Yeah, the squad notion was ok, but the toon acted like the previous characters didn't exist, same with TF. Other than Flint and Shipwreck, I don't think any previous characters had any major roles in S2 of the toon. We never saw Stalker and Beachhead do anything. Doc and Lifeline never teamed up to save anyone. Torpedo never joined Wetsuit on an underwater demolition mission. So it never felt like "addition", IMO, but I can see it working out that way on the bedroom floor.
But regardless of how we view '86, there is no argument that it clearly went downhill afterward. I like TunnelRat, Falcon, and Chuckles, but that's when I really learned the notion of cherry-picking. And the inordinate amount of sub-teams that had no real purpose other than a loose visual cohesion really turned me off.
I mean, in the Joe universe, WTF was Tiger Force's mission? How were TF Recondo and Flint supposed to be different than when regular Recondo and Flint went on a mission? I know it was an excuse for repaints, but the narrative that supposedly pushed it was weak. And PP was worse. If that tech worked, why wasn't it on all their stuff, not just this 5% sub-team? And BF 2000.... they had goofy Buck Rogers vehicles that transformed into a hi-tech... rectangle? SMH. I can see Steeler and Clutch rolling their eyes at the noobs and their dorky gimmick.
The best thing to come out of '87 & '88 is the rise of Destro's forces. After that, it became unrecognizable.