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.