LIGHTFOOT v.1 (1988)
Not too long ago I reviewed the updated version of one of my favorite 1988 G.I. Joe figures, Spearhead. In that review I mentioned that another figure I really liked from that year was Lightfoot. Since Lightfoot hasn’t gotten a modern update yet I’ve decided to go back and review the original.
1988 was a another solid year of Joe figures. That was the year that my favorite childhood Joe figure was released, Shockwave. While Shockwave made the biggest splash on my Joe team in ’88, with his tank-flipping super strength, Lightfoot was another solid addition to the team; along with fellow ’88 figures like Spearhead and Budo.
I don’t recall ever giving Lightfoot any specific character traits, he was just one of those Joes who was always around, pitching in from the sidelines. He never got captured by Cobra and had to battle dinosaurs in the arena of sport, he never got to rescue Cover Girl or Lady Jaye from perilous situations, and he never saved the day. His file card didn’t do much to spark any creativity in me I suppose, it basically just said he was a very careful guy. As far as I know Lightfoot never appeared in the comics or cartoons either so he never had an opportunity to have his character expanded upon.
Lightfoot’s specialty is demolitions. However, by the look of his gear he’s more about tracking down and diffusing explosives than setting them. I suppose he would’ve been the equivalent of Jeremy Renner from the Hurt Locker. Which would also essentially make him the replacement of the Joe team’s original bomb disposal expert, Tripwire.
By 1988 Joe’s real world military theme was pretty much entirely out the window. Shockwave was a relatively realistic looking SWAT guy, and even Spearhead was fairly straight forward military guy if you can forgive the bright orange camo and bobcat sidekick. But Lightfoot was really pushing the envelope of realism with his futuristic design. Although he wasn’t the worst offender that year, Cobra’s mutated Hydo-Viper was pretty out there too.
Lightfoot has a bright yellow jumpsuit with some green highlights and black padding. His accessories, which are also green, consist of a backpack, a weird double handled thing, and a flat hose to connect the two. I assume the double handled thing is used to detect explosives, at least that’s how I always used it. I imagined that it would almost pull him toward explosives, the same way a Y-shaped stick always pulls cartoon characters towards water. He also came with a small red robot which was basically a box with an antennae on a tank tread. His most science-fiction looking element was the big clunky blue helmet with the big red eyes and dual antennas. He looks like a member of Devo in that thing.
Luckily the stupid helmet is removable and underneath is a very good face sculpt. The head is fairly generic, similar to Spearheads, but I always thought he looked like a nice guy. My Lightfoot rarely wore his helmet. The inclusion of the robot helped to differentiate Lightfoot from his teammates. I had 2 robots for some reason and I treated them as if they were little R2D2s with personalities of their own.
Even though this is kind of a dorky unrealistic figure I can’t help but love it. I think the colors are great and the sculpt is simple yet unique. The accessories are out there but fun. The lenticular ‘3D’ stickers on his robot and back pack added to his futuristic feel. He looked more futuristic than most members of the ultra-futuristic Battle Force 2000. It’s a great figure and I really hope that either Hasbro or the Collector’s Club produce a modern version of him in the near future. 8 out of 10.