Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Mail-Away Lifeline (1991)

by Acer

The year 1991 was one where many familiar faces made a return to store shelves after the previous year of mostly-new characters (Sonic Fighters aside). Among those returning included two characters first introduced in the 1986 lineup; while Sci-Fi got an entirely new look with newer accessories, Lifeline got his third figure and did not look any different (from the waist up) from the original. Unlike Sci-Fi–and for the most part, the rest of the 1991 figures–Lifeline was only available via a mail-order offer from Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal (which also included offers for an exclusive My Little Pony or Weebles figure). When it came to how Kellogg’s would offer the figure, there was a catch–they didn’t want the figure to come with any weapons (be they molded on or not), so Hasbro swapped out the original legs with those of Frostbite V1’s, as the original Lifeline’s had a holstered pistol molded on the left thigh. They did match the coloring of the legs on the Frostbite ones, and it should be noted that those legs have the 1988 date stamp on them, meaning they came from the reuse of the Frostbite mold, that of the 1988 Tiger Force version.

As you can see, this effectively “halts” the progress of the straps that start on the sides of Lifeline’s waist. They did manage to keep the RESCUE tampograph on the left leg. Aside from that particular construction, the rest of the figure (head, torso, arms, and waist) is the exact same construction and coloring as the V1 figure. He even comes with 50% of his original gear, in the form of his backpack and med-pack that opens–both in the same coloring as the originals. Because of Kellogg’s edict, he does not come with his pistol (the one you see in the next photo is one I got from the Valor Vs. Venom Duke’s accessory compliment), and strangely enough, does not come with the oxygen mask that plugs into his med-pack. (Whether this was Hasbro’s oversight or a Kellogg’s request is up for debate.)

Overall, this is a neat figure to have for a couple of reasons: A) he’s the second G.I. Joe figure exclusive to a cereal offer (the first being Starduster in 1987), and B) some would say that this figure best reflects the portrayal of the character on the Sunbow cartoon series (who was an avowed pacifist). If you manage to find one, you won’t regret getting it, and it is easy to give him an oxygen mask for his med-kit–if you used a V1 or Tiger Force Lifeline for a custom, that means their gear’s up for grabs. I know I did so when I found a spare mask at a flea market.


  • Pingback: Joe A Day » New Field Report: Rice Krispies Lifeline (1991) by Acer

  • Cool write up!!! I knew about this figure, but didn’t know the specifics. I was a junior in high school and had been out of “toys” for 5 years at that point. I have since found out this figure existed, but beyond that knew nothing about it.

    Thanks Acer!!!!!!

  • –>> Whoa.. you even have the cereal box !!

    Man, that’s a pretty tight Lifeline !! Well thought out on his accessories too.

    ~ t

  • Yeah, very nice Field Report, Acer. The info on the rest of the Rice Krispies promotion was a nice addition. I didn’t know that Hasbro offered figures from a couple other of its major properties at the same time. I like your take of seeing him as more of a Sunbow version…my brother had the original Lifeline and that portrayal on the cartoon always confused me a little because his figure had a pistol. While we never had him on the frontlines fighting people, we occasionally had him use the gun to protect a wounded Joe from a Cobra scumbag coming in to finish off the job. The pacifist angle was in his filecard, which I’m sure influenced us on that issue because I remember seeing very few of the episodes that featured Lifeline as a kid, but at the same time, a person versed in martial arts like Lifeline probably also understood that sometimes (ie, the situations we came up with) force is the only option…even if you don’t like it.

  • @tOkKa
    Actually, that box was a stock photo I pulled–I don’t actually have it. I bought the Lifeline from another collector and got the gear on a separate occasion.

  • –>>Ah, i see. Still NICE !! !!

    ~ t

  • I never knew about this promotion before. Very interesting.

  • I have both V1 and this version of Lifeline. The V1 still has most of his accessories but his plasma case is on the verge of breaking at the seams.

    On the subject of ponies. My best freind is a cowgirl does that make me a Brony?

    I think the reasons Lifeline was a strict pacifist was due to the fact that medics are only allowed to protect themselves in danger and cant be used as frontline shock troops. Abusing that is in violation of the Genevia convention. And i read somewhere that Lifeline grew up in a violant household thats why he detests violance.

    I remeber lots of my school freinds hated lifeline because they thought he was a “wimp” [they thought the same about Firstaid on Transformers] i always tried to tell them that Doctors cant fight.
    These same kids also loved Hawkeye on M.A.S.H even though he had the same views as Lifeline

  • I’ve always loved the medical officer characters such as Doc, Lifeline, Stretcher, Ratchet, and First Aid. Can’t have a decent combat between good and evil without these guys around.

    Great review, Acer. I just got this version of Lifeline a month or so ago along with the red card ’83 Grand Slam, ’91 neon Sonic Fighter Hawk in convention bag, and the unmasked Storm Shadow mail-in as part of a $25 lot. Pretty much a bargain which is rare nowadays.

    I have an extra ’86 Lifeline in pieces minus his broken waist. I was planning on putting him back together using the waist from this figure but after reading your report I might just give my extra gas mask to the Kellogg’s version and complete the guy.

  • I picked up this version of Lifeline at a toy show a few months ago.I don’t know how rare he is, but he’s my default version.I’m still looking for the grey pistol the original came with,

  • For the decade and half that I had this figure, I never considered “whose” legs those were. I kind of just assumed it was a “mold wipe” to remove the holster. (Interesting how I didn’t pick up on it, being that I can pick out modern 4″ parts from pictures now.)

    That’s the first image I’ve seen of the Rice Krispies box since I mailed in for the offer, too. That’s cool stuff.

    The only other cereal mail-in offer that could meet or beat the mail-in Lifeline in my lifetime was a mail-in offer for Transformer Jazz. (I can’t remember what cereal that was for now!)

  • @Scott Remeber Optimus Prime also worked part time for Pepsi

  • @Scott It was Cookie crisp [thats what the old Alveraz book says] and Optimus Prime also did sold some sponsering to Pepsi [ignore comment 11, i didnt have it finished before i posted it]

  • great write up. makes me wish I don’t hate Lifeline v1 and its pacifistic revision.

  • Best version without gun!

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    This is a great figure to me and if it weren’t for yojoe, I wouldn’t have even noticed that this wasn’t exactly the original figure. I remember when they had this cereal promotion and I really wanted to get a free Joe figure, but nobody was gonna let me get however many boxes of cereal it was just to mail away for a toy.

  • I was born in 1991 that Yr my birth year I love Kelloggs Rice Krispies cereal one of my favorite with that milk its good though.

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