LT. FALCON v.8 (2014)
Lt. Falcon’s claim to fame is his starring role in the animated G.I. Joe movie from 1987. Much like the animated Transformers movie, the Joe film’s primary purpose was to wipe the slate clean of old characters and usher in fresh faces so that Hasbro could sell more toys. Established characters like Snake Eyes and Spirit were relegated to the background while the spotlight was given to a varied cast of new recruits. The new crop of Joes included Jinx, Chuckles, Law & Order, Tunnel Rat, Sgt. Slaughter and his Marauders, and most importantly Lt. Falcon.
Falcon was introduced as Duke’s slack and cocky half-brother. The movie follows his journey from zero to hero. Don Johnson voiced the character and did a good job of conveying Falcon’s laid back attitude. Falcon’s pivotal role in the movie made his original figure a must-have for kids collecting at the time. My brother Doug got Falcon along with Chuckles, Tunnel Rat, and the Marauders. I was happy to end up with Jinx, Law, and the freaky new bad guys introduced in the movie, Cobra-La.
Had there not been a movie that year I think Falcon could have very easily been overlooked in the action figure aisle. Most of the other characters were brightly colored with unique designs such as female ninja, military policeman with dog, and cycloptic lobster/snake man.
Lt. Falcon was kind of a throw back with his standard military dress. He had a full green camo uniform, a beret, and standard issue military weapons. There was plenty of sculpted detail and a really good face sculpt. Even though he was a goofball in the cartoon the figure had a stoic appearance which made him an even more credible squad leader than either Duke or Flint who were both sculpted with smirks for some reason. Lt. Falcon version 1 was actually a really good figure so it’s a good thing that the movie ensured that it wasn’t overlooked by kids. Not that Doug and I would have overlooked him, we bought everything back then.
A second version of Falcon was released just one year later. Version 2 was simply a repainted version 1 with a darker color scheme as Falcon was now a member of the sub-team Night Force.
There were no Lt. Falcon figures released during the new sculpt era (other than another V1 repaint convention exclusive) but I had a Flint in a green outfit which I displayed as a Falcon. I didn’t get my first actual Falcon figure until the first modern version was released in 2008 a 2-pack with Nemesis Enforcer as part of the 25th anniversary series.
That 2008 figure sucked. A lot of Joe fans complain about some of the early 25th anniversary figures, Duke especially, but I think Lt. Falcon is perhaps my least favorite anniversary figure. Bad articulation aside I just hated the face so much. It had a big chin, no neck, a small head and crappy arms. It was a big, big disappointment.
Luckily Hasbro remedied the situation just before the 25th anniversary series came to an end. They included a brand new version of Falcon in their Slaughter’s Maurauders/Renegades 7 pack in 2011. The sculpt on Marauders Falcon was leaps and bounds beyond the comic-pack version. I absolutely loved the head sculpt and the removable beret. While I would’ve preferred my default display, modern-era Lt. Falcon to be wearing his classic green camouflage outfit I was just happy to finally have a decently sculpted Falcon.
Had the club included the Marauder Falcon figure, repainted in the classic colors, in this years figure subscription service I would’ve been happy. What I didn’t need was that figure repainted in another obscure sub-team outfit. In a recent FSS shipment I received, along with Cesspool, Night Force Lt. Falcon.
If you don’t already own the Marauders version then this will make a fine addition to your collection but since I do already have the Marauders version this figure seemed kind of redundant to me. I understand why the Club opted to make Night Force Falcon; their convention set last year was Night Force themed and I’m sure there’s a handful of collectors out there who were stoked to add another Joe to their Night Force roster. I would’ve much preferred to see this FSS slot go to a unique character but as a cost saving measure I understand repaints are a necessity. However this one is even more useless to me than the Tiger Force Shipwreck and Airtight that I received in the first shipment because at least those two can be called by their foreign names and viewed as unique characters.
Having said all of that, the Night Force paint job does look really nice on this figure, superior to the Marauders look. Considering how much I liked the sculpt initially and how well this repaint turned out it’s hard to hate on it too much. A few changes were made in addition to the new paint job and I think they all enhance the figure. This version doesn’t have the skirt on his shirt that the Marauders version did and he has new web gear which more closely resembles that of the original Lt. Falcon. In regards to the new paint job I’m also happy that they gave this version brown hair like the original figure. The black hair that he had in the movie and on version 7 made him look too much like Flint.
It is kind of nice to have a field commander for my Night Force squad I suppose. The more I examine this figure the more I like it actually. Had this been available at retail it would’ve been a good buy at ten bucks. What hurts the most about this figure is the hefty price tag. Despite its redundancy this figure is ultimately another win for the Club. 7 out of 10.