|Code Name: LIFELINE|
Lifeline effectively replaced Doc as G.I. Joe's medic, and I always preferred his more colourful design. The character had a large role in the cartoon (albeit one that largely involved the character mentioning his pacifism whether anyone asked him about it or not), and went on to be something of a staple for the toyline. However, most of the various reinventions of the character weren't a patch on the original character.
He finally got a good update as part of the 30th Anniversary line in late 2011. The original design's striking, stylish rescue uniform is recreated with loving care, with every puch and marking carried over (though the removable knee-pad does obscure the end of the 'RESCUE' legend on his right leg; it's not underneath either). The articulation (with the new wrist design) and paint applications are all superb too; no corner cut. And finally after 25 years, his helmet comes off to reveal a cartoon-accurate head sculpt and black hair.
As is common with more recent figures, they've gone all-out on accessories too. Firstly, the pouch on the chest now contains a removable hypodermic pistol, his left ankle holster contains a knife and his right thigh bears a pistol holder (this is one of the few changes from the original design; the moulded pistol and gun holsters were both on the first version's right-hand side - presumably they were switched to make the toy look more believable). All three are removable, naturally. He also comes with a batch of medical tools - his trusty paramedic's case is recreated. However, rather than just having an oxygen mask, this one has a saline drip that can clip onto other figures' arms, a pair of tiny darling defibrilators and an oxygen canister with a mask. Further tools are painted on the inside. In addition, Lifeline also comes with a fairly plain stretcher (which can at least attach to the drip) and a brutal-looking assault rifle - his fictional pacificism having to take a bit of a back seat to commercial concerns there, though you can always give it to someone else.
Genuine faults are hard to find. I could nitpick and bemoan the lack of a backpack - though he's not the only modern figure to omit one of those. A nice compromise might have been adapting the rig the Rise of Cobra Doc had, which allowed a similar kit to be mounted on a figure's back. But that's it; other than that he's as close to perfect as you're realistically going to get. The original design was great even if the figure's now showing its' age; the 30th Anniversary version brings it bang up to date with considerable flourish. Even if you don't like Lifeline, the figure's probably worth buying for the medical kit alone.