Deep Six (1989)
Talk about a turnaround on a figure. The first Deep Six was a toy with a fun action element, but was also essentially a brick with moving arms. This one finally gets the Joes’ deep diver into the traditional articulation style, but not without one disappointment–the helmet.
While the first Deep Six was outfitted in a bulky pressure suit that resembled a space suit, this one goes for a throwback look that recalls divers of the past. This Deep Six looks more like he’s come from a story by Jules Verne than James Cameron. I’d expect to find him fighting a giant squid, or sitting at the bottom of an aquarium. I do however think the design is great. It’s retro and fun. The backpack is fantastically detailed, and as a whole the concept is kind of–dare I say it–steampunk. In 1989? Impressive.
If bright colors aren’t your thing, don’t look at his helmet. I don’t mind the color as much as the construction of the helmet itself. Without a clear faceplate, the figure is missing that final touch that would make it even better. After all, wouldn’t you rather be able to see his sourpuss face with the helmet on? The helmet still bums me out, and I’ll admit the color is out of place. He has some bright orange elsewhere on his suit, but the helmet as a whole just distracts.
The mold went fully into the neon with its mail-in release in 1993. That figure is diving-bells-to-the-wall bright, and I like its brashness. Unfortunately it didn’t include the backpack and diving buoy. Deep Six is a Joe character who still hasn’t gotten a definitive version of his early comic look recreated in toy form. I’m talking about the sweater-wearing first appearance that introduced him. There have been a lot of customs of it over the years, but I’d love to see an official figure made.