Wet Down (2001)
By Past Nastification
You already know how I feel about head-to-toe repaints, but we’ll look at Wet Down anyway.
It’s impossible to look at this figure and not see it as Torpedo. Even with a semi-masked head, it’s just too iconic to be any other character.
2001 was an odd year for the figure, many of which were full repaints. Hasbro topped many of them off with new heads to create new characters. Big Brawler, Crossfire, Laser Viper V2, and Sure Fire were new character heads on old bodies. Leatherneck, an existing character, even got a brand new head on a Duke body. The figures with new heads were phoned-in on some level, but a new head generally created the feeling of a new character.
But then there were the two big disappointers, Double Blast and Wet Down. They were full on head-to-toe repaints of Roadblock V1 and Torpedo V1. I’ll save my frustrations with Double Blast for another day.
A new head would have given Wet Down a bump up to the next level (which is still not a great level, but progress is progress). Hasbro was married to the idea of keeping the same head, but it missed the obvious solution of changing Wet Down’s skin tone. During the New Sculpt era, Hasbro would use a Heavy Duty head released in a lighter skin tone to make Cannonball. It was a very effective use of the headsculpt. At the very least, Hasbro could have gone with light brown or reddish eyebrows instead of black. Anything to shift the look away from that of Torpedo. Big fail, Hasbro.
The reuse of the 1983 head is particularly sloppy because it’s just a bad head, despite its iconic look. It’s bad in 2018 and by 2001 it was bad. It was groundbreaking when originally released, though. Hasbro wasn’t quite sure how to make it look like Torpedo was wearing a wetsuit mask/goggles/breathing apparatus. It looks like there’s the frame of goggles, but no lens in place. The air supply hose abruptly stops at the back edge of the jaw without connecting to the backpack. In 1983 Hasbro was figuring all of this out, so it was acceptable then. By 2001 this head just didn’t work anymore.
Beyond the head, the body could have used some help, too. A different color scheme on the wetsuit would have been in improvement. Maybe earthy tones or a simple medium blue or reversing the colors. Wet Down just looks like a reworking of the original Torpedo.
There are two cool things about this figure. The first is the micro printed American flag on the left arm. The second is the silver harpoon gun.
If you want a third cool thing, if you insist on a third thing… just pretend the figure is Torpedo.