NIGHT CREEPER v1 (1990)
It’s not often that I get requests for reviews on my site but when I do I try to oblige promptly. A regular reader asked me to review a Night Creeper figure a while back and it kinda slipped my mind. He reminded me the other day and so I thought I’d better do it next before I forget again. My first instinct was to grab one of my two modern-era Night Creepers (versions 11 or 12) because they’re displayed on a shelf right next to my computer desk. But I’ve been reviewing lots of modern-era figures lately so I decided to go old school today and review the Night Creeper that started it all; 1990’s version 1.
1990 was the year I quit collecting G.I. Joe figures as a kid. I ‘d been collecting since the Real American Hero (RAH) line launched in 1982 when I was just 4 years old. In 1990 I was 12 and both my brother Doug and I only got one Joe figure each that year. He got the Iron Grenadier frogman, Undertow, and I got the Joe Shoreline Defender, Rampart. I remember thinking that the Night Creeper was a pretty cool looking figure but we had decided to quit collecting that year and thats what we did. I can’t recall why we quit so suddenly. It’s not like we had lost interest in playing with toys because I remember having many battles with Rampart playing a crucial role. Whatever the reason, after 8 years of working towards a complete collection, we threw in the towel and I did not acquire a Night Creeper. My little brother Brian did get one though and I’m pretty sure that I eventually got his. There are presently two in my collection and I think the broken one was Brian’s. The other one came to me in last summer’s EPIC HAUL.
Not only had I quit collecting Joe figures by 1990 but Doug and I had stopped collecting G.I. Joe comics as well. The Night Creepers appeared in the comics quite a few times, first appearing in issue 107 that year, but Doug and I stopped buying at issue 100 so I never read any of those Night Creeper stories until years later. They also appeared in the Joe cartoon produced by DIC but Doug and I stopped watching Joe cartoons after Sunbow’s series wrapped with the 1987 animated movie. In the case of the cartoon though I don’t think the DIC episodes ever aired in my area. I never found out about them until several years later.
For all of those reasons I don’t have the same nostalgic ties to the Night Creeper that I do with most Joe figures produced before 1990. None the less, it’s a really cool figure and I’m glad I have him now.
The Night Creepers are a syndicate of High-Tech Ninjas who work under contract for Cobra. They were nameless faceless troopers much like the Cobra blue-shirts with the exception of their leader, who was first released as an individual figure in 1993.
The design of the original Creeper is quite unique and cool. It’s got a narrow visor to cover the eyes, kind of like Cyclops from the X-Men, and an Arabian keffiyeh wrapped around his head. There are 3 armour plates on the torso which look like they’d be effective against some weapons but would still allow for lots of mobility. And then there’s the color scheme. This purple outfit makes about as much sense for a ninja as the Alley Viper’s bright orange uniform did as urban camouflage. The Night Creeper is painted in two different shades of purple with shimmery silver highlights and he’s got a pair of pants that wouldn’t help him blend in anywhere. Perhaps they wear this to show off just how stealthy they are. You gotta figure if a guy can break into a building an assassinate someone in this attire without being seen then he’s gotta be good.
For accessories the Night Creeper came with a purple backpack which can hold a sword on it’s side, 2 weirdly jagged swords, and a crossbow. I don’t have either of the swords with mine.
I really like this toy and I’m sure that if I owned it as a kid this guy would’ve kicked a lot of ass. I think the look translated quite well into a modern-era figure too as you can see in the pic below. Night Creeper version 1 came out just before the Joe line got bogged down with ninjas and gimmicks. Later versions of this character weren’t so lucky. I also own 1994’s version 3 and it is an atrocity. Perhaps I’ll share that one with you next. 8 out of 10.