Sea Ops Duke
One of my favorite toy lines of all time was G.I. Joe Sigma 6. Based on the cartoon of the same name, it ran from 2005 to 2007 and featured Joes in not just one new scale, but two: the 2.5" Mission figures, and the 8" Commandos.
Being a "joint junkie," I gravitated towards the bigger of the two, as they had more joints and more accessories. That combination beat out the presence of vehicles in the Mission playsets. The Commandos were big and chunky at 1:9 scale and featured weapons and equipment that you could mix and match between figures, giving you a ridiculous amount of play value.
The line managed to last about two years and around 80 figures, give or take, before finally throwing in the towel. If you'd like to look at the list of figures they released, there's a great site called Joebattlelines.com that has detailed reviews of most of them (I think they're missing one or two exclusive re-colors like the Red Ninja), or check that old mainstay of Joe fans, YoJoe.com (though their list seems less complete). CoolToyReview.com also has an image gallery, though again, it's not as complete as the one at Joebattlelines.com.
Of those 80 figures, I've got about 50, including this one called Sea Ops Duke.
I bought this figure pretty late in the game, sometime in 2007 or early 2008, after the line had been cancelled, but before the various collectors of it had finished selling off their incomplete sets. If I remember correctly, I got it for Php 400 or 500. Nowadays, if I see them at conventions, they're all like Php 2500 and up.
Sea Ops Duke was part of the "Soldier" line: figures that came on less expensive cards (the "Commando" class came with those awesome gray foot lockers you see behind it) and featured "fewer accessories". See how that last part is in quotation marks? That's because more often than not, the Soldiers had about the same in the way of accessories as the Commandos, it's just that they were wearing most of their gear already.
Besides, the extra accessories (if any) that the Commandos had were usually big-ass, out of scale missile launchers. Meh.
I love the Sigma 6 packages, even these carded ones. The front window is huge and shows off all the figures and accessories. The only blurb is relatively small and the artwork on front doesn't overpower the figure. The logo is nice and big, though "Sigma 6" is less recognizable than "G.I. Joe" so I don't know what they made that the bigger of the two. His name is written down the side in a font which looks so appropriate for the line I can't gush enough about it.
The back features the long list of other toys available and played a big part in me wanting to complete as may as I could. The file card's been replaced by a green pseudo computer screen with the characters bio displayed on it. All of it is delicious.
This was another great thing about Sigma 6 figures: they could store most of their gear on their person because they all had little ports in their "Sigma Suits" where you could plug in grenades, pouches, holsters, scabbards, and whatnot. This guy's not much different, but most of his accessories hang off the harness he comes with.
He gets a pair of fins, two Switchfire pistols (like the Glock of the Joe Sigma 6 world), the harness with holsters, a SCUBA mask, a small air tank with hoses, a large harpoon gun, and a motorized swimming robot thingy (I don't know what they're called, I don't dive).
All of it fits nicely in his hands or on his person, and it's all finished appropriately in complementary colors.I love the shade of blue they chose for him and the little green highlights he's sporting. Paint aps aren't perfect. I've got some figures were the skin tones sometimes slop over on to the other parts, but it's usually not a garish mess like some of the more unfortunate Hasbro lines that came later.
Articulation is similar to DC Universe Classics level, with a combination of universal swivel-hinge joints at the major points of connection. It makes for a high poseability quotient, but none of the super Spider-Man like poses necessary for ninjas like Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. It's ok for Duke though.
The figure was used again for later other Sea Ops characters like Deep Six (have him), Wet Suit (need him), and Torpedo (need him, too). I wish I could have gotten the rest of them, but the first toys didn't arrive locally, and by the time they did, the line was already on its last legs. I got most of mine from guys who were importing toys at the time, not the big stores.
Anyway, this is a great figure, and if you can get a bunch of them, you can fool around with different configurations, which makes me geekgasm even harder.