LIFELINE v.8 (2015)
In my last post I reviewed the G.I. Joe team’s first medic, Doc from 1983. Today I’m going to take a look at the second Joe in the medical bay.
The first Lifeline was released in 1986 and he quickly became a star in my Joe universe. Due to his non-combat role Doc didn’t see as much action as other figures but I allowed Lifeline to branch out from his primary specialty because I liked the figure so much. His red and white uniform was so bright and bold that he looked like candy and his smiling face was welcoming. How could you not want to play with him? I’m such a fan of that first Lifeline figure that I gave him one of the coveted spots on my “mike’s collection” banner at the top of this page.
The ’86 Lifeline figure was repainted in Tiger Force colours in 1988. My brother Doug and I were still basically completists back then, trying to buy one of everything, but neither of us bothered with Tiger Force Lifeline. Looking back I’m not sure why I didn’t seek him out. I bought the Tiger Force versions of Tripwire and Roadblock that year and they’re both characters I like less than Lifeline. Maybe he was hard to find or maybe I just thought the original was so great that he couldn’t be topped. Whatever the reason I wish I had one now. I think the uniform looks pretty cool in mustard yellow and olive green.
Lifeline got additional “Real American Hero” O-ring style updates in 1994, 2002, 2004, and 2010.
Edwin “Lifeline” Steen finally got a modern-era update in 2011 as part of the “30th anniversary” branded toyline. Most fans agree that the 30th anniversary figures are some of the best modern-era figures ever released. Hasbro really seemed to have upped their game at that point. Lifeline v.7 was an excellent figure with a bunch of new pieces and a slew of awesome medical accessories. The red and white paint scheme was just as bold as the original and he had a removable helmet which was pretty neat. I was probably a little more critical of that figure than most fans because of my fondness for the original. It’s not perfect but its pretty damn good. I still prefer the rounder happier face of the ’86 figure but the 2011 figure was about as good a modern update as you could’ve hoped for.
For their 2015 Convention box set the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club went with a theme of Tiger Force vs Destro’s Iron Grenadiers. I haven’t gotten around to reviewing any of the Grenadiers yet but I have previously reviewed Sabretooth and Stalker from the Tiger Force side. The set also included this Tiger Force repaint of the 2011 Lifeline which serves as a recreation of the 1988 figure.
Lifeline 2015 is the exact same build as Lifeline 2011; they share all the same parts. The only difference is in the paint job but that alone is a pretty drastic change. Like the ’88 version, Lifeline v.8 has traded in his red and whites for green pants and a yellow striped shirt. His boots, helmet, shades and accessories have also changed colour. These hues are brighter than those of the 1988 figure and I don’t think thats a good thing. This figure’s colours are pretty garish. I actually think this shirt is a bigger fashion faux-pas than Stalker’s tiger-striped pants. The ’88 figure’s paint job was duller and more realistic looking. I understand why the Collector’s Club went with the brighter colours (they wanted him to match the other modern-era Tiger Force figures) but I think this figure would have been better served by toning things down a bit. That said, I don’t hate the colours. They’ve grown on me over time and he does look good when displayed with his Tiger Force teammates.
Lifeline came with a bunch of cool accessories: a stretcher, a briefcase, a slew of medical supplies that can be stored inside of it like an IV bag, a breathing mask, and a hypodermic needle and he has a knife and a pistol that can be holstered and sheathed on his legs. Most of my accessories are boxed up so I lifted a pic from GeneralsJoes.com to show you.