1983 allowed for Hasbro to move beyond the green army man part of the first year, and branch into some other theatres, while still remaining firmly planted in a realistic military vision. Torpedo was the first Naval entrant into the line, and while never being overly popular, is still a very solid figure.
As a figure, Torpedo’s detailing is lost in the lack of color. He appears to be far more simplistic than the details sculpted into his mold actually show. It’s kind of a catch-22, as on one you don’t notice the six zippers, or the seams of the suit are sculpted, but on the other hand, he’s wearing a dive suit where these wouldn’t be all that noticeable. It’s not like the figure is skimpy on paint apps either, he’s bland, but it’s a necessary blandness. While they’re kind of lost in the sea of black and grey that make up the figure, he’s got three time bombs on his left thigh, and a combat knife on his right. There’s a level of viciousness to that, not seen on many Joes, except for Snake Eyes.
Accessory wise, Torpedo got some very cool ones, he has his backpack with air tanks, they don’t connect to the figure like Wet-Suits or the EEL, but they work for what they are, all the same. He’s got a speargun, that wound up being overused in the New Sculpt Era, but is still a fairly nice weapon, that works well with Torpedo as a whole. He also comes with a pair of Flippers, and was the beginning of every diver figure having Flippers. In regards to the Flippers, the Torpedo mold is very slim, and an interesting thing I didn’t know until December 2018, was he’s got surprisingly small feet, which was likely a design choice in order to make the flippers work, it’s one of the strange little aspects of the line that goes unnoticed, because it’s so vast. It’s neat how a line that was for the most part interchangeable occasionally has aspects that aren’t, Torpedo’s Flippers only fit on him.
Torpedo’s character is one of the first “Unfriendly, but highly competent”. While I don’t think he’s as cool as Deep Six, because that dude gave money to keep Firing Line on television, Torpedo is pretty great too, he’s a Vegetarian and probably Straight Edge. While that’s a likely overused trope in G.I. Joe, I’m sure everyone’s been in a situation where there’s one person who gets away with a poor disposition, because they get results. G.I. Joe just seems to have a bunch of those! He’s also a native Hawaiian, which wasn’t made a part of his character, because it doesn’t really have any effect on him, it probably only came about because it’s likely he was named after a Marvel Inker. G.I. Joe was very understated with how integrated it was, and I think that’s pretty cool.
Aquatic aspects of G.I. Joe aren’t really all that fun, so that’s probably why the figures and vehicles were always so well done. Torpedo also loses out, because as an ’83 he doesn’t have much in the way of compatible figures to work with, there’s Deep Six and the EEL, and that’s about it, and even the EEL’s pushing it with the progress made in sculpting. There’s also the forgettable 2001 Wet-Down, who is pretty much Torpedo with darker colours, he’s what an accurate Comic Pack Torpedo would’ve looked like. Nowadays there’s also the Red Laser custom of Depth Charge, which while sharing the head of Torpedo (a forgivable thing in my opinion), shares no other parts, yet still looks convincing enough.