Anyone who knows me knows I’m a diehard Sigma 6 fan. Outside of the original Real American Hero vintage line, Sigma 6 has been my favorite iteration of the G.I. Joe brand over the past twenty-five years, and it’s one of the only toylines that I feel died while in its prime and while it still had so much promise. No matter how much I love certain toylines, near the end, it becomes obvious that they have sort of outlived their “spark” and that it’s time for them to go. I still feel like there was so much untapped potential with Sigma 6… of course, Groundblast Heavy Duty isn’t necessarily the perfect example of “what could have been”, but this figure has been, to date, one of the most desirable “rare” pieces, just because production got cut short as the line shifted from the Sigma 6 “theme” into a more standard G.I. Joe look.
While Windblade COBRA Commander and Dojo Snake Eyes still managed to hit retail in modified packaging, ole Heavy Duty was left on the cutting room floor (or the Chinese Warehouse floor if you will). A scant number of these items showed up around the time of the line’s demise, and owning one was a sure sign that you were a serious collector. But now? Well, just in the past week, almost a dozen of these figures have mysteriously cropped up on eBay, and each time the selling price dwindles a bit more.
In fact, as of this typing, there are still five ongoing auctions for this supposedly rare piece, all of them originating from either China, or Hong Kong specifically, which begs the question, did some stash of these Heavy Duty’s suddenly get found? What will this influx of supposedly rare items do to the long term value of Groundblast Heavy Duty? And what does this mean for other potential unreleased figures (most specifically the series 2 Adventure Team figures that we haven’t received yet)? Sigma 6 was a line that has mostly been pushed aside and ignored by the collecting fandom as a whole…it’ll be fascinating to see what kinds of discussion these formerly rare items bring to the forefront. I know one thing, it’s a good thing for Sigma 6 fans and G.I. Joe fans to see some of this cool stuff getting uncovered, it makes for some great conversation.