The Power of Packaging: Wet-Suit

Wet-Suit was one of my favorite figures from the 1986 series. Some of the reason goes back to the toy itself and its great accessories, some to the character in the Marvel comic, and some from the package art. Torpedo was one of the first Joes I bought in 1983, and the fact that an underwater Joe looked cool on his package swayed me to pick him up initially over other figures. The same held true for Wet-Suit.

Wet-Suit Wet-Suit-back


  • Yes! One of my favorites.

  • ”My Favorite G . I. Joe /Cobra actions were: Strato-Viper(1986, Scarlett(1982), and assorted others. NOT! Wet -Suit, Leatherneck, Lifeline,etc..”

  • I foolishly gave this guy away to a certain YouTube personality along with Mainframe, Monkeywrench, & LifeLine, only to later discover that this person could be quite a pompous jerk 🙁 that’s 4 1986 childhood Joes that now have to get scratched from my roster due to youthful naiveté

  • Great figure. I’ve never noticed up until now that the card art gave Wet Suit long knee length flippers, so he’s wearing a knee length wet suit. A pity this didn’t translate into the actual figure. I do however think that Torpedo was and IS the best of the Joe / A.F. SEALS, Wet Suit was a pale imitation of his predecessor but then again, the line did regurgitate the same MO’s with new characters over the years….i.e. Doc / Lifeline, Gung – Ho / Leatherneck…oh, and General Hawk and someone who became an overblown posterboy for the entire line…. 😉

  • I’m surprised that no one mentioned the price. In 1986 or 87, 3.97 plus tax would have been over four dollars. That for most parents back then, was way too much money to pay for an action figure of that scale. But for any Kmart, or Zayre, in the Miami Florida area, that was about the right price that I can remember these figures selling for back then. No wonder so many kids used to steal these figures at my local department stores. Because they already knew that their parents were going to say, “no, put that back”. I remember lots of opened cards, and boxes too, with their figures missing. Transformers boxes too. I remember wanting an 86 Conquest around 88 or early 89, at some local pharmacy, but was told to put it back because it was missing Slip Stream. As a huge fan of all of the 1986 figures, except for Cross Country’s peanut shaped head, I like this one of course. I like this figures more than Torpedo. I never liked the design of Torpedo’s helmet, or mask, or whatever that was supposed to be on the figure’s head. It did not look the same as in the cartoons. And it was not removable. The Wet Suit figure just looked way better to me. But two things that I don’t like are, that the helmet is not removable, and the figure does not include a weapon. Either a harpoon, an M-16, or a 1911 side arm, would have made this figure complete, and much better. Also, notice how Wet Suit’s pose on the cover, looks similar to the 83 Torpedo’s pose. And did anybody ever saw the 84 Storm Shadow being sold in 1986? Or did anybody ever saw the figure in the 86 card variation? I ask because I never saw one of those versions sold in any store back then in 86, or in 87.

    • Yeah. $3.97 was gouging for the time, especially for K-Mart. This was a Kay-Bee level price (notorious gougers). Most everywhere else was in the upper $2- lower $3 range.

    • I think I had Storm Shadow from 1986. Didn’t save the cardback, of course.

      • Yes, Storm Shadow was out in 1986. Some gray Storm Shadow filecards exist (gray started in 1986), likewise 3-D GI Joe logo Storm Shadow cardbacks (also from 1986. 1985 carryovers in 1986 kept the painted explosion background though). Some figures were on sale for 3 years but by the mid ’80s, it was mostly down to 2 years. Storm Shadow was the last one available for 3 years. The 2 year availability format would last through 1990.

  • Great figure. My favorite underwater Joes are the black and yellow Wet-Suit and Fish Tank Diver Decoration Deep-Six.

  • The price stuck out to me, too. I seem to recall rarely paying more than a couple bucks a figure back then (even into the 90s), unless I was at a Kay-Bee, or something like that, which was notorious for jacking up the prices on figures.

    Then again, I rarely shopped at K-Marts, so maybe they were like Kay-Bee in terms of markup?

  • I was so excited over Wet Suit. He appeared to be Torpedo on steroids with better gear and sculpting. While the orange didn’t bother me, the fact that he didn’t include a spear gun did. My Torpedo’s gun was beat up and almost broken by ’86, the Eels gun was Cobra only and the accessory pack Torpedo gun was bright green and didn’t work with anyone. So, Wet Suit had to rely on the gun I imagined on his sled for protection. Kind of lessened the figure to me.

  • Say, I never noticed this before, but in the artwork, shouldn’t he be wearing pants?

  • Those eyes in the art look like Cobra eyes.

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