Deep Six (1984)
By Past Nastification
There is a certain aesthetic beauty regulator that most people have in their brains. I lack it.
I only know how to passably dress because of fundamentals learned by watching What Not to Wear. Guilty pleasures and all.
My ability to decorate a room is lacking, if not non-existent. I have to find something nice and try to mimic it.
I thought the Pontiac Aztec was the coolest vehicle ever made. Although about six months later I came to my senses and was glad I didn’t buy one. Hideous.
These insights into my mind might explain why I really like the 1984 Deep Six. This is a figure widely despised, even 30+ years later. It was only the second Joe to have a non-standardized body. The first was Major Bludd due to his no-elbow-movement robotic/shielded arm. Major Bludd lacked something, but was otherwise like every other Joe figure. Deep Six was featured an entirely different body with parts that weren’t interchangeable with other figures. The head was actually compatible, but you’d have to crack the shell of the figure to get to it.
At a first glance, the dome-topped suit could pass for a spacesuit. Its design landed in that usually unattainable sweet spot between clunky and streamlined. It was intended to look like a real world deep dive pressure suit- more like a wearable submarine than a wetsuit.
Deep Six’s body was designed to hold air so it could float when a bellows was used. This gimmick only allowed for articulation at the shoulders. And the shoulders only move forwards/backwards (like a Star Wars figure) and not side-to-side. There’s no reason Hasbro couldn’t have added some sort of elbow articulation, as the arms weren’t part of the hollow space. But they didn’t and that’s fine.
Hasbro’s unique approach compromised the points of articulation (only 12 of them!), but I wholeheartedly approve. The pressure suit concept needed this particular body to feel right. The sculpting and detail work, along with yellow color accents, make Deep Six so unique that the standard design departure is a non-issue. It’s also a figure that feels very stylistically merged, design wise, with its vehicle, the SHARC.
It’s also easy to overlook the great detail on the head, as it’s permanently stuck behind the clear dome. Though not silver or tinted, the dome’s curved surface still manages to hide the face under rounded streaks of reflected light.
If Hasbro had begun to make more Joes in unique bodies, it would have grown old very fast. But as a one-off experiment, Deep Six deserves a look.