1986 Leatherneck

1986 Leatherneck

I really have a fondness towards 1986 Joes, although I don’t think it was the best year of the vintage line. Largely, it’s the year where Hasbro began replacing characters and doubling up on more guys with the same specialty. Leatherneck for example, comes off as a replacement for Gung-Ho. One could argue he’s not a bad replacement for Gung-Ho though, or in some ways, is a nice compliment as an additional Marine.

When I started buying vintage Joes in the late 2000‘s, I had almost no money, and a lot of classics were typically out of my price range. For the most part though, 1986 guys were a cheap series of figures to complete, so my early o-ring acquisitions were characterized mostly by guys from this one year. During that time, I ended up giving more attention to figures like Leatherneck than I otherwise might have done, so my opinion of the figure is colored by a sense of sentimentality I rarely feel towards most stuff.

Leatherneck is one of those go-to Joes you can use in a lot of places with a lot of other figures. I really like the relative consistency you can see in his design and colors when compared with figures like Flint and Footloose just to name a few. The only real downside to this is that he does lose some uniqueness, which is something Gung-Ho still has over him. Still, I’m not huge Gung-Ho fan, and the generic qualities of Leatherneck lends him to more situations for me.

The sculpt is pretty sharp on Leatherneck. I particularly like his vest/torso, and find that the details are very crisp on it. It’s a fair argument to say that other parts of the sculpt are a bit on the softer end, but overall it’s good enough for me. The only thing that really bothers me about the overall look of the figure, is the paint on his arms. While most of his deco is quite good, the flesh paint on his arms isn’t quite opaque enough, meaning his hands have a slight greenish hue. It bugs me a bit.

As for his parts, Leatherneck included a simple kit consisting of a small backpack and a gray M-16A2 w/ M203 grenade launcher. I find this M-16 a bit vexing, as I don’t like the sculpt very much. Compared to other M-16 sculpts like Frostbite’s, I feel the details just don’t come out as strong here. I also think the handle looks really long, especially compared to the nice M-16 sculpt from ‘82 Grunt. To redeem this one though, I think it’s nice that Hasbro showed enough attention to detail to sculpt multiple variants of the M-16. This particular model wasn’t even that old when Leatherneck came out.

Right now, a complete V1 Leatherneck will cost you around $15 to $18. I was pretty astounded by this, as $15 seemed like what one would fetch on the high-end, but there’s even odd examples of Leatherneck’s selling for $30! It’s far more than he’s worth and it’s quite apparent to me that he’s been badly affected by the current price surge. I’ve seen a lot of people with Marine family members (or who have been Marines) and have a special attachment to Leatherneck for that reason alone, so it’s probably why his price has gone up so much.

gi joe vintage hasbro arah Leatherneck v1 1986

1986 Leatherneck Links:

Forgotten Figures

Half the Battle

3D Joes

Joe A Day

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2 Responses to 1986 Leatherneck

  1. Mike T. says:

    Leatherneck’s always been a figure that should be cooler than he actually is. He always felt just a bit off to me. The head was a bit too big and the torso was a bit too skinny.

    I used to love his gun, especially as a kid. But, it hasn’t aged all that well. It looks good with a lot of figures. But, there are better weapons that are now far more available.

    Leatherneck seems to be one of those figures that isn’t holding up too well. The green elbows tend to discolor and his arms aren’t far behind. I’d like to get one of the brighter versions from Brazil. They’re still, relatively, cheap. Probably should act before that changes.

  2. R.T.G. says:

    Leatherneck is a figure I really like the overall design of, but in hand, he tends to fall a little short of what I want him to be. He’s got the 86 big head, and comically skinny legs, so he doesn’t work as well as I want him to.

    His gun is a decent design, it’s just so damn big. I think if they’d taken the Footloose M-16 base and modified it, it would be an all time favourite, alas it wasn’t.

    Leatherneck’s someone who’s character in the comic where he’s fairly aggressive towards his fellow Joes, is something that sticks out to me, and something I’ll try and work into photos every once in a while. I like having him be at odds with Outback, in photos.

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