G.I. Joe 30th Anniversary
Lifeline Review

When the 25th Anniversary line gave way to Rise of Cobra, I was crushed. So many of my childhood favorites hadn’t received an update. Some I’m still waiting on: Iceberg, Keel-Haul, Dress Marine Gung Ho. The short-lived 30th Anniversary ran into its movie roadblock, but at least they got to Lifeline.

Lifeline is one of my all-time favorite Joes. I don’t remember when I got him or who bought him for me, but after I had him, he was a constant in my Joe adventures. Looking back, I can’t tell you why – I didn’t read the comics and the only cartoon appearance I really remember about him was when he told some kids to eat fruit instead of candy (unfortunately, that’s one PSA I never took to heart…).

I’m not even that fond of the color red, but none of that mattered. Lifeline was awesome. I did know that he would go to any lengths to recue someone (says so right on the pants) and that he was a pacifist – he won’t use a gun (despite usually getting one as an accessory and carrying one on his classic card art, oops!).

In my young Joe-playin’ days, my Lifeline followed those two principles to the letter. He didn’t use the provided gun; the holster on his chest was molded empty after all. And he’d fly in on the Tomahawk or go in solo on the Recon Sled and pull any fallen troop to safety. No matter the danger, the Joes could be fending off the Inhumanoids, fighting the Horde, or protecting Electronic Alphie from Cobra – it didn’t matter. Lifeline would ride in to save the wounded.

He was also one of the Joes lost in the Great Flood™. When my parents set out to replace my lost figures, Lifeline was nowhere to be found. I was fortunate though. A few years later, Lifeline was offered as a cereal mail-in and it proved to not only be a great way to replace my lost figure, but Kellogg’s inadvertently managed to improve the figure. The story goes that they wanted a figure without a weapon – Lifeline was a good choice, but he did have a gun molded to his thigh. Hasbro part swapped in some plain legs, Kellogg’s Lifeline figure ended up a better match for the character, and I got one of my favorite Joe’s back. Wins all around.

When Lifeline wasn’t updated in the 25th line, I was really disappointed. I bought an extra 25th Anniversary Hard Master (his colors matched) to figure out a custom, but I never got around to it. Five years later, Hasbro would finally have my back.

When the last wave of 30th Anniversary was announced, there were some great figures in that wave. It makes me kinda wonder if the folks at Hasbro wanted to go out without a bang and make sure we’d be desperate for more updated Joes when they finally get back to non-movie product (btw, Hasbro, I’m ready whenever you are…). Like most of the figures in this last wave, Lifeline is one of the best updates to a classic Joe yet.

There is some part re-use here, Shock Trooper arms and the Snake Eyes v54 legs (I think everyone’s got those lately), but they supplement the new pieces just fine. The only complaint is that the kneepad on the left leg blocks his classic “RESCUE” tag on his pants, but props to Hasbro for at least having the bottom of the “E” peak out from the bottom of the pad. I think other companies would’ve overlooked that.

The new torso and head sculpt are both fantastic. I love that they retained the chest pouches and the mid-torso articulation without having to resort to clunky webgear. And they finally made that molded-empty holster usable. The head sculpt is another favorite. I love when figures get removable helmets and it’s even better when the non-helmeted head still looks sharp, as Lifeline does, right down to the great aviator shades. Continue to Page 2…

17 thoughts on “G.I. Joe 30th Anniversary
Lifeline Review

  1. SO sad I never saw this guy in my area. Also loved his backpack. Love the comics.

  2. I’ve always loved Lifeline, the figure more so than the character. This is easily one of the best upgrades we’ve gotten in years. It’s everything I wanted in a classic Lifeline and so much more.

  3. Lifeline was one of my regulars back in the 80s, too. (and “lost in storage”.)
    I saw this one a couple times, but couldn’t force myself to buy him, even tho most non-movie/toon figures were Ultra-RARE in these parts.

    Now that I see all his cool gear, I will kick myself once again for letting him slip through my fingers. sigh…. :/

    And being a pacifist doesn’t mean he’s not trained in firearms, just that he prefers not to use them. For example, it’s kinda like the Doctor claiming he is one, but in the classic series, various incarnations (3,4,5) used guns all the time, while the new series he’s balked shooting enemies. Chalk it up to PTSD from the Time War, if you like, but he has used firearms in the past.

  4. I love those last 3 joe figures. Sci-Fi, Airtight, and Lifeline were all home runs. If you’re going to end a series/era of toys, those were three great figures to go out with.

    It’s a shame The Rock got such a lame toy. I could deal with the lack of ankle articulation but that molded hand and gun combination just ruins things.

    1. A friend of mine is a huge wrestling/Rock fan, so he bought the single-card Roadblock and the 3-pack with Beachhead and Kamakura just for the “normal” hands to give to Dwayne Johnson there.

      There is another Roadblock slated for Wave 2 that looks a lot better, but who knows when we’ll see those.

  5. Great pic with “I can still save this movie”

    I was very happy with how he turned out, he was one of those I was upset didn’t get updated as well.

    I’m Jelous though, you got 2 zombie vipers, I only got the one that I ordered of BBTS 🙁

  6. Awesome comics, Noisy! Having nabbed RoadRock for a Slaughter custom, I did at least a double take on that stupid right hand.

    Really hope we get a continuation of this style figure. Lifeline and Co. have been awesome, near perfect updates as far as I’m concerned!

  7. On my Cobra trooper i realised that the kneepads are detacheable (and this might be the case on any of the figures that use the lower SE leg parts) so maybe just pull gently. It would leave a teeny bitsy hole, but you could display him with the full RESCUE logo. I still got my eyes peeled anytime for a vintage Lifeline, such a sweet figure!

  8. Airtight is right, never shock a flatline.

    Just saw the three 30th Ann. figures featured here yesterday, hanging out at Buehler’s (grocery chain) with the Iron Man 1 movie toys. No price sticker, but given their usual markup, it’s probably cheaper to get them on eBay.

    Lifeline’s one of the few old Joes I still have. Probably the cereal promo; I got him at a yard sale. Nice figure for the time, but man, the new one’s gorgeous.

  9. Great review, great comics!

    Yeah, this is one darn good figure, all right. Like you, I donated his rifle to other characters. He kept the pistol, though, for emergencies (shooting into the air to attract attention, blowing off locks, Cobra zombies, et cetera).

  10. Wow, I’ve never even seen pics of this guy before. Lol. But I want him! Great review, as always. “Not without a hand transplant…” Hahahaha

  11. i always thought dress marine gung ho was a silly figure. it’s like having casual fridays flint, or jogging suit destro, or cobra commander in pajama gear.

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