Review & pics by: Fred Meyer
G.I. Joe Adventure Team Sea Adventurer
G.I. Joe Collector's Club Exclusive - Sold with the Sea Wolf II submarine
The Adventure Team tackles all challenges-- on the land, in the air, and under the sea! As the final piece in the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club 1:18 Adventure Team foray, the Sea Adventurer had big shoes to fill. It’s simply marketing-- with any series you want to start strong but finish even stronger! In this case, the Club opt to hit the high seas and give fans an update to the classic Sea Wolf submarine. Eschewing the traditional yellow of the team’s vehicles, this sub takes to the waves in its signature white color scheme, with the Sea Adventurer at the helm. Was this a successful addition to the team or was just it another repaint two-pack? Read on and find out this Joe fan’s opinion!
This is the point in the review at which I usually discussion the figure’s construction and range of motion. With the Sea Adventurer, I’m going to be a bit lazy and say “See the Land Adventurer review for more details.” This figure utilizes the exact same body as both the Land Adventurer and Adventure Team Commander and therefore has the same strengths and weaknesses as those other two figures. What makes the character really “POP” for me, however, is the color scheme. As with the other figures in the series, the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club really made an effort to replicate the design of the original 70’s figure and so the Sea Adventurer is molded in two colors of plastic. The upper torso is a lighter blue to replicate the character’s denim shirt while the lower torso is colored dark blue to simulate a pair of dark jeans. An additional paint deco adds the signature “AT” logo over the figure’s left pectoral.
It’s an incredibly simple design but it really works in evoking the design of the original figure. The Sea Adventurer, like his team mates, comes from a simpler time before fictional uniforms were treated to the “Leifeld Syndrome” of excess pouches and belts. Instead, the look is that of a naval engineer giving the appearance of man who is just as comfortable steering a ship as he is redesigning the hull. Some people mind find it odd that the Sea Adventurer isn’t portrayed in any kind of wetsuit but I really like just how much this evokes the original naval design of the 1:6 scale figure
Once again, I find myself referring readers to a previous review. All of the Adventure Team members in this series share the same head sculpt. As was the case in the 70’s, the color of the Adventurer’s hair is the only real differentiator between members of the team. In this case, the Sea Adventurer’s hair and beard have been given a red paint app to simulate the original flocked hair and beard. When I compared this head with one of my reissue Adventure Team figures I was surprised as just how much this tiny sculpt looks like the original 1:6 head. While some fans have commented that these heads look really dated in comparison to more recent sculpts find these heads to be a perfect homage to the original AT figures.
Sigh… I’m going to do it again. All of the Adventure Team members come with the exact same kit. As such, I’m just going to reprint the text that I’ve been using for the Adventure Team Commander, Land Adventurer, and Air Adventurer. (Apparently I’m lazy like that.)
As with all 1:18 Adventure Team members, the figure’s kit consists of the standard pistol, rifle, and backpack that was included with both the Land Adventurer and the AT Commander. In this case, it might have been nice to include a pilot’s helmet to go along with the open cockpit of the AT copter. Otherwise, it’s the same as was included with the Adventure Team Commander . This includes:
All of these items make sense for a figure that comes from a time when Joe wasn’t a member of an active military. The rifle is his primary weapon and could have been used for everything from hunting to firing tranquilizer darts. The pistol serves as his back-up weapon and vest is an attempt to recreate the holster found on the original figure. Personally, I found that the vest both limited the range of motion in the figure’s shoulders and covered up the Adventure Team logo so I removed it after a few shots. In fact, my default look for most of the Club’s 1:18 AT members is sans vest. Your individual mileage will vary.
When I think of the Adventure Team and aquatic environments only one vehicle comes to mind: the classic Sea Wolf submarine. It was to the water what the Mobile Support Vehicle (MSV) and the Adventure Team Vehicle were to the land. When the 1:18 Adventure Team concept was first discussed by the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club, it looked as those the Sea Adventurer would be sold with a reissue of the original 1992 G.I. Joe Barracuda-- which seemed to be a logical stand-in for the Sea Wolf. (This mold was also used in 2000 to create the Cobra Man-o-War submarine.) However, at some point in the pre-production process the update to the Sea Wolf was changed to the 2004 Cobra Sting Raider. I’m not entirely certain why this change was made but the Sting Raider works well as an update. It’s much more modern/futuristic in appearance than the original Sea Wolf which helps to bring the AT forward a bit from the 70’s.
With its stingray-shaped body the sub reminds me of the mini-sub used in a first season episode of the series SeaQuest DSV back in the 90’s. The episode, entitled “ The Stinger”, featured a high-speed one man submarine of the same name which used a flexible tail as a stabilizer to help maintain control at high speeds. I can’t help but look at the Sea Wolf 2 and see that episodes again in my mind. (Yes, I watched SeaQuest’s first season and loved it. Sue me!) It makes sense for a character like the Sea Adventurer who comes across as a marine engineer to be piloting such a cutting edge craft.
As the series of 1:18 scale Adventure Team figures draws to a close I find myself experiencing some melancholy. As I’ve stated multiple times now I’ve really become a fan of this particular era of G.I. Joe. (Or, should I say “g.i. Joe”?) There’s something that is both exciting and nostalgic for me about this team of daring explorers and scientists that helps to differentiate them from the more strictly military world of A Real American Hero. The Sea Adventurer is a great example of this; he has a simple character design and a basic assortment of gear and yet he just practically screams “take me out into the yard and PLAY!” As with the other members of the Adventure Team in this series, the body design is serviceable with some articulation limitations but the retro head sculpt really helps the figure shine. I like the reuse of the Sting Raider as the Sea Wolf II even though it is far more heavily armed than any of the classic AT vehicles ever were. I find that this set is the one that I gravitate to the most out of the three vehicle driver sets. It’s not 100% spot on to the original but it strongly evokes the original spirit of adventure. Now all that’s missing is a good toy squid! I’m definitely glad I purchased this, but that’s just one Joe fan’s opinion.
The Bottom Line: Of all of the 1:18 sets, this one offers the strongest pilot/vehicle combination. The Sea Adventurer has great colors and really evokes the classic 1:6 scale figure while the use of the Sting Raider brings him forward into the 21st century.
Questions? Comments? Were you expecting Aquaman to cameo in the photos?
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