1990 Night Creeper

1990 Night Creeper

Ninjas were a big theme for GI Joe from the late eighties going into the nineties, with the height of this topic likely manifesting in the Ninja Force. But, before those figures there were numerous quality ninja figures before them. Besides Storm Shadow, I’d likely consider my favorite ninja the V1 Night Creeper, for both sentimental and some objective reasons.

I sort of have a weird history with the Night Creeper. As a kid, it was a figure my brother had, so I effectively had him by extension. Except, I really have no memories of him at all. I want to think his o-ring snapped pretty early on, so that could be why. Regardless, it was an interesting experience finding his parts years later and putting him back together. The colors are so disparate between the upper a lower half of the figure, I didn’t think they went together. Though, once I did piece him together and discovered how he was supposed to look, it set a real impression on me through my early collecting years.

The original Night Creeper has a pretty interesting design, that in my opinion makes him Cobra’s best generic ninja. The drapey headdress combined with a visor is distinct and has a very assassin-like appearance. It doesn’t make him look as cliche as Storm Shadow, or as chintzy as later ninjas from the Ninja Force. The chest armor and visor in conjunction with his other features leaves him looking pretty identifiable as a ninja, but it also gives him the look of a modern assassin. Overall I’d have to say it’s a nice in-between of the styles you’d see on the typical, terrorist Cobra and the more martial-arts focused side of the line.

There’s a lot of color and paint applications on the Night Creeper too. While some might be adverse to ninjas in magenta, there’s a nicely diverse palette here with light and dark grey, magenta, purple, and a lot of black and silver for details. In particular I think the camouflage pants have an interesting, urban look to them. At the very least he looks a little more stealthy than an Alley Viper!

For parts, you get a large crossbow, two different swords and a backpack from 1989 Snake Eyes that can hold one of them. I’m pretty fond of the crossbow, it makes sense as a stealth weapon. The extra bolts make it look more intimidating than a weapon like Scarlet’s too, which is a plus. The swords are alright and are fairly distinct, but they are what they are and don’t leave much of an impression on me. Lastly, the backpack looks pretty good and suits the figure, however, I find the storable sword gimmick to be frustrating. The tabs that hold the sword break too easily and make me afraid to use it. The end result means I usually ditch the swords for this figure altogether, and only use the backpack and crossbow.

These guys used to go for dirt even when they had a few parts and decent paint, so I managed to amass a decent squad of them between the late 2000‘s and early 2010‘s. There was a bigger collector interest in the white 1998 repaint and the 2004 Urban Division figure, which were both high-quality representations of the mold, but personally I found the original colors more interesting for less money, so it was hard to argue with that.

A complete Night Creeper is consistently worth about $10, give or take a dollar. It’s a common figure a lot of people have, so they don’t go for a whole lot. Despite that, it’s a really cool figure and a great army builder, so it’s nice to see there’s still fun figures like this to collect 29 years after their release. Heck, after writing this I’m tempted to grab a few more.

Night Creeper Hasbro GI Joe ARAH 1990 DIC cobra vintage action figure
Night Creeper Hasbro GI Joe ARAH 1990 DIC cobra vintage action figure

1990 Night Creeper Links:

Forgotten Figures

Yo Joe

Photo by Flatline54

Photo by Scarrviper

Photo by Nightforce Keith

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3 Responses to 1990 Night Creeper

  1. R.T.G. says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever actually owned any rendition of this mold!

    The Night Creeper is a nice looking figure, I especially like the head, it’s got an air of mystery to it, yet still looks like a ninja! I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but the Night Creeper crossbow is a modified Snowjob rifle (I’ve had the crossbow, but never the figure, go figure!)

  2. A-Man says:

    The new 1990 Cobras/IG’s were better overall than the more popular 1989 bunch. Their biggest drawback was a total lack of Cobra sigils, other than Vapor’s molded on one. Of course, Night Creeper were mercs and didn’t need them.

    I like Night Creeper, don’t have an original one in my current collection, though. Right about the backpack, neither sword fits well in it.

  3. Jester says:

    “I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but the Night Creeper crossbow is a modified Snowjob rifle (I’ve had the crossbow, but never the figure, go figure!)”

    Snowjob’s “XMLR-3A” laser is also the basis of Alpine’s grappling-hook launcher, strangely enough…

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