Sometimes, when I don’t have the time to really stake out the malls here in Ortigas, I resort to buying the harder to score stuff from fellow collectors (or the occasional “opportunistic entrepreneur”). The mark up I end up paying is normally less than what I’d end up spending scouring the Metro for one of these popular items. Plus, I’m getting on in years and all that walking is lot of work, yeah?
Since collectors tend to accumulate a lot of stuff, they come up with creative ways to get rid of the all that extra crap that they find during spring cleaning. One of those methods is the “Set A, Set B” scheme where you can buy one hard to find item and one peg warmer, usually at a fairer price than you’d find for the hot ticket item alone. I try to take advantage of these deals as much as possible since I don’t really mind getting the occasional butaw figure as long as it's a good one.
When I bought my Staff Strike Sif from one of the guys on Cybertron Philippines, it was for its retail price as long as I also bought one of his other items from the "B" list. I chose to get the cheapest of the lot, a few G.I. Joes that I had ignored when they were on the market: Deep Six and the Wet-Suit and Dragonfish set from the Rise of Cobra movie line.
The Dragonfish was a Target exclusive Alpha (the little ones) vehicle. The toy is a re-color of the Wave Crusher, a toy released way back in 2003 (thanks, YOJOE.com! Now I know!) and painted in day-glo blue, yellow, and pink. The same vehicle was released again in 2005 (this time in a yummy orange color). This version here came out in 2009 and is an acceptable pearly blue.
The set is packaged in a nice, compact box with a fairly big window on it that allows you to see how much he comes with. The front has some nice portrait art of Petty Officer First Class Brian C. Forrest while the back sports a product shot of the toy, some blurbs about the line, and a rather sparsely populated file card.
The figure isn't new. It was used for Wet-Suit version 10, a figure included in the Assault on Cobra Island box set. That figure in turn was a kit bash of 2008's Lt. Torpedo and 2007's Snake Eyes, with a new head. This one shares the entire mold, but instead of the classic sea green and orange wetsuit, he's dressed in a nicely muted black, gray and green uniform. It fits great with my Pursuit of Cobra figures.
There are some paint issues on mine, but nothing major. It's mostly paint slop of the flesh tones on his face and the green portions of his get up. The rest of him is ok.
The figure comes with lots of accessories: a SCUBA mask and tank with hoses (his backpack), a removable harness, a spear gun, two knives, two fins, a hand held water sled. He also has a black Rise of Cobra stand and that weird cardboard MARS briefcase that came with everything at that time. I love everything that he comes with, but I wish they'd done something about the scabbards for his knives. They don't fit well at all in them.
The vehicle he comes with transforms from a large water sled to a jetski. Huh.
It actually is better than it sounds, but I'd imagine that it would be better if you had several to pose around some central submarine. I don't have any underwater vehicles, but I hear that Chap Mei has made some pretty killer looking boats. I'll have to look into those.
Since I didn't have any other water-themed 3.75" figures to pair Wet-Suit with, I decided to also get the the Deep Six that was listed on the seller's "B" list, another figure from the Rise of Cobra line. This particular version of the character (the eighth) came out in 2009 as well, during the second series of the toy line.
Again, the packaging is an odd combination of blister pack and box. I like how the Joe line during the movie's release was so compact, yet so distinctive. The large G.I. Joe logo, the great package art (and no boring product photography), and the Eagle emblem in gold stark on the front all came together really well. Plus they were relatively sturdy, so the Mint On Card guys had an easier time of it.
Old Deep Six here is a straight up recolor of Lt. Torpedo who was part of the 25th Anniversary line a year earlier. He shares most of the same gear as Torpedo including a SCUBA mask and backpack with one removable hose, two fins, a spear gun, a knive and a pistol. Unlike Wet-Suit, Deep Six' gear is mostly cast in color and left unpainted. Maybe it has to do with the ridiculous prices charged for exclusives. He also comes with one of the crazily useless BFG's that launch ugly, yellow missiles and one of the movie stands.
I'm very glad I got these figures, especially since I got them both for below their originally selling price. They're both great figures that are well articulated (standard 3.75" Joe articulation), well accessorized, well painted, and have decent sculpts. Though I probably wouldn't have paid retail for the Dragonfish, it's a decently fun thing to have and goes well with the figure.
Right now, Wet-Suit with the Dragonfish goes for around $15 US on Amazon and Deep Six for about $3 or $4. Now that I have them in my collection, I can't understand why I didn't get them when they were available locally.