Med Alert (2006)
Direct To Consumer or DTC, Hasbro’s experiment with selling online directly to the collector market was an ambitious and hopeful idea. From a collector point of view it was great. No more putting up with hunting down product in store after store or ordering from a middleman online. No sir, Hasbro was going to make available an entire line of Joes targeted more toward collectors and sold on their Hasbrotoyshop.com website, hassle free. It turned out fairly hassle free, but the product was so-so. There were a few shining stars, namely vehicles (Rhino, ROCC and an updated HISS) and some great vintage style comic pack figures. The main line figures were simply a continuation, style-wise, of what had been going on through the Valor vs. Venom series. It lasted two years before Hasbro puled the plug, eventually also selling some of the later items through Toys R Us, and distributing a cancelled final wave of figures through the GI Joe Collectors Club.
Med Alert was part of the second year of DTC releases. Like most of the other DTC figures, he’s a repaint of previously used parts along with a new head and a few new accessories. The body was formerly Hard Drive, a Computer Specialist from Valor vs. Venom, which was one of the unfortunate odd proportioned figures of the line. The figure is noticeably short compared to others. There’s a lot of interesting detail to the mold, and it works well here as a medic’s uniform.
Along with a new head sculpt, Med Alert features a new helmet and rifle. The helmet is different from what we’ve seen before on Joe medics, with a light and what appears to be camera and head-up display. The best accessory is the new rifle. It looks like an over-under shotgun/rifle, but I’m not sure if it’s based on a real weapon. It manages to look futuristic without being bulky. Very Nice. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think we’ve seen this weapon since. Proportion issue aside, I like this figure for its modern take on the familiar concept of the battlefield medic