Keychain Action Sailor (1998)

Repaints. They can be the bane of a toy collector’s existence. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but at some point as an adult buyer of children’s toys, you just get a little frustrated with the necessities of the marketplace. It’s easier to just accept the fact that Batman, Spider-Man et al are going to be be repainted at some point in a Bat-Radar Camo or Spider-Stealth Suit color scheme. I like to have fun with it when I can. For instance, I like to buy any arctic variation of Batman that I can find. Why? I think the concept of Batman running around in the snow is fun, and a white batsuit just looks cool.

GI Joe sometimes is subject to the repaint cycle, although Joe’s construction also allows for a bit more parts swapping as well. For pure repaints, there’s the obvious like Tiger Force, Python Patrol and Night Force. Then there are strange little gems like the 1990s mail-in exclusives. Who wouldn’t want a snow-themed Dee-Jay? Even further off into odd territory are the repainted keychain figures. Sometimes I’m really glad that I was fortunate enough to be able to pick up oddities like this back in the early 2000s.

The Action Sailor in this color scheme also made an appearance in the Original Action Team box set. If you weren’t able to acquire it, the keychain four-pack was available years later at a decent discount. For me, there’s just enough of a difference in deco to make this one worthwhile.


  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    My problem with the various Batman lines wasn’t so much repaints as it was almost every wave was always oversaturated with different version of Batman and very little selection of other characters. Everyone can admit that Batman’s an awesome character, but it can get pretty boring when there’s fifteen Batmans to choose from and only a couple villains.

    • That and the Kenner/Hasbro thing was a recolored Batman, same 5 points of articulation, and more often than not, large gimmicky accessories that most incarnations of Batman wouldn’t be caught dead using.

      Between that and the low number of baddies and few, if any, supporting characters, Batman toy lines seemed so boring..

  • My Joe collection these days is mainly repaints. Every version I can get my hands on of favorites like Firefly, WetSuit, Law, Repeater, and BigBen are my focus. 7 Big Bens? Sure. 5 WetSuits? Yes! Funskool Law with the goofy mustache? He’s here too.

  • This figure is a pretty solid frogman, and he looks like less of a throwback than the Action Soldier or Marine. But I wonder why the orange wetsuit? Was that ever a thing? In the Sunbow cartoon, it was the basic look for all the Joes underwater, except Torpedo. And I keep forgetting that this figure has a lens in his mask because so many I find are missing it.

  • Thunderball, the James Bond film, had a massive underwater battle that had the bad guys in black and the good guys in orange.

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