There’s been an ongoing debate among G.I. Joe fans over the years regarding whether rescue trooper Lifeline is a pacifist or not. Apparently Hasbro never meant for Lifeline to be a pacifist, but that’s how he was characterized in the classic cartoon and Marvel comic. Here’s my stance: if Larry Hama said it was so, that’s good enough for me to consider it canon. But in wartime a man’s ethics often fall by the wayside, and when the enemy enlists the Zombie Apocalypse to eat your flesh, even a pacifist like Lifeline can be driven to extreme violence. So now even Lifeline the pacifist is packing some heavy firepower. Thus, tonight I’ll be reviewing the 30th Anniversary Lifeline G.I. Joe, along with his B.F.G. and huge assortment of other accessories…
I usually don’t do this, but I want to start off by talking about Lifeline’s accessories instead of the figure itself. Lifeline comes with an insane amount of accessories, and I am not exaggerating here. He includes an assault targeting rifle (his BFG), a para-helmet, medic pack, oxygen tank, oxygen mask, IV bag, trauma board, shock paddles, syringe, pistol, knife, and figure stand. The engineering of these accessories is absolutely amazing: the medic pack can be opened and has slots inside to snap in the shock paddles and IV bag. Lifeline has holsters to hold his knife and pistol on his legs. The oxygen mask will fit over virtually any 4″ figure that isn’t oversized. Hasbro went far beyond the call of duty here, and Lifeline has easily the best assortment of accessories I’ve seen come with an action figure in this scale in many years, if not ever.
Lifeline’s hands are masterfully sculpted to take advantage of his accessories. He can hold every one of his accessories with a firm grip and looks great doing so. This crucial detail allows Lifeline to dual-wield his guns or the shock paddles, to hold a patient’s oxygen tank while injecting them with a syringe, and any other scenario you can think up for our pacifist buddy.
As far as the Lifeline figure itself goes, it’s a very authentic update to the vintage figure. Lifeline’s uniform is virtually identical to the 1986 figure, except with improved sculpting and more paint deco than the original figure had. The paints chosen are Lifeline’s classic colors beyond a doubt (although it shouldn’t exactly have been tough for Hasbro to pick out white and bright red paints), and all of the paint deco was expertly applied on my figure.
Lifeline’s articulation is the well-articulated norm for a G.I. Joe these days and includes 20 points: Ball-jointed head, ball-jointed shoulders, double-jointed elbows, double-jointed knees, upper torso, ball-jointed hips, double-jointed ankles and swivel wrists. This is almost all of the articulation that you could ask for, and is more than enough to get Lifeline into most poses.
I’m disappointed that Lifeline, like Sci-Fi, has no swivel waist. Renegades Law from the same wave has waist articulation, and is a better figure for it, so I don’t see why Hasbro didn’t grace Lifeline and Sci-Fi with this common articulation as well. The lack of swivel waist hinders Lifeline’s posing potential just enough for it to really annoy me. In addition, Lifeline is the only figure I purchased from the wave with loose, floppy joints–primarily his hip joints. This and the lack of waist articulation to help balance the figure result in me having some serious problems getting him into a stable pose.
In addition, I can’t say I like Lifeline’s unhelmeted head sculpt. Whereas Lifeline looks heroic and noble and cool as Hell on the card art, the actual head looks awkward and a little simian-like. I don’t like the head at all with the helmet off, so my Lifeline will be wearing it permanently.
Lifeline is supposedly part of the fourth 2012 wave of G.I. Joes, so I got him a bit early from BigBadToyStore. I’ve heard a couple people say they’ve saw Lifeline in stores before Christmas, but he still seems to be quite rare at the moment. There are a variety of online options:
BigBadToyStore stocks virtually every G.I. Joe released each year, and have cases of 12 containing Law & Order, Sci-Fi, Lifeline, Zombie Vipers and so forth for $84.99 as well as Lifeline available for $11.99 individually.
Amazon has Lifeline in-stock right now from various sellers, but prices and availability change rapidly on Amazon so you’ll need to click through for the current specifics.
Overall: Lifeline is ” ” <—- that close to earning an ‘A+’ grade, but just doesn’t quite make it all the way there. As far as figures with medical accessories go, he is the sweetest plum ever. The selection of accessories Hasbro granted him is simply out-of-this world, and I wouldn’t mind buying a few more Lifelines simply to army-build medical equipment for my 4″ action figure lines. The figure itself is very good, with my only gripes being the lack of a waist joint, slightly awkward facial sculpt, and some loose joints that causes posing difficulties. Lifeline is a terrific value, an outstanding update to a classic character, and near-perfect all-around. Lifeline is highly-recommended—If you’re a classic G.I. Joe fan, you will be buying this figure and you are going to be blown away by him.