G.I. Joe Convention 2013 - Nocturnal Fire Night Force Spearhead

Back when this guy was released in 1988, I had a hard time getting around his overall design aesthetics, even as a 13 year old kid. I loved the idea of the "point man"...the guy with brass balls big enough to lead the way for the rest of the squad, willing to take a bullet (or a few bullets) to break through the enemy stronghold. That was all sorts of bad ass.

But his somewhat goofy head sculpt, his extremely goofy helmet, and his I have no idea what the heck that is machine gun turned me off. That's right, I love most of the stuff from the 90s, but I just couldn't appreciate the look and feel of Spearhead. While the Night Force version gave us better colors, the overall designs (and the associated issues with it) still left me cold.

The Collectors' Club version promises to right many of the wrongs of the original Spearhead, but falls just a little bit short. Thankfully, any aspects of the Club version that don't meet my needs are pretty easily swappable, and that's what I'll probably end up doing. Spearhead here uses the Pursuit of Cobra Dusty head sculpt, which is fine, and looks similar to his classic visage. He has the surprisingly dated Cobra Trooper torso, most likely because it's one of the few torsos that can actually fit Shockwave's vest. His arms and legs are from the Cobra Shock Trooper, which are great choices. I'm surprised to see that the Cobra Trooper torso actually doesn't look too out of place with his limbs.

The articulation is very good, and even though the design elements are relatively generic, just being a muddy shade of brown, with some very interesting teal colored boots and gloves. It's an homage to his vintage version, which has the same color on the boots and belt, but where that Spearhead is gray, this one is brown.

Paint is not exceptionally varied on Spearhead, and unfortunately the paint on his face leaves him looking pretty sleepy...almost the exact opposite of the charismatic, exciting squad point man that his filecard dicates he is.

Base parts for Spearhead are remarkably well chosen, but the accessories they place on top short change the figure underneath.


Spearhead comes with a ton of gear, and most of it is spectactular. His backpack is great, and the Dusty helmet and goggles are very cool. His heavy machine gun with bipod is a good choice, and I really love that they glued his machine gun belt together so it fits around his torso.

However, the torso is where we have our problem. I do like the Shockwave vest...but it's pretty dated, and pretty clunky, and does impact the movement of the upper torso and arms for Spearhead, especially with the machine gun belt around. It does mirror the texture of the vintage version to a degree, but I'd almost rather see a more modern tactical vest. As I said, though, that can be fairly easily resolved.

I love the assault rifle as well, and I really like that there is a more or less standard weapon for most of the soldiers in this set. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Max as well, Spearhead's bobcat companion. The Club tooled up a whole new bobcat for this set, and he looks pretty neat, to boot. A nice touch. Apparently they learned their lesson from fan outcry last year with no vulture for Voltar!

Spearhead is a good addition to the Night Force set. His dated vest and somewhat clunky movement with all of his accessories detracts a bit, and his various shades of brown leave him just a bit on the boring side. He's not a bad figure by any means, just not quite as exciting or inspiring as the rest of the figures in the boxed set.