Wet-Suit, like most of the Sigma Six characters, has his origins in the 3-3/4" series. Wet-Suit was introduced as a Navy SEAL in 1986, the second one assigned to the team after 1983's Torpedo. Wet-Suit had a more ornate and distinctive design, with a pale turquoise diving suit with an orange-yellow helmet. A Toys "R" Us exclusive that same year gave the figure a silver uniform.
Wet-Suit was also very prominently featured in the second season of the Marvel-produced animated series, which wanted to emphasize as many of the new 1986 characters as possible. Wet-Suit was portrayed as an ill- tempered sort, who had a running rivalry with fellow Joe Team member Leatherneck, a Marine, as to which one of them came from the tougher military unit. Despite some very loud arguments, the two always came together for the good of the team in the fight against Cobra.
Wet-Suit's strongest episode was likely one in which he was part of a group of fighters that were gathered together for an unknown purpose. Sgt. Slaughter came along for that ride, and it ultimately turned out that this fighters' contest had been staged by Cobra Commander, who was looking for someone to deal with Serpentor once and for all. Obviously, he didn't bargain on two Joes showing up.
Wet-Suit, as a figure, was remade in 1992, in a somewhat plainer form than before, and since that time, both figure versions have seen occasional use, sometimes under different names. But the character of Wet-Suit is certainly a well-established one within the G.I. Joe universe, so it's not too surprising that when Hasbro decided to add a separate character to the Sigma Six line-up that was a diving specialist, they chose Wet-Suit.
The figure really is superb, and may well be my personal favorite among the three newcomers to the team (although I am pleased to have them all, of course). Technically, the body is that of Sea Ops Duke. But, what the heck, it's an excellent design overall. Sea Ops Duke was actually the first Sigma Six figure I ever purchased. I chose him because I liked the basic design. I still do, and it certainly works well for Wet-Suit, as one would expect it to.
The uniform has been radically recolored, though, almost enough so you don't recognize that it's been used before. Whereas Sea Ops Duke's uniform was predominantly black with a bit of dark blue trim along the sides, in keeping with the basic Sigma Suit design, Wet-Suit's outfit is predominently orange, and the side-trim is black, essentially a reversal of the basic Sigma Suit color scheme, but without losing the design elements.
Wet-Suit is, of course, as superbly well articulated as we have come to expect these Sigma Six figures to be, and, of course, he has a new head- sculpt. Most of his head is encased on a skin-tight diver's headpiece, but the face shows through. The facial design is fairly straightforward, but it's a good one. Hasbro should be commended for the level of detail they tend to put in the eyes on these figures. And there's just a bit of a connection to the original Wet-Suit. That figure, in his 1992 incarnation which had a removable helmet, had brown hair. So is the little bit of hair showing on the forehead of the Sigma Six Wet-Suit from underneath the headpiece.
There are some new features, as well, that distinguish the figure from Sea Ops Duke. Although the elastic-band chestpiece is gone, there's a very impressive all-new helmet. All Duke got were goggles and a breather mask. The new helmet is all-covering, and looks excellent on the figure. It's mostly black, with orange sides and back, transparent green goggles built in, a black breather mask, and silver trim. There's an indication that some of the black trim was "fixed" by hand, but it's not too bad. I'd call this more repair work than actual fully hand-painted detailing.
There's also an underwater searchlight detailed into the helmet. If you want to have a little fun with this, do what I did -- paint the yellow front of it with some glow in the dark paint. You can get a jar of it in the crafts section of Wal-Mart for 78 cents.
Wet-Suit has his metal dogtags that all Sigma Six members have, and the wrist-mounted communications unit. Interestingly, this is the first time I've seen one of these that wasn't molded in black. It's orange.
Wet-Suit's accessories beyond what he's wearing are also quite impressive. I don't normally concern myself much with accessories, but I have to say that the Sigma Six line as a whole does an outstanding job with them. And Wet-Suit is no exception. Along with swim fins for his feet, he comes with a "Seapack" that appears to be a combination of oxygen tanks and a vehicle that would likely allow him to travel underwater far faster than he could swim on his own. Air hoses attach to the helmet. There's also a "Stun Gun" that doesn't actually fire anything, but it a very cool design, and has a bayonet that can be attached to the front of the weapon, or used separately. The Stun Gun can also be mounted on the Seapack.
There's also a spring-loaded mine. Put it together and then tap the trigger (it doesn't take much) and it "explodes" in half. You know, I'd swear I've seen this thing before, maybe in the 12" G.I. Joe line. Either that or I've seen a device that used the same basic principle. This mine has a Cobra logo on it, but it's just imprinted on it -- not sculpted into it. So this contraption could have a previous origin. I'm just not 100% sure, though.
Wet-Suit's file card reads as follows:
SIGMA 6 UNDERSEA EXPERT
Code Name: WET-SUIT
Personal History: Wet-Suit is an expert in marine operations and is highly skilled with underwater explosives. He has worked with all types of detonation systems to learn the best ways to use them and defuse them. He has extensive knowledge of Cobra mines gained through first-hand encounters on many missions. His electric stun weapon emits a low- voltage charge to temporarily immobilize Cobra troops or shut down Cobra B.A.T. forces. His presence on any undersea operation is essential to ensure a plan of action that is swift and effective for the Sigma 6 Team.
A good file card, and indeed, Wet-Suit does have experience in underwater demolitions going all the way back to his 3-3/4" days. In fact, when I was asked to be one of the collectors that wrote some of the file cards in 1997 and 1998, and one of the ones I was given to write was Wet-Suit, I made his personal quote, "With all due respect, nobody told me NOT to blow it up, sir!" I figured that was a good way of expressing Wet-Suit's specialty and attitude all in one sentence.
And now Wet-Suit is part of the Sigma Six team, and really, this is an outstanding figure. The previously used body mold is hardly a consideration, since the color scheme is so radically different, and honestly, it's a heck of a good design anyway. This is really an excellent figure.
Sigma Six WET-SUIT definitely has my enthusiastic recommendation!