1986 LCV Recon Sled

G.I. Joe is an incredibly large toyline, and because of that a lot of things can fall under the radar. One such thing is the 1986 LCV Recon Sled, which looks like something that should have some potential based on it’s colours, release year, and relative similarity to the H.A.V.O.C.. Instead it’s a toy that sucks.

The 1986 vehicles are a fairly bizarre year, most of the releases are oddly futuristic, and the better ones are vehicles I tend to think of as other year’s releases (I generally say the Tomahawk is an 87, but I guess I’m wrong!). The LCV is a definite 1986 release, it still has the classic G.I. Joe vehicle green, that was fairly consistent from 82-87, and it’s got the silly “lay on your belly” placement of the driver, that was also a defining feature of the H.A.V.O.C.. Unfortunately being identifiable as a total 1986 vehicle, isn’t a nice thing, as I generally think the 86 vehicles are less than stellar, which the LCV most definitely is.


The idea behind the vehicle makes sense, it’s a small one-man scout vehicle. It gives the Joe sent out on recon duty the ability to cover more ground, and, if needed, a quick escape. It’s a bit of a goofy contraption, and looks like it’d be a death trap, but there’s a solid idea for a vehicle. The big problem,  is that as a toy, this thing is awful. The front multi-wheel thing doesn’t even move, it’s just molded plastic. The head-like cockpit is stationary too, I, for some reason imagined it would be capable of moving left to right, but nope! The cockpit is really cramped, and this is using 82-83 figures, and not the much larger 86s, and I don’t quite understand how this thing is supposed to be operated, there’s no controls and the figure is face down looking at a radar screen.

I’m legitimately disappointed with how bad this vehicle is. I saw one and passed it by a couple of times because I was unsure of it, though I figured “It’s a mid 80s small vehicle, it can’t be bad”, and started to think of possible uses for it, as having numerous vehicles opens up more opportunities for Joe photography. Turns out I was dead wrong. I can’t really see myself ever using this thing as anything more than background fodder, because it’s not a good vehicle, it’s not even a good toy, though it might be decent at taking up a little space in the background of a picture. The colours are alright, I guess.


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7 Responses to 1986 LCV Recon Sled

  1. A-Man says:

    Two things you are missing here.
    1. The figure’s arms go in the holes under the dashboard next to the front guns! The “controls” are in there but the face is still looking a radar screen.

    2. Yours is missing the periscope on top of the windshield…that’s how the driver sees. (needless complicated!)

    I’m not defending this contraption. This one was vehicle I had as a kid and yes, I hardly used it even compared to the Polar Battle Bear, which is saying something considering I lived where were was rarely any snow. I never could make sense of it. It’s like the grub version of the HAVOC. It seemed like it wouldn’t go that fast. The rear gun was…like…if it’s being followed? But I have to think it was that funny front crawler wheel mess that killed it for me. It if had just been a bizarre motorcycle, might have gotten a pass.

    Strangely the instructions say it can be ridden in a seated mode….ummm…and operated how? Same blue prints don’t even say what the front guns are.

    Box art shows Bazooka, a 1985 character, not 1986, its release year. Maybe worst Joe gets worst ride?

    • Thanks for the heads up on how to use the vehicle and what I was missing. I knew there was a missing part, but damned if I could figure out what it was!

      I agree on that crawler wheel mess being the nail in the coffin for the vehicle. A goofy motorcycle could be explained, this thing is just weird. Good catch on the instructions mentioning the seated mode. I couldn’t figure out how it was supposed to work in the prone edition, so I probably won’t figure out the seated version either! hahaha.

      • A-Man says:

        3D Joes has commercial and it shows the seated mode as they battle the STUN….fighting the battle of who could care less?

        Another anecdote. My family moved to the east coast in 1990 and some stores still had LCV Recon Sleds!

  2. mwnekoman says:

    Hahaha, I just checked out the commercial, what on earth are they supposed to be doing? Their arms are just sitting there like they’re pretending they have controls… So strange.

    This has to be one of the worst vehicles in the line. I never wanted one, but got it by chance in a lot of Mega Marines I needed. As a freebie, I was able to appreciate it for how well it serves to accompany the HAVOC, but it is indeed shockingly bad besides that. I also think the bizarre front wheels are the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Still, the worst year of vehicles in my opinion would have to be 1991, but 1986 might’ve been the worst of the eighties.

    • 1986 is one strange year for vehicles, as a bunch of them don’t even resonate with me as being from 1986. Gun to my head I’d say the Tomahawk was a 1987 vehicle. However the ones I associate with 1986 are all BAD!

      1991 is interesting, as it’s the first year vehicles really became an afterthought for the line, and they’re all icky single stamp vehicles.

      • A-Man says:

        That’s odd, because 1987 was not a great year for the JOES (yeah, space shuttle, how many owned that, though?).

        As far as 1986 goes, the Tomahawk, Terrordrome, Thunder Machine and Night Raven are solid. The Conquest is good, once you know it’s based on actual concepts. And for the battle stations, the Outpost Defender was simple, great design.

        The so-so ones:
        Air Chariot (like Serpy, it’s absurd, but I don’t hate it. The cartoon made it iconic)
        Devilfish (the orange is the only big issue, and the foot pegs are silly)
        Hydrosled (I rarely used it, I felt like it was meant as an underwater diver sled)
        HAVOC (I used to dislike it but the comic and toon made it iconic)
        LAW (Good colors, but as a non-towable stationary weapon meant it was underused)
        Surveillance Port (mine’s radar dish tab broke off soon after purchase and soured me on it)

        *The Dreadnok vehicle sets. I never owned them but recall seeing them at a SEARS. No driver figure and the lime green parts didn’t sway me. I’ve heard the color change parts get brittle and break easily.

        The Losers were:
        Recon Sled (we’ve covered that)
        Triple T (it’s just stupid…a seat on treads to showcase Slaughter. I cannot see them coming up with this if it were for Slaughter becoming Joe)
        Swampfire (Mine’s rotor assembly broke waaay to easily. It wasn’t a good boat or copter)
        The Stun (I used to like it…part of me wants to…I like the Python version more, as it plays into the snake like front of the vehicle, but it’s large for what it is, a ridiculous concept and , well, all the softer plastic parts get brittle and break over time.)

        The one i like the least is the Triple T, as it’s a seat on treads to showcase Sgt. Slaughter; as an odd ball character vehicle it doesn’t even have the camp value of Serpy’s air chariot. Even the LCV is better than Triple T, because I think there was at least a concept behind the Recon Sled. Maybe that’s why most “leader” character vehicles were Cobra, their flamboyancy lets them get away with evaders and air skiffs.

  3. Mike T. says:

    This thing is bad. I bought it as a kid because I bought everything that year. I really, really tried to use it since vehicles were often broken in our house. But, this thing just didn’t work. It survived in great condition just because it never got used.

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