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?