Kind of a bummer. I guess he could appropriate his old weapon.
Taken as a whole, this is a very slick update to a concept that had been a part of the RAH line since 1982. There must have been someone at Hasbro who liked it, as it was used again as Sci-Fi in 1993 and also became the Cobra Laser Viper in 2001.