Note – You know you’re taking review pictures too late at night when you go through the editing process and realize nearly EVERY PICTURE has the left shoulder turned backwards. Oof.
Rest assured it didn’t impact arm movement very much, but please keep that in mind when viewing the images below. My apologies.
The first, and some might argue the best, G.I. Joe Navy SEAL makes a big return for the 50th Anniversary line in a three pack. Torpedo was my first introduction back in the day to the near-mythical branch of the Navy called the “SEALS” and he began to shape my appreciation for the special forces in ways that not many other pop culture elements have. My only issue with him back then was that while he was branded as a Navy SEAL, he was designed purely as an underwater operative in a permanently attached wet suit, which limited his usability in many circumstances.
Heck, back in 1983 his air mask and goggles were even sculpted to his face, so you couldn’t even use a whole lot of imagination to pretend he was acting in a more land based capacity. Even in an early comic appearance (#16 – Night Attack) he scrambles around Washington, DC in a wet suit and flippers and looks downright ridiculous. While the G.I. Joe Collectors Club went out on a bit of a limb and produced Wet Suit in land ops format for their 2011 Convention Set, Torpedo has never gotten that treatment, at least not in a modern era format (yes, it happened in Spy Troops, but not since).
This would have been a really interesting opportunity for Hasbro to do that, but instead we got essentially a repainted 50th Anniversary COBRA Eel in Torpedo colors. That’s not a terrible thing, but it does feel like at least somewhat of a missed opportunity.
The tooling is decent, using G.I. Joe: Retaliation Snake Eyes arms and legs with 25th Anniversary Torpedo’s torso. The forearms are from the 25th Anniversary COBRA Eel, which worked nicely for the COBRA operative last year, but isn’t quite so accurate to the source material this time around.
Range of motion is nice due to the later generation tooling, though the rocker ankles leave a little to be desired with the footpegs. The flippers do fit nicely. It’s questionable as to how much the Retaliation Snake Eyes figure really resembles a full blown wet suit, but the nice thing is it can kind of work for a land operations soldier as well, without too much suspension of disbelief.
Paint applications are nice, closely resembling the vintage ’83 Torpedo with the light gray trim over black. The belt with the knives is pretty snug around the waist, and doesn’t fit the two blades seamlessly.
Torpedo comes with an interesting allotment of gear. He’s got the facemask and backpack from Rise of COBRA Shipwreck, which is great in a way, as they both look fantastic. The facemask fits Torpedo really well. He’s got his trusty speargun as well as a submachine gun (which is released here in a strange tan color, I’m not entirely sure why). He has his two knives from the 25th Anniversary and the two new flippers from last year’s COBRA Eel. All in all, some great looking stuff.
This Torpedo figure is a nice update, though I’m not sure many folks were demanding such an update. I would have loved to have seen a bit more outside the box thinking, perhaps making him a land operations version of the character, and it’s clear that he’s pretty much a COBRA Eel repaint. Still, the enhanced range of motion helps, and he still manages to tie nicely back to the vintage aesthetic. Not my favorite by any stretch, but not terrible either.
50th Anniversary Torpedo
A decent update to the first underwater operations specialist of the G.I. Joe team, though I wish it was a bit more than just a COBRA Eel repaint. Good accessories help salvage it a bit and a classic paint scheme creates a neat link back to 1983.
1 – G.I. Joe: Retaliation parts create a base of good sculpting and articulation
2 – Fantastic accessories
3 – Great vintage themed paint deco that also ties into Wolf Squad
1 – Not much more than a repaint of last year’s COBRA Eel
2 – Snake Eyes tooling walks a thin line for being a wet suit