Eels (1992)

What’s even cooler than sharks with frickin’ lasers attached to their heads? How about robotic sharks with frickin’ missiles in their mouths?

Whereas the ’85 Eels were the embodiment of the early RAH line’s quasi-realistic military with a sprinkling of adventure, the later Eels evidenced the toy for the sake of toy sensibility of the line’s final years. In place of grey, black and red, we’ve got Cobra blue and bright yellow. There’s no shortage of aquatic themed elements on this figure, from the fin shapes to the trident weapon. I’ve often thought that quite a few of the Joe divers, even early ones like Torpedo and Wet-Suit, resembled civilians in dive gear. But this Eel truly looks like he could only be a villainous frogman, and not a snorkeling vacationer or Shark Week documentarian. The file card explains the difference in looks. Those new fins all over the suit are functional; they can tear through the hulls of ships. The new Eels are also experts with the latest technologically improved gear.

I can’t go too long without discussing the accessory that sets this Eel apart from all other Cobra divers, and even all other Joes. Can any other accessory rival the amazing missile-firing robo-shark? I certainly can’t think of one. Oh, and not only does it fire missiles, but the robot shark is also a backpack. I thought Star Brigade Duke’s backpack was the coolest ever, but I may have just changed my mind.

To further cement the new Eels’ greatness, the troopers’ secondary specialty is piloting the most incredible Cobra vehicle ever produced–the Rat!


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