1986 LCV Recon Sled

1986 LCV Recon Sled

Back in the day before eBay was saturated with flippers desperate for small change, you could get good deals on figure lots. Sometimes this made for some acquisitions one would normally not go out of their way to pursue, like large armies of Frag Vipers. Another time I got a good deal on a lot of Mega Marines, which also featured the LCV Recon Sled, a vehicle I normally would have never touched if it wasn’t tossed in for free.

The LCV Recon Sled is horribly awkward. It looks like you should be able to put a figure on in a few different ways, but most of the time they just fall off if their arms aren’t deeply planted in the little holes under the canopy. When a figure is riding it, their legs always tend to spread out in an odd way that looks unnatural. It’s funny too, because it’s hinged body is supposed to allow for “adjustable riding positions” according to the box, but it doesn’t really change much. Also, elevating the hinge makes a horrible snapping sound, and also makes it balance less well. Pretty lame.

The Joes have a very Rambo perspective on what the word “Recon” means, at least with the three guns the LCV Recon Sled’s toting around. Two machine guns are mounted at the front of the vehicle, and there’s a rotating cannon in the back. Amusingly, the cannon only rotates vertically a few degrees, and the machine-guns are fixed onto the front without moving at all! The fact that the weapons can’t be aimed makes them seem chintzy and more tacked-on, but it probably would’ve been too boring without them.

One of the most perplexing oddities of the vehicle is the date-stamp. It’s right up in the front, with big bold text where you can’t miss it when viewed from that angle. I didn’t realize until recently I’m missing the headlight that goes on the vehicle, but with a flaw like that I’m not sure I’m all too fussed about it. There’s room under it’s main body for the date-stamp, so I’m not sure why they put it in such an ugly spot.

All of these problems aside, I can’t really bring myself to hate it, and there’s a few cool aspects to it too. Most notably it’s a nice aesthetic match to the HAVOC; which is a little odd, since the HAVOC already has a hover-craft, so why does it need a recon bike/sled thing? Either way, it’s nice having a little more of that spacey-military thing they were doing in ‘86. The overall shape is distinct and looks kind of cool, which is more than you can say for the Marauder (Though, that’s digging pretty deep to find something worse.).

There’s something else to it, but I have a hard time describing it: The simplicity of 80‘s Joe, maybe? It’s hard to say anything nice about this thing, but scrolling through the worst ARAH vehicles still makes me jealous of that 80‘s kid experience. Keeping things in perspective, it’s a shitty vehicle, but it’s not that shitty, and it’s something that was cheap enough you could’ve had it for a day you got sick or while visiting grandparents. Go to a WalMart now (practically the last toy store…) and you won’t find anything like this anymore. The sled deserves some ridicule, but modern toys and culture has a sobering effect on the scraps from 4 decades ago.

A decent LCV Recon Sled runs in the $10 range, for a few more dollars you can get one with the blueprints or even the box. The periscope is usually what’s missing, though it doesn’t really make the vehicle expensive when it’s intact. It’s a lame little vehicle and the pricing still reflects that, though as a freebie I’ve probably gotten my money’s worth out of it.

GI Joe 1986 LCV Recon Sled Beachhead Bazooka Hasbro vintageGI Joe 1986 LCV Recon Sled Beachhead Bazooka Hasbro vintage

1986 LCV Recon Sled Links:

Attica Gazette

3D Joes

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4 Responses to 1986 LCV Recon Sled

  1. Josh Z says:

    You didn’t mention the most ridiculous aspect of this vehicle, which is that the driver can only lie down with his face pointing downward into a radar screen. There is no angle at which a G.I. Joe figure can look up through the windshield.

  2. HitandRun says:

    Your write-up is full of valid criticisms about the concept and design of this vehicle but it always stuck out in my head as one of the cooler vehicles from the Sunbow cartoon. That gives it only positive memories for me and I probably appreciate it more than I should for how wacky this thing really is.

    I acquired one a few years ago, I honestly cannot recall how or when – my guess is it was an on the cheap impulse buy on ebay because it was a vehicle I remembered so fondly as kid from the cartoon but never acquired one. Once in hand and taking a look at it I made the same observation you did on how similar it looked to the HAVOC and thought that was a neat little tie-in. Also, the 80s feel to it as you mentioned gives it some character, it’s design is bizarre but with color wise it fits in well with the AWE Striker, RAM, Armadillo, HAVOC.

  3. A-Man says:

    I attribute it to Hasbro running out of lower price point vehicle ideas.
    1986 was also the year of prone vehicle operators (Night Raven Drone, HAVOC, Hydro Sled…), Hasbro did these little trends like that.

    I had it and rarely used it. I recall it was a peg warmer some places, like seeing it into the 90’s on the east coast when my family moved there. (Where I was surprised how much the East coast retailers Ames and Caldor sucked compared to “fly over” states Texas-Oklahoma’s Walmarts, Targets and Kmarts.)

    While the LCV has some details, the fake non-moving crawler wheels are cheap. Why even go with that design then? I mean, fake treads I get because the expense of making working tread would raise the cost of every tracked vehicle. But fake crawler wheels? Molding those 5 extra parts was just outside the budget?

  4. Dak Knomadd says:

    Thinking about it I’ve just realized that I don’t recall ever having seen one of these up close. If I had, it might have been such a woefully unremarkable critter to have escaped all memory. Odd how that happens sometimes.

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