PSYCHE OUT v.4 (2013)
I had planned to get all of the Night Force figures from last year’s Joe Con collector’s set reviewed before the Club revealed their upcoming repaints but I’ve been slack with my reviews and the Club is unveiling their figure subscription service (FSS) 3.0 products fast and furious these days. Registration to subscribe to this year’s FSS is up now and will remain open until July. Thus far the Club has revealed images of about half of the figures planned for this year. Of the 6 Night Force characters included in the 2013 convention set (Muskrat, Charbroil, Repeater, Spearhead, Psyche Out, and Hit & Run) all of them except Charbroil will be included in FSS 3.0, repainted in their version 1 colors. I mistakenly told you in my recent Charbroil review that a repainted Charbroil was coming too. I’m sure we’ll get a rust colored Charbroil eventually but not this year. The first FSS 3.0 figure reveal was an orange camouflaged Spearhead. The colors have been toned down from the original ’88 look but I like it. Then they showed us their v1 inspired Muskrat. It looks better than the Night Force version and has some cool new accessories but, as I stated in my review of the Night Force figure last week, I’m not really a fan of the character or the toy. The Club’s most recent reveal was their 1987 version 1 inspired repaint of Psyche Out.
The vintage G.I. Joe toy line was littered with weird characters and Psyche Out was one of them. He wasn’t as “out there” as the snake-bodied Golobulus or the metal football-on-a-chain wielding Refrigerator Perry but he was still pretty weird. Psyche Out’s file card described him as the Joe team’s Psy-Ops trooper; a master of deceptive warfare. Apparently he used the power of suggestion via radio waves to win battles. It seemed a little far-fetched but it made about as much sense as Cobra employing a Reveen-like hypnotist (Crystal Ball) to do the same thing on their end. Oddly enough Doug and I never clued in, back when we were kids, that Psyche Out and Crystal Ball would have made great arch enemies. I suppose that’s partly because Doug owned Psyche Out and I owned Crystal Ball. Rarely did we have feuds that crossed over the “ownership line”.
Besides having an odd military specialty Psyche Out also looked pretty strange. He had a quilted neon-green jacket, some futuristic looking armor, metal earmuffs, an antennae on the top of his head, and satellite dishes all over his body. His hair was bright yellow and parted down the middle. He was definitely one of the dorkier looking Joes. But he wasn’t a hated figured, we didn’t even not like him, he just didn’t see much action. Psyche Out was one of those Joes that spent a good chunk of his time sitting at the computer console at Joe headquarters rather than doing things like infiltrating Cobra base.
A second version of Psyche Out was released in 1988, repainted in subdued Night Force colors. Even his hair was repainted a more realistic shade of dirty blonde. Doug and I never owned that figure. We didn’t own version 3 either which was a ridiculous figure that looked nothing like the previous versions. Years later I acquired the baby blue, Captain Power reject, that is Psyche Out version 3 but I picked it up as an amusing novelty, not because I had to have it.
Version 4, the subject of this review, was what I would consider to be my first “legit” Psyche Out figure. After Spearhead, he was the Joe I was most excited about getting from last year’s set. He’s one of those characters that I’ve grown more fond of over time but I couldn’t tell you why. It’s not like he’s making a big impact in the comic books or anything, I’ve just gained a new appreciation for his off-beat look and purpose.
This figure is based on the 1988 version 2 Psyche Out. The colors match up pretty well to the original. The dirty blonde hair and the tan shirt make for a much more subdued Psyche Out then I’m used to.
Design wise, the Club pulled off a pretty good approximation of the original Psyche Out using Duke and Zartan pieces. The most noticeable design difference is that Psyche Out now has short sleeves. The head is a newly tooled piece which is a very good thing as I don’t think there are any other heads out there that could have stood in for Psyche Out considering all of his original design elements such as the parted hair, antennae and earphones. The head is very well sculpted and immediately recognizable though it does look a little sad. My only issue with the design of this figure is that he seems to have a slight hunch. I’m not sure if it’s just an illusion caused by the popped collar or if the new head really does sit funny on the Duke neck. It’s not a huge deal but the hunch, along with the sad mug, make Psyche Out look pretty down in the dumps.
For accessories Psyche Out has a rifle, a pistol, an unweildy backpack with adjustable panels, a weird radio-transmitter thing with a satellite dish, and a few snap on dishes that can be placed on his arms. It’s a good mix of stuff and appropriate for the character. In a somewhat odd choice, the Club gave him red dishes, while the 1988 Night Force Psyche Out had black dishes. The red adds some color to a figure boarding on bland but from a logical standpoint I don’t imagine bright red dishes on his arms help him remain undetected when sneaking around at night.
The upcoming version 1 repaint uses most of same pieces as this figure which is fine though it would have been nice if they fixed the hunch. They have given him full sleeves this time which I like. As for paint apps, the FSS version has the bright blonde and flashy green of the 1987 original. I do like this Night Force version but I think the brighter colors look great and if I had to choose one over the other I would go with the green.
One nifty detail about the upcoming figure is the Club has given him black satellite dishes. Those can be swapped with the red dishes that came with this figure and then both versions will be accurate to the originals.
This is a decent figure of a decent character. If you don’t have this version already I would highly recommend you snag the FSS 3.0 repaint once it becomes available. 7 out of 10.