1988 Psyche Out (Night Force)

1988 Psyche Out (Night Force)

Night Force would almost be an overrated subgroup in GI Joe, if you only looked at figures like Falcon and Muskrat, where nice looking toys were put in different, arguably less cohesive colors. The appeal of Night Force, in my opinion, largely comes from the figures who had normally bright colors swapped for more serious business colors, like Lightfoot, Crazy Legs, and in the case of this profile, Psyche Out.

gi joe vintage cobra night force tunnel rat 1988

A GI Joe who specializes in Psy-Ops is a pretty bizarre idea for a character. There’s a few other characters he could pair up nicely with, but personally, I find it hard to do much with him. It makes it even weirder to think about why he’s a member of a night-ops team, but I suppose it was really just an opportunity for Hasbro to recycle a mold from yesteryear. I find something fascinating from a more conspiracy minded point of view about Psyche Out, and personally enjoy pairing him up with Chuckles and Scoop as a propaganda/conspiracy team (though, I have no cool pictures to represent that).

Given the nature of this figure, the fluorescent green of V1 Psyche Out really wasn’t that obnoxious. Still, the colors are superior on this version. Palette-wise, there’s a lot of hues that overlap between this figure and a few other vintage classics. His off-white shirt is pretty similar to Mainframe’s color; likewise, the olive pants are in line with Heavy Metal and a few others. It makes him look more cohesive with those golden-year ‘85 and ‘86 figures, and less like a stereotypical 1987 figure in all of the worst ways.

This figure looks pretty nice, but in the end of the day I can’t find too much to do with him. I’ve had the figure out at my desk for two, maybe even close to three years now contemplating that cool photo I’ll take of him, but “standing aimlessly by a hummer” was the best I could come up with for now. I like the toy enough to want to do something with him, but he kind of just comes off as a good-guy version of Crystal Ball.

I still don’t own a single Night Force figure that has their original parts, so for my Psyche Out, I just use a selection of my favorite pistols or the original’s gear. Night Force Psyche Out included a backpack, an antenna for his head, two clip-on wrist radars, a radar hand-device, and a seldom seen pistol, all in black. It’s nice for being different, but these parts really don’t look any better than the original’s. As I already find Psyche Out’s normal equipment to be weird and niche, I feel no need to acquire these parts.

A complete Night Force Psyche Out runs around $130 currently, but one with only a couple of his parts in nice condition only fetches about $30. Having figures and repaints without their original parts feels pretty lame. Despite that, I really can’t say some little black satellites are worth $100, especially not when he looks fine enough with other parts.

gi joe vintage cobra night force tunnel rat 1988

1988 Psyche Out (Night Force) Links:

Forgotten Figures

Joe A Day

Half the Battle


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2 Responses to 1988 Psyche Out (Night Force)

  1. Mike T. says:

    Collectors have always had hard ons for Night Force. Like you said, though, most of the figures are just equal or inferior repaints to the original. But, for those who are upgrades, the upgrades are substantial.

    The upside is that the original Psyche Out’s gear will work on this figure, too. So, you can still use him even if you don’t have the black parts.

    Aside from standing him around the the HQ, though, there’s not much to do with the character. Night Force offers a different look. And, you can have him traipsing around on training missions in this color scheme.

    But, even at $30, this is a tough sell for something different. The original works well enough since you can get a complete one for $10 even in this market.

  2. I missed out on the 87 Psyche-Out, since I didn’t get into Joes until 89, but I got the NF 2-pack with this one and Tunnel Rat. That was actually the only one of the first NF wave that I got, although I did get some the next year’s. So to me this WAS Psyche-Out (until the Super Sonic version came along). The alterations to the NF file card were really well done, talking about how he uses fear, like fear of the dark, as a weapon. Perfect for NF.

    I still think it’s funny that he has the same rank as Lt. Falcon. So really, who DOES lead NF? The army brat second-generation Green Beret who literally grew up at Ft. Bragg, or the egghead with a PhD from Berkeley who fights with radio waves?

    His accessories are a nice example of Hasbro leaving some ambiguity about what they actually did, so kids could use their imagination and put them in multiple roles.

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