1987 Falcon

1987 Falcon

Falcon came along in ‘87, and despite not receiving many subsequent releases, is a pretty popular figure. When you consider his obnoxious portrayal in the cartoons, the fact that he’s from an otherwise unpopular year, and that he was intended to replace Duke, it seems like a surprise that Falcon’s so well liked; that is, if you ignore the quality of this figure.

If you’re mostly a cartoon guy like me, Falcon’s pretty hard to get into as a character. The movie pretty much made him the worst character in the franchise, and DIC used him as a junky in the Headhunters two-parter. I’m under the impression the comics made him a lot more likable, but I’ve not read those issues yet, so I don’t know. Despite all that, he’s relatively popular with fans and I can imagine a few reasons why.

1987 was not a very good year of figures, and is a jumping-off point for most older GI Joe fans. It’s pretty fair to say the line jumped the shark with this year, as most fans don’t like Cobra La (though I do a bit…), or other cringe-inducing classics like Crystal Ball and Big Boa. The Joes from that year were mostly better than the Cobras, though many could be seen as a step down when compared to figures from years before.

Then you wind up with Falcon, who as a toy is pretty much great. There’s nothing too crazy going on with his design, and overall the figure looks like quite a down to earth Green Beret. The sculpted detail is easily on par with classics like ‘85 Flint, so you can see why the figure’s so popular.

Of course, the colors are fantastic too. Several cool repaints came out later, like the Night Force version and the Sonic Fighters repaint, but if I could only have one, I think this one might be the best. He features a rich green color for a base with splotches of dark camouflage, while other little details are painted separate colors, like his hat, scarf, knife and his radio. Nothing really feels overlooked here, which is why I think later versions don’t compare as well (even if a few of them are really cool).

His parts are excellent too: you get a Mossberg shotgun, backpack, knife and antenna for his backpack. The shotgun’s a pretty distinct and nice looking weapon. It has this odd foregrip-like handle he holds it by which allows him to pose better with it, though the weapon’s actual grip is thin enough he can hold it there too. The knife looks good, and nicely it stores in his backpack, which was a feature you hadn’t seen too much until this point.

Mint complete Falcons go pretty routinely around $25, these days. If you really want one, I think the figure’s worth it, though once prices calm down he’ll probably be worth half of that like he used to be. It’s a great enough figure I think he’s worth having even if your collection focuses on figures from the earlier part of the line.

gi joe falcon gi joe the movie 1986 1987 vintage hasbro arah
gi joe falcon gi joe the movie 1986 1987 vintage hasbro arah
gi joe falcon gi joe the movie 1986 1987 vintage hasbro arah
gi joe falcon gi joe the movie 1986 1987 vintage hasbro arah

1987 Falcon Links:

Forgotten Figures

Half the Battle

3D Joes

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4 Responses to 1987 Falcon

  1. A-man says:

    Cannot say much, his 1987 release was solid.

    Somehow Hasbro avoided using his mold, well, upper half in the early 2000’s. The club used it, then nada.

    Why cartoon give him black hair, but Flint brown hair? Super Sonic Falcon had black hair, too.

  2. Mike T. says:

    When Falcon came out, he was one of the few figures who could stand in for Vietnam era soldiers in line. As I was hooked on the ‘Nam comic book, Falcon was a great fit for me.

    The mold is excellent and a lot of the details on it are hidden due to their lack of paint, or the general business of the colors, otherwise. But, this is one of Hasbro’s finer efforts for sure.

    He never had a bad vintage version. The club version suffers from bad legs. But, even it has redeeming qualities. Not getting him in a comic pack or TRU set seems a travesty. But, we never Outback, either. I view it as another f.u. to the vintage Joe community from the Hasbro of the era.

  3. R.T.G. says:

    Falcon is an excellent figure. 1987 is a weird year, as half of the Joe figures are out to lunch, and the other half are more in line with the 84 and 85 releases. Falcon is definitely the best overall figure from 87, and probably a top 3 from 87-94. The quality of his figure is obvious, considering he doesn’t get relegated to being a “Flint rip-off” the same way a lot of figures that were eerily similar to discontinued figures were.

    He’s a pain in the dick to complete, but whatever, his equipment might be worth the $$$.

    • A-Man says:

      Part of the reason why half the characters are strange and the other half not, Hasbro’s Ron Rudat had designed a few, the rest were someone else. The 1987 series was Rudat’s last year designing characters, IIRC.

      Though, Rudat designed BIG BOA. So, I don’t know. Of course, we know why that character existed…to fight THE FRIDGE! I mean, Rocky.

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