Night Force Sneak Peek

Night Force has always been one of the most popular ideas in G.I. Joe fandom, despite the fact that most of the figures and characters chosen for Night Force tended to be highly unpopular. Now, the Night Force versions of figures like Crazy Legs, LightFoot, and Sneak Peek were improved immensely by their new colour schemes, might show that there is indeed something to the Night Force idea, and that’s why it resonates with collectors.

Unlike Tiger Force or Python Patrol, Night Force wasn’t a hodgepodge collection of long discontinued figures. Night Force was a TRU exclusive, and used figures that weren’t new, but were still available. The two packs featuring new and wildly different decos of relevant to the time figures is a much different take. In some ways I like that a little more than the diaspora of molds that would be used in other repaint sub teams.

The exclusivity of Night Force made them expensive figures, on the aftermarket, and that’s been the case for decades. This fact, led to the fanbase often creating “Night Force” customs, as both a way to include the ideas of the concept into their collection, and expand the roster (Hard to have a “force” when you’ve got one figure), one of the big issues with this, was it lead to tons of figures that were often done up in only black, with no use of the greys or greens that the original figures were actually clad in.

Sneak Peek’s an interesting mold. It’s not the strongest sculpt, and has a few issues about it (usually the fact he’s hefty is a source of derision). But he’s got armor and isn’t bogged down with too much, and that alone allows the figure to do his job, advanced recon. The mold is fairly plain, but it’s a nice change of pace from how busy figures had started to get around 1987.

The original figure was done up in light grey and red, a super 1987 colour scheme. This version darkens the torso’s grey to an almost charcoal colour, turns the armour black and gives him a nice shade of green for his pants. Despite the muted tones, it’s a much more more colourful figure than the original. The great thing about the figure’s pants is that they match the green of the original’s tower periscope quite well, and that makes using the ’87 version stick out a little less, than other attempts at using earlier accessories with the Night Force version.

Sneak Peek is definitely improved by the Night Force repaint. The original figure would be better viewed if he wasn’t so similar to Crazylegs, and those two figures weren’t the most common G.I. Joe members of the 1987 line (The year, that’s probably got the largest production of them all). This version though is a legitimate improvement on the 87, not just due to rarity, it’s colours are better, and the choice to go two-tone with the legs and torso makes Sneak Peak look less like a guy in a sweat suit.


I picked up Sneak Peek, because I found a decent deal. The figure I have is obviously not mint, but I don’t really care about that kind of thing, too much anymore. If I could upgrade, I would, but I won’t lose sleep over it. I just felt it would be good to own a Night Force figure, since it’s a fairly important idea, in the scheme of things that is G.I. Joe, as it’s one that would be brought into new eras of A Real American Hero, when the chance would permit it. I’ve also become somewhat of a fan of the vintage line repaints of the 86-88 era, as there aren’t many of them, but they also give off a “G.I. Joe: Generation 2” look. You combine some Night Force, Sonic Fighters and a couple of the other stragglers, and you’ve got all the makings of a failed re-start of G.I. Joe circa 1995.


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8 Responses to Night Force Sneak Peek

  1. Mike T. says:

    The NF Sneak Peek is an improvement over the original. My youngest brother got he and Falcon and they were the only Night Force figures I saw as a kid. (I was done with G.I. Joe in ’88.) I still have the Sneak Peek and paired him with two 1987 figures as “Commanders” who lead the nameless, faceless Joe army builders I was obsessed with in the final days of my youth and into early collecting.

    A couple of Night Force figures are cool. But, you can argue that few of them are really upgrades over their original figures. It was infuriating during the 2000’s to see Hasbro make so many figures in the same colors and focus so much on unified teams. It made too many figures similar. Night Force would suck if the entire 1988 series had been done in that color scheme. But, as a one or two off, it can be a nice change of pace.

    Sadly, the new collector market makes anything that’s slightly rarer than regular figures stupidly expensive. At $40, these figs were a tough sell. At $150-$200, it makes no sense to even bother with most of them.

    • In the 80s, Hasbro had a pretty decent grasp of individuality and uniformity when it came to the sub teams. The 2000s showed the lack of understanding that Hasbro had about what made G.I. Joe tick. The one time they tried an 80s style approach to a team, it was Tiger Force, where they botched it via not understanding that the appeal of European Tiger Force figures was that they weren’t available in North America, rather than that fans actually liked the designs (save for Outback).

  2. A-Man says:

    I tend to think Night Force’s mystique was mostly the store exclusive aspect. The vehicles have orange parts and glow in the dark stickers. I mean, come on. Even the vaunted Night Boomer looks odd with it’s grey wings and black body.

    The green should’ve been darker. And to honest, Sneek-Peak’s original colors are better. Maybe not better for his role. But the overall appearance was the product of a planned character designed. Night Force color changes could get a bit random, and silly. like Falcon and Outback’s shirt sleeves not matching their shirts.

    • I’ll disagree on the original Sneak Peek’s colours, but you do raise a point, about it being more of a planned design.

      The Outback sleeves not matching, is intentional. If you look at the Night Force Outback card-art, it’s been changed to make it as though Outback’s wearing a vest over his shirt. It’s dumb as hell, but it’s a thing that has a reasoning.

  3. mwnekoman says:

    I never liked V1 Sneak Peek’s colors, so this guy comes off to me as an upgrade. A lot of the times Night Force figures weren’t necessarily better than their original counterparts, but provided an interesting alternative, especially for some more brightly colored figures (Psyche-Out and Shockwave).

    Also, until I read this post I had completely forgotten I have 3/4 of this figure! I acquired his upper half and waist in lots years ago, but never found his legs. I’ve looked for someone selling them periodically, but usually only find the parts I have.

  4. paint-wipes says:

    I don’t think i’ve seen carded night force anything as an adult collector. other than a few loose ones i came into the 2000s all my NF figures were purchased at the same time at a TRU in riverhead NY using one of my first ever paychecks in 88’. i don’t think i ever owned a single vehicle or much less even remember what exactly they were.

    I really like some of the NF repaints, namely outback, crazylegs and shockwave. tunnel rat with his bandolier full of tracer rounds is probably the third best vintage release of that mold.

    I always used sneak peak and crazylegs as tomahawk crew with their matching getups but i cannot remember a single memory with either figure. sneak peak always got a raw deal but there are far more offensive figures from the same era.

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