The 90’s Joes often catch flak for their outrageous color schemes, wonky gimmicks and myriad sub-lines. There’s no denying the shift from subdued traditional military colors as the 80’s ended and the 90’s rolled on, and Hasbro’s throw-gimmick-at-wall-and-see-what-sticks mentality didn’t always succeed. However not everything from the time is all bad for the collectors who like their figures more realistic and molded in some shade of green, black or blue. The Joes’ Deceptive Warfare specialist, Psyche-Out’s second version is one of the hidden gems of the period.
His background in behavior modification induced by radio waves lent itself well to the strange look and accessories of his original 1987 figure. This version takes a step in the opposite direction and presents him in very simple, utilitarian blue fatigues while still including some out-there design elements and accessories to get the psychic warfare idea across. Whereas the original figure looked like a bad B-movie sci-fi character, this one looks like he’d actually fit into a modern military unit.
Psyche-Out also comes from a gimmick sub-group that Hasbro tried out for a year or two in hopes of catching digitized lightning in a bottle. The Super Sonic Fighters figures each came with a backpack that made three or four electronic noises, and had flashing lights. Impressive stuff at the time. Thankfully, the refrigerator-sized backpack was removable.
It’s a nice figure, with a fun gimmick, yet is still usable even in a more realistic Joeverse. Oh, I also have to include another great Larry Hama penned file card quote. “What can you say about a guy whose doctoral thesis was entitled ‘The Use of T-Shirt Slogans In Enemy Troop Demoralization?’”