1986 Sci-Fi

1986 Sci-Fi

Although it’s probably the last ubiquitously popular year of ARAH, 1986 has it’s fair share of mostly unpopular figures. To name a few, there’s Cross Country, Zandar, and arguably Serpentor (a lot of people love him, but a lot of people also really hate him). Sci-Fi is another character you rarely see that much love for. Largely, I suspect this is because he’s a neon-green replacement for Flash, though you could also say it’s because he’s a little ho-hum, overall.

V1 Sci-Fi was a figure I mostly acquired on a whim, at a point when I had most of the other ‘86 figures and thought that finishing the year seemed like an interesting prospect (unfortunately, I never made good on that goal). At the time, I really didn’t feel like I needed this figure since I had the ‘91 version, and felt it was good enough. It’s a weird juxtaposition, when you have an 80‘s figure that’s colored in stereotypical 90‘s neon, and a 90‘s figure that’s colored more plainly with some bright-yellow for added flare, Regardless, I was surprised in a few ways when I got him how much I liked this one.

The overall design is pretty nice on this version. It’s very over-the-top looking, but it’s also pretty detailed and interesting. His chest armor and helmet really stand out to me, he kind of looks like Robo-cop, which is cool and makes me want to pose him more often with a pistol. I think the worst part of the figure is his metallic boots, which don’t look very detailed and just come across as too fantastic looking. Still, it’s a nice design and I think he has more going on than Flash, although I like that figure too.

I don’t think too many people really care to hate on neon colors anymore. Some people prefer realism, but that’s a moot point on a figure that represents a futuristic laser-trooper. Still, V1 Sci-fi is probably one of the saddest molds to not get a repaint. Even imagining this figure in one of Hasbro’s hokey 2000‘s color-schemes, like the TRU Nightforce colors, makes me imagine something that could’ve really brought out the potential in the sculpt here.

A problem that’s fairly common to ‘86 figures you can see here, is his relatively large head-sculpt. Since he has a sculpted-on helmet and visor, it goes a long way to disguise it, but his head is kind of bulbous still. I really don’t know why Hasbro went from proportions that were so good on ‘85 figures to this trend of gigantic heads, but it’s something that makes ‘86 guys kind of alienate themselves in my collection. Thankfully it’s not very bad on Sci-fi though.

The parts are really enjoyable, and I’d go as far as to say they’re an upgrade over Flash’s weapon. Sci-fi comes with a bulky black laser rifle, a backpack, and a hose for connecting them. It’s a simple kit, but the usage of rubber hoses provides Sci-fi with a weapon that’s far less cumbersome than Flash’s gun. It’s also pretty neat that it can be stored on his backpack, though I don’t tend to find that it fits all that well, at least on mine.

Sci-fi’s are cheap and easy to get, and with that being the case right now, probably means you can expect it to stay that way forever. Complete figures seem to fetch about $6, which is about as cheap as 80’s figures get. Sci-fi embodies a lot of what early GI Joe fans hated about the line, and he doesn’t have the novelty/nostalgia value that 90‘s figures have acquired, so I suppose there just aren’t too many people who see anything interesting in him.

1986 Sci-Fi Links:

Forgotten Figures

Half the Battle

3D Joes

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6 Responses to 1986 Sci-Fi

  1. A-Man says:

    I recall I was a little disappointed that the card art shows his eyes under his visor, but actual figure is molded-on painted visor.

    For me, he was just a trooper…I mean. It’s weird. Never a favorite, but didn’t hate him.

    Cartoon showed his geeky interests, but gave him a serious voice. Contrast there, like he was a nerd who didn’t want to be seen as one. I guess? I haven’t even rewatched his biggest episode in a long time. Funny he was one of the few Joes to have his voice actor return for DIC, but I think it was just for one episode.

    Mold was likely lost in South America. But who really knows? If it was lost it might still exist, and not be scrapped.

    Reminds me, in the 2000’s they had Sci-Fi V2 but like Salvo and Sub-Zero (and others), the whole character never got a repaint.

  2. cyko_9 says:

    I’m not a huge Sci-Fi fan (it’s hard to use that color), but I appreciate the figure. His laser rifle is much better than Flash’s, and I like the sculpted extra power cells (?) on his thighs. Kinda like in Star Wars, beam weapons don’t have unlimited firing capability.

  3. I like that his laser rifle has a telescopic sight (unlike Flash!), a stock (unlike 91 Sci-Fi!), a low-power spotting laser under the barrel, and what looks like a battery pack in the same place a magazine would be. It seems believable to me that the designers of an early laser rifle would keep the familiar ergonomics of a normal rifle, with a stock, long barrel, and pistol grip, and then just replace the ammo magazine with a similar-shaped modular battery pack. And you can see extra battery packs molded onto his body. The only thing a little weird about that is that it attaches to his backpack. Maybe the rifle normally runs off backpack power, but the swappable battery packs are for backup if he has to take off the backpack during a firefight.

    To me, the 1986 Joes have always been a good but not outstanding year. I got into Joes 3 years later and they were ubiquitous at flea markets throughout my childhood. The 86 Cobras are a different story.

  4. Mike T. says:

    As a kid, I wasn’t a huge fan of this figure. I thought he looked like a pilot, but he didn’t fit into the Dragonfly or Skystriker. So, the laser trooper aspect of him left him less useful. Usually, he ended up as a gunner at the HQ. He looked good there since his protective gear made sense in that context. But, he had no characterization at all.

    I would have loved a 1991 Sci Fi in 1986 colors. That and some other 1991/1992 characters in their original color schemes woudl have been the greatest 6 pack in TRU history.

  5. R.T.G. says:

    I like this figure, because it’s fairly neat looking, and the sculpt matches what the role is supposed to be, which had started to become a thing of the past, as the Joe line kept on. The colours are bright but not obnoxious the same way 90s neon tended to be applied, which was mainly bright orange everywhere!

    The actual figure has some of the same failings a figure like the 85 Snake Eyes has, where it looks cool, but isn’t really all that much fun. I’ve always found the legs to especially not pose very well.

  6. DJV says:

    Nice look at this figure. It’s odd, since this is the toy some of the big content creators still cite as “the one that ruined everything.”

    I love neon green and I love lasers, so you’d think I’d love this figure. And I do like him. But I’ve loved 91 Sci-Fi so much since I was a little kid that I never paid much attention to this version. Eventually, I grabbed him because he was too cheap to pass up. I really like his accessories and his sculpt is pretty neat. I find the 91 version looks great the with 86 version’s laser rifle plugged into his pack.

    I’m glad I have this figure, but he still doesn’t stand out much to me. He’s usually a gunner on the Monster Blaster.

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