1993 GI Joe Wet-Suit (Battle Corps) – Dragon Fortress Reviews

1993 Gi Joe Wet-Suit battle corps

Motto: “Well, with all due respect, nobody told me that was a BBC documentary crew submarine, SIR!”

WET-SUIT has been characterized as being “two Ikea shelving units worth of mean on the hoof” and “twice as frustrating to deal with.” He is definitely not big on social graces, and was recently 86’d from the Oasis. He is not the type who goes over very well as the Chaplain Assistants’ Social Tea, as he only drinks tall cans of Twisted Tea (always shotgunned, always two at a time) and Monster Energy Java. Despite being an elite underwater operator, no one has ever seen him drink a single glass of H2O. Even so, he is exactly the dude you want behind you when you run into a gaggle of Cobra EELS in a shallow mine field or in a kiddie pool filled with Green Jello. Amazing how much damage he can do with a Ka-Bar knife and a Breitbart comments account. Wet-Suit is the head-honcho in charge of piloting the GI Joe Barracuda, which is an unnecessary title he just made up because he needs to feel like he retains some control over his life.

Equipment:

  1. Totally-real, totally-not-a-movie prop undersea spear rifle
  2. Air-tight, underwater helmet with 360° unscrambled Cinemax
  3. High-impact, delayed detonation torpedo (hunter orange for safety reasons)
  4. Low drag, nautical jet sled with heads-up display and neck pillow
  5. Pulse-powered, battlefield wrist viewer with scrambled Showtime
  6. Portable beeper/female body inspector
  • Official V8 Survival Juice Drink
  • Select-a-charge war crime devices
  • Snug fit, deep water flippers (always worn with socks)

The Undersea Life with 1993 GI Joe Wet-Suit

1993 Gi Joe Wet-Suit battle corps

When I was a kid, the 1992 GI Joe Wet-Suit was ubiquitous (the subject of this review was not, but there’s a point to this so bear with me). All of my GI Joe-loving friends had that black and yellow Wet-Suit figure. He was also a prominent character in the GI Joe: The Atlantis Factor video game, and was featured in many marketing materials of the day. So, even if I never had the figure, he was always around. And he was the Wet-Suit for me and every kid I knew.

We knew he didn’t look much like the Wet-Suit we saw in the Sunbow cartoon reruns, but that didn’t matter. He was thoroughly modern, and he was everywhere else– including the DIC cartoon. As I’d later come to find out, the original 1986 Wet-Suit figure didn’t exactly resemble his Sunbow cartoon counterpart, either. So we’ll call that a wash on all fronts.

But the figure was more important to me than the cartoon character. Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved everything to do with underwater operations and undersea life. As a kid, I saw a scuba diver “wrestle” with a Giant Pacific Octopus at The Pacific Undersea Gardens in Victoria, BC– that was the moment it clicked. After that, I was obsessed with The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau reruns and videotape rentals. I watched every episode of Seaquest: DSV, and Aquazone was my favorite Lego theme. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is my favorite Wes Anderson movie. You see where I’m going with this. Even if I’m not a strong swimmer and a day at the beach is Hell on Earth to me, I love anything having to do with undersea life and underwater adventures. Hell, maybe there’s even some correlation there. Feel free to Freud/Jung me in the comments.

With that being said, the underwater GI Joe operatives are easily my favorite of the “environment specific” toys. As kids, the 1992 Wet-Suit and the Barracuda submarine, along with 1989 Deep Six and the 1992 Cobra Eels, factored prominently into all of our GI Joe adventures. Complete with rubber sharks and French accents, of course. There always had to be a French accent, as I was Mr. Cousteau’s devoted disciple.

As a young teenager who was too old to be buying toys in the early 00s (don’t tell me how to live, society!), most of my GI Joe adventures centered around the BJ’s 8-pack Wet-Suit, the Joe vs Cobra Wet-Suit and Moray, the Mantis submarine, and whichever other underwater figures I could find.

Speaking of that BJ’s 8-pack Wet-Suit, having that toy in hand caused me to look at YoJoe.com to see what the first version of Wet-Suit looked like. With the abundant neon 90s hate that prevailed in the early 00s Joe community, I was baffled at why that original 1986 Wet-Suit was a beloved figure but the 1992 version was derided. As I looked at various Wet-Suit figures and worried over the opinions of elderly Joe collectors, I stumbled upon my favorite version– the 1993 GI Joe Wet-Suit, an orange Battle Corps repaint of the previous year’s offering.

Your honor, here’s my defense.

Why 1993 GI Joe Wet-Suit is Easily the Best Version  

1993 Gi Joe Wet-Suit battle corps

Let’s get this out of the way first– I really like the 1986 Wet-Suit mold. The helmet is cool, the oxygen tube and backpack combo is unique and somewhat futuristic looking, and the whole figure has the quasi-science fiction aesthetic the GI Joe line always pulled off so well. But then we get into the colors and the rest of his accessories.

Your battle-hardened Navy SEAL is wearing bright blue, white, and yellow? He has short sleeves, which prevent any cold water missions? He has no weapons? Just a sea sled and a flashlight? His helmet covers his entire face but doesn’t come off?

1993 GI Joe Wet Suit battle corps

Sure, the ‘Mission Brazil’ Wet-Suit toned down the colors a bit, and you could always equip him with whatever extra gun you had lying around from a battle gear accessory pack (my Wet-Suit v1 is perched precariously kneeling on the side of my Devilfish, an AP Grunt M16 in hand), but that would require buying an entirely new figure (in a multi-pack!) and having extra accessories. And even then, you’d never see his face. He’d never look like he did in the Sunbow cartoon.

I’ll say it one more time– I am pretty into the original Wet-Suit figure and all of his various repaints. I own every version except for the aforementioned ‘Mission Brazil’ figure. I don’t mind the brighter colors on v1. It’s a cool-looking figure, it just doesn’t scream “super mean, hardened Navy SEAL.” It more politely says “jaunty undersea adventurer.”

1993 Gi Joe Wet-Suit battle corps

The 1993 Wet-Suit, on the other hand, is just about perfect for a science fiction, Joe-aesthetic Navy SEAL. He’s wearing mostly black, and even his orange highlights aren’t particularly bright. If you’re starting to break a sweat and your brain is starting to yell “B-B-BUT ORANGE,” please remember that orange is one of the hardest colors to see underwater.  

His helmet is removable, and it’s a cool looking helmet. Underneath, you’ll see a great head sculpt, complete with what many Joe fans like to call a “mullet.” I like to think of it as his somewhat poofy hair from the cartoon, matted down and slicked back because he’s been underwater and wearing an intense helmet and breathing system. But, even if his hair is slightly mullety, it’s a VERY tame and serene mullet for the early 90s. Watch any Brooks and Dunn or Alan Jackson video, take another look at Wet-Suit, and then get back to me.

1993 Gi Joe Wet-Suit battle corps

And, best of all, the 1993 GI Joe Wet-Suit actually comes with weapons! He has a cool, futuristic speargun (that some people don’t like because Nothing Good Ever Happened After 1987), and a larger sea sled, complete with three torpedoes. If you needed to get in, wreck a Moray Hydrofoil, and get out, what would you rather have– a flashlight and a little undersea propulsion device, or a speargun and a powerful sea sled armed with torpedoes?

The figure still isn’t ideal in “dry land” scenarios, but his removable helmet makes him work better than Torpedo, any Deep Six, or Wet-Suit v1 ever will.

Overall, I think this is easily the Best Wet-Suit figure. Heck, if you’re almost convinced but still can’t get past the Horror Of Orange, then all you need is a simple head swap– put the 92/93 Wet-Suit head on Navy SEAL Guile from the Street Fighter movie line, place Guile’s black helmet on the figure’s head, and you’re good to go. Now you have the perfect “realistic” Wet-Suit without any of those bothersome fun colors. See below:

street fighter movie navy seal guile

Now, let’s actually review the figure.

1993 GI Joe Wet-Suit Review

1993 Gi Joe Wet-Suit battle corps

1993 GI Joe Wet-Suit was released under the line’s main carded figure subset, known as Battle Corps. It’s a straight-up repaint of the 1992 Wet-Suit, and replaces all instances of fresh, lemony yellow with a subdued orange hue. And that’s really the only change from the previous year’s figure.

The 1992 version is a strong figure, but I like this one just a bit more. The orange just looks fitting for a diver, and doesn’t seem too out of place for military application (at least according to the history of GI Joe). I think the orange, in this subtle shade, is a really nice pop of color for the figure. The yellow looked good, too, but the orange is more of an “all business” look.

1993 Gi Joe Wet-Suit battle corps

The figure isn’t big on paint. Later versions used a larger variety of paint apps (see below), but this one mostly just keeps it two-tone. I think a bit more paint would be nice, like possibly some dark grey or silver for some of the gear. Speaking of gear, he has a knife, some explosive charges, a dive watch/depth gauge, and some tubing that probably represents his breathing apparatus.

1993 Gi Joe Wet-Suit battle corps

His actual accessories are great. I LOVE the look of his helmet– it’s sleek, futuristic, and fits the figure very nicely. He also comes with a futuristic looking speargun, complete with a scope (sure, okay), and a big fin for a stock. Maybe he uses the stock as a rudder to help more easily navigate the sea sled? We’ll go with that. Why not. He also has a pair of orange flippers that work quite well and stay in place as you move the figure around, making soggy burbling noises with your mouth.

1993 Gi Joe Wet-Suit battle corps

The sea sled is a very nice piece. It’s bulky enough that the figure can rest on it comfortably, and it still looks fast and streamlined. I’d go so far as to say it’s one of the best spring-loaded missile launchers in the line, as it also serves a practical dual purpose. How many other single-carded figures came with their own personal vehicles? Not many. The sled holds three torpedos, and the launcher fires one at a time. For a GI Joe launcher, this one is downright elegant. I am sort of surprised the sea sed doesn’t have a backpack peg, though.

1993 Gi Joe Wet-Suit battle corps

Now, for all of my bluster about how this is the Best Wet-Suit (it is!), it has a few problems. First off, the exposed neck is kind of a bummer. It’s not as egregious as v1’s exposed lower arms, but it’s still there. Second, he really should have come with some sort of air tanks. I can sort of suspend disbelief that the suit and helmet include a self-contained breathing apparatus in there somewhere, but air tanks would have really elevated the figure to another level.

The other problem– the grips on the sea sled are a bit big for the figure’s hands. As you can see in a few of my photos, the sea sled has stressed his thumbs a bit. I don’t feel like they’re going to break, but it is something to watch out for.

If you think this mold makes a pretty good Wet-Suit (it does!), but still aren’t sold on the colors, you have a few options. The mold was released with a Jean Claude Van Damme head in the Street Fighter movie line, and was released in a striking black and teal color scheme in 1998 as Torpedo. Even though I don’t think the head sculpt works as Torpedo, it’s a great figure.

1993 GI Joe Wet-Suit Battle Corps

So you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to this Wet-Suit mold. You have the 1992 original, this fantastic repaint, two (or more?) variants of the Navy SEAL Guile release, and the 1998 Torpedo figure. Even if you don’t love orange or yellow, there’s a great version of this toy out there somewhere looking for its forever home.

So, yeah. I personally think this is the Best Wet-Suit figure. He’s a great underwater operative with good sculpting and cool accessories. His colors make sense, and he works much better on land than any other frogman/diver type in the vintage GI Joe line. For me, this is the figure I use as, and think of as, Wet-Suit. The v1 mold and its repaints are usually army builders or generic SEALs to me, and the repaints of this mold work in much the same way.

1993 Gi Joe Wet-Suit battle corps

This is Wet-Suit, and he shall never be dethroned.

Verdict: Wet-Suit is a classic character, and I can’t see this being anything but the definitive version. With this release, he finally combined a removable helmet and combat-ready accessories with a somewhat real world color scheme. I like every version of both the Wet-Suit v1 and v3 molds, but this is my pick for the best. Highly recommended.

Additional Resources

Closing Thoughts on 1993 GI Joe Wet-Suit

1993 Gi Joe Wet-Suit battle corps

It’s been a while, eh? If you read this, thank you. Let’s chat in the comments like we did in the old days.

I asked a few of my friends what they thought of this figure. The consensus seems to be that if you’re around our age (born around the mid-80s), then this figure (or, more accurately, its 1992 predecessor) WAS ubiquitous among you and your friends. I can’t find anyone around my age that doesn’t like this guy– anyone who’s still into GI Joe, anyway. I think it’s safe to say he’s a bonafide classic from the 1990s.

My friends all seem to think he has one of the best missile launchers in the line, too– and I of course have to agree.

Also, check out this killer drawing of The Best Wet-Suit from HoodedCobraCommander788:

dragon-fortress-1993-GI-Joe-Wet-Suit-HCC788-drawing

I got this amazing piece of artwork just for pledging a small amount of money to his Patreon. If you love his work as much as I do, I urge you to consider doing so as well.

But I’ll leave the last word to my friend Pat, who said:

I tried to come up with something funny [to say about Wet-Suit v4] but really I just started musing about how it’s amazing the entire figure wasn’t re-released with no changes in Star Brigade

also i’m not sure why his gun has a flipper

If he fired his sled in space it would push him backwards into the sun :(“

Who’s your favorite GI Joe diver? Do you also think Wet-Suit would be perfect for Star Brigade? Let me know in the comments!

17 thoughts on “1993 GI Joe Wet-Suit (Battle Corps) – Dragon Fortress Reviews

  1. I had (and still have, in a box somewhere) the Black & Yellow version of this figure. Lost two of the missiles and one of the flippers, but he’s still a great piece. Most of the early, pre-weapon-tree Battle Corps dudes have a certain ‘Je Ne Sais Quois’ about them, I think. Kind of a midpoint between the ‘actual army mans’ of the 80’s, and the balls-out craziness of the 90’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree– the 1992 molds are some of the best in the entire line, and most of them had pretty good accessories, too. But they were definitely the “crossing over” point before the really crazy stuff engulfed the whole line.

      Let me know if you ever dig that black and yellow Wet-Suit up. I’m pretty sure I have an extra flipper for him! I’d be happy to send it to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Matt

    The Orange is pretty dark for 1993. Battle Corps Wetsuit is an excellent figure. All of his accessories work for him, including his spring loaded topedo launcher. 90’s Joe’s don’t get enough love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more, Matt. He has the perfect suite of accessories. All he really needs is a backpack/air tanks. But you can see why they left them off, since he technically came with 9 accessories, including his battle stand!

      Like

  3. A-Man

    Ever watch Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea? It ran longer than Lost in Space, but was shown less in reruns than that show. It was the original Seaquest with weird stuff. I’ve only ever caught a few episodes over the years. MeTv was playing in the wee hours of some weekend morning.

    Oh, Wet-Suit…as Battle Corps repaints went, the change from yellow to orange was an improvement. They let him keep the sea sled, unlike poor EEL who lost his shark! (Is that a diver term for going nuts?).

    I don’t share your love for underwater battles as far as toys go. They are too hard to accomplish, but they are cool in fiction, like THUNDERBALLLLLLL (Viva Tom Jones). Frogmen in my old “JOEVERSE” (here’s list of how awesomely different it was from…okay, no list) no matter how cool looking, were usually reservist guys…you needed them when you did, but that was rare. They stayed at base or manned some turret weapon or something.

    That said, we needed a TRU Joe navy six pack, maybe a mix of divers and navy crew. Blue shirts, even? Deep Six V2 repainted like V1 could’ve been neat. Recolor the action frogman in grey or green.

    I’ve gone off on tangent. Nice review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A Navy Pack would have been so good. Repaints of this figure, 89 Deep Six (I like your idea there), and Eco Warriors Deep Six. They could have done a repaint of the 94 Shipwreck, too, but I feel it was a bit overdone. Then throw in a repaint of Topside, Action Sailor, and either Tracker or Battle Corps Keel Haul. Give them all different names (and/or newly sculpted heads) and then you’re cooking with TRU-exclusive gas.

      I’ll have to check that show out. I love MeTV and its regional equivalents, but I’m not sure there’s an easy way to get it here. Which is probably good, since I’d do nothing other than watch old reruns if I had access to it. I was definitely a Nick at Nite kid, so I’d jump at the chance to have something like that again.

      And the Eel losing his shark was just a poor decision for an otherwise pretty cool repaint. Also, it reminded me to add a photo of that figure that I took for this review… into the review. I totally forgot about it. So thanks for that!

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  4. “With the abundant neon 90s hate that prevailed in the early 00s Joe community, I was baffled at why that original 1986 Wet-Suit was a beloved figure but the 1992 version was derided. As I looked at various Wet-Suit figures and worried over the opinions of elderly Joe collectors, I stumbled upon my favorite version– the 1993 GI Joe Wet-Suit, an orange Battle Corps repaint of the previous year’s offering.”

    The early ’00’s were a great time if you loved the ’90’s figures since everyone else hated them and you could buy them for nothing. All you lousy young ‘un’s have made the ’90’s stuff popular now and us trailblazers have to pay $40 for a Cyber Viper. 🙂

    I don’t have either version of the ’90’s Wet Suit left. Nor do I have the Guile repaints. Need to track them all down. But, the ’98 is good enough for me for now. The sculpt is good. The gear is pretty good. (Though, I agree about the lack of airtanks and I do hate his gun.) And, the colors aren’t bad. A repaint of this mold in V1 colors would have been fun. But, an ’86 repaint in either the yellow or orange would have been cool, too. Hasbro had both the molds and A-Man’s idea of a maritime TRU 6 pack could have been pretty good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, the 90s stuff is expensive for me, too! When I got back in (a little while before I started this site), I figured the 90s stuff would be cheap so I could re-acquire a lot of my childhood collection. I was so, so wrong. The price difference between a nice, complete Recondo and a figure like Heli-Viper is unreal.

      I like all of those repaint ideas! Earlier today, RTG directed my attention to the Impel Wet-Suit card, which seems to show him in a mishmash of his 86 and 92 designs. It’s mostly the 92, but in short sleeves and 86 colors. I’m assuming the card came out in 91, and maybe that’s what they were sorta planning for the 92 toy? Would have been interesting.

      He also gave me the idea of putting the BJ’s Wet-Suit head on this figure’s body to see what it would look like. But, since I’d have to take off and reattach the air hoses he’s wearing (which is a total nightmare), I elected to just leave it alone.

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    2. UGH, I know! I remember seeing all those 90’s Joes in a comic shop and thinking “Eh, I can buy these whenever”, and now they’re all running high! Everyone my age is competing with each other. Bring back the 90’s hate! I want lower prices!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Son!!! As I’m goin’ through your blog I’ve come to realize that we had pretty similar upbringings – at least when it came to The Joes. The relationship I had with my favorite toylines in childhood were all pretty similar: “Gosh I like this stuff but I wish it was the 80s stuff.” I was lousy with weapon trees and gigantic neon launchers. I did love them, but I coveted the characters I’d see in the rented Sunbow tapes or in the old foldout catalogs I scrounged from yard sales. One time I literally prayed to God that I’d find a Salvo somewhere. (I did not.)

    All that to say, I had this Wet-Suit. I’m sad to say that I truly cannot remember a single play scenario in which I used him. This is probably because I had the same situation with the reservists, where the water guys and the cold weather guys hung out in the Jeep while everyone else went on an adventure. Did I get Wet-Suit because grandma was gonna buy me a Joe and he was the only one on the rack? Somewhat likely. Do you remember looking at the 90s cardbacks and combing through the headshots for the ones you never saw on the pegs? “Who’s this Flak guy, he looks cool.”

    I’m rambling a bit. Thank you for appreciating The Neon. Even though I never liked Battle Corps or Transformers Generation 2 as much as the lines they evolved from, my heart has grown fonder of them in the years since. Also Wet Suit’s mullet is very good, and you’re making me want to go buy more vintage Joes. Stop it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thanks for coming around and leaving a comment!

      I hear from a lot of people that they never really used the snow guys. Or the desert guys. Depending on where they lived. As a kid, I lived in the high desert, so we got a ton of snow in the winter but it was very… desert-like the rest of the year. So I used both!

      But yeah, I always longed for characters that looked how they did in the 30 minute animated toy commercials and sequential art marketing materials (comic books). It’s crazy that I only now have an Ironhide that looks how he “should” and I’m in my mid-30s. But when you come to a property late (like we did), you learn to appreciate the stuff you do have. Sure, our Cobra Commanders never looked like the one in the cartoon– but they had the muscle and giant missile launchers to make up for it.

      I was ALWAYS looking for the cool toy I saw on catalogs and cardbacks, but rarely ever found them. And sometimes when I did, they didn’t look as cool as I imagine them. Ah well. Even in the early to mid 90s, some of these supposedly “common” figures were hard to find at the time.

      On the plus side, if you’re craving vintage Joes, I think the 92 and 93 versions are still pretty cheap!

      Like

      1. I was 13 in ’93, still buying and playing with Joe’s. When I saw this figure on the pegs I was so stoked to see him with my two favorite colors, gun, removable badass helmet and the sledgehammer that shot rockets! Easy sell for me. He looked like wet suit to me. He has and will always be my favorite version. You have tremendous writing skills and photography skills. This was awesome, looking forward to more in the future🤘

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks so much for stopping by, and thank you for the kind words! We’re not that far apart in age– I think a lot of kids at the time were really captivated by this figure. As Matt/BattleArmorDad showed on Twitter, a lot of people see the yellow 92 version as an iconic figure in the GI Joe pantheon. I think this one is just a bit less well known, but I like it a bit more (though I love both).

        I hope I can keep this up with more regularity. Thanks again!

        Like

  6. This was THE only water guy we had between my friend and I, on the Joe side (I had a 90’s Eel for Cobra with the TRUE best backpack/launcher/vehicle in the history of G.I. Joe). Wet-Suit worked for anything, which I think is why I liked him. If they don’t have a removable helmet, then they’re just water guys. This guy could surface and pull off some land stuff, then slide back in the water and jet. Granted, we had him in the Barracuda most of the time (and he was usually crusted with white, since the vehicle used baking soda to rise), but he was our only choice, so he was removed a lot. I mean…SOMEONE had to fight my Eel! You can’t put that Eel down, man. He’s dynamite!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I find Diver figures to be high quality, but even as a kid, I didn’t actually like playing with them. Must be that I’ve got a pretty shitty ability to suspend disbelief!

    The 90s Wet-Suit has good colours and I think his helmet is really bad ass! I like that there’s definitely an evolution of the original Wet-Suit, so it’s not too dramatic a change in appearance. Plus, it’s a figure that could do a head swap with a couple of the 86 Wet-Suit repaints and you’d make two cool looking figures. While I mentioned the use of the BJ’s head on this body, I think this head + helmet combo would work well on the v1, too.

    Like

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