Vincent R. "Falcon" Falcone was the star of the 1987 G.I. Joe animated movie where it was revealed that he was Duke’s brother. Brash and not good with following rules, his journey in the film was that of redemption but also a signal that Hasbro wanted to replace older characters such as Duke with new heroes. The name Falcon was coined as the character was originally meant to be the son of General Hawk, but that idea was abandoned in favour of being Duke’s brother. In the comics, Falcon had a more measured role where Larry Hama introduced him as the leader of an illegitimate G.I. Joe unit that was quickly incorporated into the main team by General Hawk.
The Falcon figure has been controversial because of his face. Even before he was released, fans were worrying about the figure’s face. But when it arrived, many commentators felt that the face was the worst of the G.I. Joe Classified line. What I must point out is that if he had been a villain, the face would have been fine. But we expect our heroes to look good and heroic. That was the archetype that Falcon had in the G.I. Joe movie, but that is not the one he was given here. Instead of being young daredevil, here he looks like an old major who has seen some dire things.
As mentioned, Falcon is supposed to be youthful and good-looking. He is not here. His face is grizzled, and he looks tired. As an older major, it would have worked, but not as a lieutenant. The suit, however, does recall the original action figure with darker hues that veer away from the olive colours he had. The camouflage pattern is not a stark as the old toy. His classic boot design has been updated here, even though the footwear is probably no longer standard issue in the United States’ military. Of course, Falcon sports his classic green beret and a handkerchief. Save for the horrible face sculpt, this looks like Falcon.
The sculpt is problematic beyond the face. It is the same one used for the Classified Recondo action figure, and both have the same flaws, although this build is entirely pinless at the elbows and knees. Their hands are too big for the forearms and their bodies overall. Falcon’s head is already too large, but they figures are still too big in comparison. Only one hand would be needed to completely cover his face. Another problem with the sculpt is that the finish on the torso is shinny not matter nor textured, like the sleeves and the pants. Thus, light bounces back a lot on this figure. If possible, shirt-wearing torsos should always be matte, not glossy.
Regardless, Falcon looks muscular and more compact than other Joes of his weight and size, like Duke. One major flaw of this figure is the sculpted in knife on Falcon’s harness. This is the first G.I. Joe Classified action figure to feature such sculpting shortcut. It does not look good at all and is a major departure from a line that has stood out against Marvel Legends and others as having real gear, figures can handle.
The paint application is quite good, regardless of the face. The lips’ dark pink shading only looks bad and like lipstick in photography. In person, they do not stand out as much. Like I wrote above, the hues of the uniform are darker and not stark enough for the camouflage effect. There are a few paint blemishes in Falcon’s face, with droplets of paints with his hair colour.
Falcon is the standard G.I. Joe Classified middle-range male height, a tad shorter than his brother Duke, but about the same as Stalker. Of course, he looks great with his other teammates.
Because his backpack is heavy and its peg does not fit well, Falcon often falls off when he sports it. The problem was to such extent that I’d rather pose the figure without the backpack. The peg of the backpack already shows some tear, so I decided to stop trying to have it stay on the figure. Without the backpack, the figure is quite stable.
Lt. Falcon has the standard G.I. Joe Classified articulations at the neck the shoulders, the abdominal, the waist, the legs and hips, the knees, the elbows, and the ankles. His neck is a separate piece, so it can pivot at the base and allows the head to pivot also. This double peg system gives Falcon’s head enough range to look up, down and pivot side to side. The butterflies in his shoulder articulations are stiff and with limited rage. Yet, Falcon can raise his arms to about 90 degrees. He has bicep cuts that rotate 360 degrees. His double elbow articulations are nice and give him quite a lot of range, without looking awkward. Both of his wrists feature vertical hinges which help when handling weapons and props in his hands.
Falcon’s abdominal have a ratchet system but when used, the straps on his harness look odd and they float up. There is a ball joint at his waist allowing him to rotate but also pivot side to side. It is quite stiff. Like all G.I. Joe Classified action figures, Falcon has drop down hips which increase the range of his hip articulations, helping him raise his legs a bit more, although they cannot reach 90 degrees easily. He can perform the split. The double knee articulations on my figure were stuck and stiff, so I did not force them too much for fear of stressing the plastic. I’ll have to give Falcon a hot bath to loosen them a bit. He has boot and thigh cuts, for more 360 rotations. Finally, he has a ball joint at the ankles that allow him to raise his feet up, down, but also pivot from the base.
The plastic is not gummy PVC but still stiff and a bit brittle. The wave Falcon came in was not the best, quality wise, unfortunately. There is stress marks on the backpack’s peg.
Falcon’s backpack has a radio antenna that could break easily if you are not careful. There is also a socket to insert his “real knife.” The knife is painted, having a silver blade. There two painted gourds sculpted in and painted on the backpack, as well as a glued-on rope attachment. Of course, Lt. Falcon sports his classic green beret which fits just fine. The harness looks silly as it keeps being pushed up and not lining up at the bottom with the shirt’s skirt. He has a rifle with an articulated rear where he can store a few shotgun bullets.
Falcon came on the new windowless package with ugly artwork by artist Arno Kiss. It’s not nice to say that the artwork is not beautiful, but it does not help sell the figure. It is too figurative and unless you are a collector already aware of what you are purchasing, this box will leave you scrambling for insights. It’s fun to have artists interpret characters, but not when it detracts from selling the product. Falcon was tied up solidly with paper ropes. His gear was included in a sealed paper bag. While the windowless packaging has been criticized and disliked by many collectors, it is a good step towards reducing waste, using recyclable materials. As Hasbro prepares to use plastic in its packaging once again, I am hoping that some of the innovation used here will remain. The package can still use cardboard and paper-based ropes to hold the figures in a package that has a plastic window.
Hasbro has increased the price on its action figures several times in 2022. For now, this cost of Falcon is about $24.99 USD or $35.99, CAD. A few Canadian stores do sell Lt. Falcon for about $34.99 and sometimes less. The price is quite steep as a just a few years ago, collectors paid $19.99 USD and $29.99 CAD for Hasbro-based action figures.
Falcon is still easy to obtain as he was not as popular because of his ugly face. Many collectors cancelled their orders, and he can be found warming pegs in many stores. This is highly unusual for a leading male character. Yet the fire is good for customizers because of its good built. As well as being a good base for many military figures sporting camos, there has been an unending quest by many collectors to replace Falcon’s head with something else! For my part, I decided to go with the spare masked head of Kamakura, giving Falcon a Beach Head look. Eventually, Hasbro will release a corrected version of Falcon with a new head. That future figure will be my Falcon. This new guy can be Falcon or some other jungle-based expert. The beret does stay on the Kamakura masked head, but not as tightly as on Falcon’s noggin.