Hey look, it’s another review I photographed last summer. That means we’re getting to the end of my backlog and I should probably figure out a way to take more GI Joe photos.
But that’s a problem for Future Dustin.
Today, let’s bask in the glow of the Neon Past and spend some quality time with Deep Six version 4, a Mail Away figure from 1993.
1993 GI Joe Deep Six (Mail Away). One of the Best Molds in the Entire Line
I did not have the figure you’re seeing today when I was a kid. In fact, I only have this figure because of a long-time friend’s kindness. This figure was sent to me by Mike T., still bagged and pristine. It was an amazing gift. There are many reasons this website wouldn’t even exist without Mike, but today’s review certainly would have never happened without his generosity.
This 1993 GI Joe Deep Six figure is one of my most cherished material possessions. If I could only keep one figure from my collection, it would either be this one or Tiger Force Jinx. I love divers, I love bright colors, and I absolutely love this figure.
The 1989 Deep Six, which this figure is repainted from, is one of the best toys in the entire ARAH line. This 1993 version just ups the ante with an even more stunning color scheme.
Though I didn’t have this exact toy as a kid, the 1989 Deep Six and I go back a long way. I got that figure in early 1990, if memory serves me correctly. I was pretty young, so I wasn’t yet treating all of my toys with kindness and keeping good track of their accessories.
When I received Deep Six v2, he became an instant favorite. I loved the (what I interpreted to be) the science fiction look of his diving suit and his removeable helmet. The figure’s design looked like an updated version of those ominous ancient diving suits I’d seen in photos. As a kid, I regularly checked out books about deep sea exploration and sea life from the library. It’s an obsession I still have to this day.
My 89 Deep Six didn’t have too many underwater foes to fight. I did have an Undertow and a Cobra Piranha, so those worked pretty well in a pinch. The figure also interacted with various rubber sharks, octopi, and other fishy foes. I also used him to perform rescue missions, where he’d save a wounded and drowning Joe teammate and hand them off to Stretcher.
But, within a year or less, I lost the figure’s helmet. That really limited what I could do with him. So, he was mostly just relegated to being an old-timer who hung out back at GI Joe HQ and gave sage advice to younger team members. I would occasionally bring him over to a friend’s house, where he could pilot the Barracuda submarine without wearing a helmet. But that’s all I really figured out for him.
Since I’ve revisited the 89 Deep Six mold as an adult, it’s again become a real favorite for me. I think it’s one of the best figures in the entire vintage GI Joe toy line. I’ve already taken a look at the Russian Funskool version, but that wasn’t a proper review.
Because of my esteem for the mold, my first proper review of it needed to feel special. And since the mail away 1993 GI Joe Deep Six is my favorite version, I thought it would fit the bill perfectly. So let’s raise our glasses to Mike T. and take a look at the GI Joe team’s brightest diver– Deep Six version 4!
1993 GI Joe Deep Six (Mail Away) Review
Version 4 of Deep Six was released in 1993 as a mail away offer in the “Menace in the Wilderness” figure insert. You can view the booklet here, just scroll down the page a bit.
1993 GI Joe Deep Six is a repaint of 1989 Deep Six, the second version of the character in the vintage ARAH toy line. It’s a bold repaint and, unlike many other mail away figures, it actually features most of the original figure’s important accessories.
Like most mail away figures, the toy came in a sealed baggie with its accessories. The figure also came with a file card, which I do not have. Pardon this older photo, as it’s the only one I have of the bagged figure. I opened it almost immediately.
Deep Six is wearing a resplendent fluorescent yellow dry suit with black armor reinforcement. The suit also has some gold and red paint details. I’m not the best at telling green and yellow apart sometimes, so this may look like more of a green color to you. Your mileage may vary, is what I’m saying. Regardless, this is a pretty unique color scheme for GI Joe and I think black and yellow always look great together.
This action figure mold excels not just in color, but also in detail and functionality. The raised, black armored collar is sculpted with rivets and other tiny details, and the gold paint on the oxygen apparatus gives it a nice extra kick. I also like the figure’s bulked-up midsection with its strange-but-intriguing belt buckle, and I even enjoy the unpainted raised section that was surely meant to be the same color as the armored pieces, as well.
The Deep Six v2 mold is detailed everywhere it needs to be, but it’s not covered in weapons, gadgets, and gizmos just for the fun of it. There’s a depth-gauge or similar device on the figure’s left wrist and a knife on his left leg. Both of these things seem sensible and necessary to me. Other than that, we just have a few pouches and some more details picked out in paint, such as gloves, padding, and a belt. It all works together very nicely.
As a kid, 89 Deep Six’s boots really captured my imagination. They were picked out in silver paint and looked very heavy, as if they’d help him sink to the sea floor. With the 1993 GI Joe Deep Six, the boots are picked out in a lush gold paint and cast similar vibes. It’s one of my favorite parts of the figure.
Now we come to accessories. If Hasbro had just phoned this one in as they did with so many other mail away figures, this toy would be absolutely hated instead of just unremembered. The 1993 mail-in figures came with notoriously phoned-in gear, so kids were probably glad they had those extra weapon tree guns hanging around.
This Deep Six, though, gets almost everything he needs– his helmet and his spear gun.
Can you imagine if Hasbro released this figure without his helmet? It seems like half of the GI Joe brand team was only paying half attention in 1993, so I wouldn’t exactly put it past them. But, if that had happened, I think this might have gone down as the most-ridiculed figure in GI Joe history. But, thankfully, Deep Six came with a watertight diving suit and a sensible weapon.
The helmet itself is incredible. In my opinion, it does not need a clear plastic window or extra paint. It’s beautiful as-is. When the figure is wearing it, the toy takes on the appearance of a realistic military deep diving suit, a lumbering old-world diving suit from your favorite spooky stories, and a futuristic dive suit with the latest technology. While it has some similarities to real-world designs, it also does its own thing in the most GI Joe way possible. Hasbro made the best possible sci-fi military deep sea diving suit to appeal to the kids of the 80s and 90s. It’s perfect.
Deep Six’s spear gun is cast in gold plastic, which matches the figure’s paint highlights and generally looks good. But it’s also gold plastic from the 1990s, so I am a little bit worried about it breaking. I haven’t had any problems so far, but I am extra careful with it.
It’s both a good weapon and a silly weapon. A harpoon gun makes sense for a diver and I like the design of the accessory itself. But how is that scope helping anyone? Even if that little scope was effective underwater, the thought of Deep Six holding it up to his giant helmet to aim and squeeze off the perfect shot is pretty laughable.
This Deep Six also came with a regular battle stand. You know what those look like, so let’s not worry about it.
The 89 original came with some accessories did not– a backpack with oxygen tanks, a typical black GI Joe hose, and a buoy. Though the buoy is cool and makes sense for the figure (it’s what keeps him tethered to the surface when he’s underwater), it doesn’t really enhance the toy’s play value and isn’t strictly necessary. I do feel like the figure needs the backpack. though.
Luckily, 89 Deep Six backpacks are still pretty cheap and easy to come by. I bought one for this 93 Deep Six before I even opened his mail away baggie. That original backpack is cast in black plastic and matches this figure perfectly.
I’ve always loved the details on that backpack, and the sheathed knife is especially cool. The figure’s file card talks about him sneaking up on Cobra frogmen to cut their air hoses, and that protruding knife handle serves as a visceral reminder of that grim promise.
So, if you do get this figure, do yourself a favor and get him an extra 89 Deep Six backpack. He deserves it.
Here’s a comparison of the three versions of this mold. The Russian Funskool version is on the left, the 89 Hasbro version is in the middle, and this 1993 mail away Deep Six is on the right.
I like that Hasbro actually painted the 93 Deep Six’s eyes black instead of red, but black eyebrows and red hair is a little odd. But, you take what you can get.
Here they are with their helmets and backpacks.
I honestly wish there was at least one more version of this mold. Hasbro released the SHARC during the repaint era and I’m glad we got Sub Viper, but I think they could have released the vehicle with a repainted version of this mold, too. Hasbro did some fun versions of both Wet-Suits, 94 Shipwreck, and Torpedo back then and it would be great to see this figure in one of those color schemes. It’s possible that the mold was stuck in India, though, and they didn’t have access to it. Oh well!
I like the character Deep Six just as much as I like this figure. He’s grumpy, introverted, and standoffish. He has no time for social interactions and would rather immerse himself in puzzles and TV than get in a pissing contest with Wet-Suit or Leatherneck. He’s amazing at his job, but he doesn’t have time for braggadocio or macho bullshit. When he’s not planting explosives he’s studying whale songs. He’s not mean or malicious, he just doesn’t put himself in social situations because he has no interest in them.
Deep Six is interesting because his figures in the vintage line give him many more options than any other underwater-based character. With the 84 Deep Six, you have a vehicle driver that can probably also withstand a huge amount of underwater pressure and maybe even survive a direct hit from a Cobra torpedo. With the 1992 Eco Warriors version, you have a figure that can work as a standard frogman. And, with the 89 version and its 93 repaint, you have a more versatile deep sea operations figure– it’s much more mobile than the 83 version, but not as armored.
I see this version of Deep Six mainly as an underwater demolitions expert, as noted on his file card. He blows up Cobra submarines, Cobra power and data cables, Cobra oil rigs, and Cobra installations. He also protects deep sea cables and installations from Cobra frogmen.
He also works for underwater rescue missions (how I used him as a kid) and salvage operations, as well. If you just wanted someone to fight off your Eels, Undertows, and Hydro Vipers, I don’t see why Deep Six wouldn’t fit that bill, either.
If you wanted, you could also use this figure as a non-military deep sea explorer, as well. He’s not bristling with weapons and he doesn’t look overly aggressive, so he can really fill a huge variety of underwater roles. I imagine he’d look great as a crew member on the Shark 9000, too. Boy howdy, I need to get that vehicle again!
Besides the missing backpack (which is easily remedied), the only flaw I can find with this figure is its price and availability. It was a late line mail away. Mike tells me it was once cheap and plentiful since no one really wanted it, but those days are over. It’s both expensive and hard to find.
But, if you don’t have any versions of this mold, you at least owe it to yourself to grab a 1989 Deep Six. The colors aren’t quite as magnificent on that one, but it’s still secretly one of the best figures in the entire vintage ARAH line. This 1993 version just ups the ante to an eye-searing level.
Overall: This is one of my favorite GI Joe figures. It’s a perfect deep sea diver that manages to look both traditional and futuristic. The sculpt is spectacular and the colors are amazing. It’s both functional and attractive. There’s nothing I don’t love about the 1993 GI Joe Deep Six figure. If you can’t find one at a price you like, you’ll be thrilled with either the 89 original or the Funskool version, though, so grab at least one version of this mold. This figure is Highly Recommended.
Closing Thoughts on 1993 GI Joe Deep Six (Mail Away)
Thanks for joining me. I had fun with this one. This is a figure I honestly have to stop myself from photographing too much, just because it instantly fills my brain with so many other ideas. Other toys deserve some time in the iPhone camera lens, too.
What do you think of Deep Six? What’s your favorite version? What purpose does he serve in your collection? Let me know in the comments!