Q Force Deep Sea Defender (1983 Action Force)
I’ve covered Action Force, GI Joe’s sort-of cousin from across the pond, several times. Up till now, the figures I’ve covered have been members of the Red Shadows, the UK exclusive enemies of the 80s Action Force team. Much like Cobra, the enemy forces were both a strange and terrifying lot, with shadowy leaders, robots and even a fishman.
The forces of good were, for the most part, more realistic. The team didn’t employ any robots or mutants, but they did have their own space force years before GI Joe. The entire Action Force was actually divided into several teams, including Q Force, a sea-based detachment. The Deep Sea Defender, was a member of this group of nautical operatives.
Clad in the standard bright Q Force colors of yellow, red and blue, he may look familiar to history buffs, as his look is based closely on the deep sea diving suits of old. The mold is a repaint of the earlier Deep Sea Diver, itself a throwback, like many of the Action Force figures, to the twelve inch Action Man figures of previous decades. Speaking of homages, I’ve always thought that the head sculpt inside the helmet bears a large resemblance to the old 12 inch figure heads.
Accessory-wise, American Joe fans will recognize the backpack, a red remold of the JUMP jet pack. Here, it stands in as breathing apparatus, I assume, although the aerial that connects to the pack via a clear hose makes me wonder what else it’s meant to do. The hose actually connects to the peg that originally functioned to plug into a GI Joe figure’s back. That’s right, the backpack attaches backwards. How was that accomplished? How about a simple blue rubber band?
Lest you think that Action Force in the beginning was too staid or generic in relation to GI Joes in the US, the figures did include a form of the classic file cards. Deep Sea Defender did have a code name: Leviathan. He’s slow moving, but a quick thinker. An appropriate moniker, I think.
While many American GI Joe collectors have focused on obtaining the exclusive recolors of Hasbro GI Joe molds, I’ve become fascinated with the five-point articulation Action Force figures. Its simplicity of design in comparison to the Real American Heroes does not diminish the range’s quality in my eyes. Most of the sculpts are quite detailed and attractive, and the construction style allows for a more natural portrayal of the human form. There are so many unique and interesting concepts to be explored with Action Force, and I hope to move on to more of them in the future.