Peril in Paradise Tiger Force Lifeline
I don’t quite know why, but as a kid I was somewhat fascinated with Tiger Force Lifeline. My guess is that it’s because my brother had the original 1986 version and I liked him but didn’t want a figure identical to my big brother’s, and the Tiger Force version would have allowed me have my own version of Lifeline. I never found Tiger Force Lifeline, but unlike Darklon I’ve never considered him a hole in my collection. However, I think that was part of the brilliance of subteams like Tiger Force and Python Patrol. They gave me, someone born a year before Lifeline first came out, a second chance. That’s how I got my vintage Flint and my first Roadblock. It kept those characters out there, but the different look was an incentive to pick them up for those that already had them. Considering how hard to find 30th Anniversary Lifeline was, it made a lot of sense for the GIJCC to tap him for their Tiger Force set. Now that I have my first Tiger Force Lifeline, I have to say I’m impressed. He’s probably not going to replace my 30th Anniversary Lifeline on my display shelf, but I do like the different look he has.
The GIJCC didn’t do anything fancy here with Tiger Force Lifeline. The figure is built the exact same way. Normally, I’d decry the GIJCC giving me a repaint in an expensive Joe Con set, but considering how much of a phantom that last wave of the 30th Anniversary line was, I honestly can’t fault them for it. Not as many people as would like to have Lifeline in their collection were able to get him. While he may not be in the vintage Lifeline colors, it’s at least a chance for those Joe fans to get a guaranteed version of Lifeline. The 30th Anniversary Lifeline figure has held up very well over the years. The legs are shared with Pursuit of Cobra Desert Battle Snake Eyes II, with the holsters swapped out. The holster is now on the right leg and the left leg has a large pouch and some sort of hypospray device or an angled flashlight. The details fit nicely for the character. Lifeline also has a boot sheath. Like Desert Battle Snake Eyes II, Lifeline also has removable kneepads. The removable kneepads have grown on me over the years, though personally I’m still not a terribly big fan of them. The torso is the same one that 30th Anniversary Lifeline used. It’s got some great pouches and a holster for his syringe. The arms come from Pursuit of Cobra Shock Trooper with the same lower arms Lifeline used that have the added wrist articulation that became more commonplace towards the end of the 30th Anniversary line. Like with 30th Anniversary Lifeline, they work surprisingly well together even if they came from slightly different eras of the Joe line. Up top, Tiger Force Lifeline shares his head with his 30th Anniversary counterpart. I really like how serious the modern Lifeline figure looks. This is definitely a comic-inspired Lifeline rather than one inspired by his interpretation in the cartoon. Lifeline is a serious military operator who knows his job is dangerous but continues to put his life on the line to save those that need his help. Someone as easily overwhelmed as cartoon Lifeline wouldn’t last a day in that job, but this Lifeline looks like someone who has served with the Joes for a long time and has seen some pretty heavy action.
Of course, the primary difference between this figure and his mass market counterpart is his color scheme. Even after all these years, Tiger Force figures are a tough nut for me to crack. I really do like the subteam but the colors are a bit all over the place. The Joe Con set does have some cohesion but it’s still a little odd to look at all the Tiger Force figures together because even though they’re a unit, they’re color schemes are pretty varied. Tiger Force Lifeline has vibrant green pants. It’s an all right color and helps bring him in line with Big Brawler from this set, but I kind of wish the figure were a little more on model with his vintage Tiger Force counterpart. The original Tiger Force Lifeline had green pants, but it was a greenish brown and I think that would work better here. It would have also helped bring Tiger Force Recondo into the team a little better than he does now because there would have been someone else with that darker green color on him. Tiger Force Lifeline has brown boots and gray is used for the straps on his pants. The lower body looks solid, though the brighter green does throw off the look just a little bit in my opinion. Up top, Tiger Force Lifeline is very bright. Just like back in 1988, Tiger Force Lifeline is rocking a yellow-orange shirt with tiger stripes. It looks striking in the vintage figure and it looks just as good on this modern version. There’s a little more brown up on Tiger Force Lifeline’s helmet and the gray is carried up there onto his goggles as well. The helmet looks really nice in these colors. My only real gripe is about Tiger Force Lifeline’s skin tone. It’s applied awfully thickly and it really mutes all the details on his hands and face. I’m not quite sure why the GIJCC had to apply the skintone so thickly, but that’s the way it is on this figure. While I do wish this Tiger Force Lifeline’s colors were a bit closer to the vintage version’s, it’s still a good looking figure and the GIJCC paint team did a great job with him.
The 30th Anniversary Lifeline had some amazing accessories and Tiger Force Lifeline has all of them except the controversial rifle. While I very much like that piece, I was getting a little tired of seeing it since it showed up with so many FSS 3.0 figures. I don’t mind Tiger Force Lifeline only having a pistol for a weapon. It’s a nice little piece and it does allow this version of Lifeline to be a bit more of a medic since the rest of his accessories are focused around saving lives. Like the 30th Anniversary version, Tiger Force Lifeline has the great modern-style backboard and I love this thing even more in green. It’s just a really well thought out piece and it fits Lifeline perfectly. Like the vintage figure, he’s also got a great case full of medical supplies. The case holds defibrillator paddles, an IV bag and an IV line. Everything fits nicely inside the case, though the IV bag and line can also plug into the backboard. Lifeline has the same boot knife we’ve seen a lot to fill his boot sheath and I like seeing Lifeline with a blade. Yes, it’s probably not as fine a cutting tool as a scalpel, but in the field and under fire, he’ll take what he can get. The syringe fits nicely in his chest holster and it’s good that the GIJCC grabbed that to fill the holster. Finally, Lifeline is also carrying an oxygen mask. I don’t know why, but I’ve always liked this piece. I think it’s great that the GIJCC also molded it out of clear plastic because it looks like a real world emergency oxygen mask. The GIJCC wisely cribbed all of Lifeline’s accessories from the 30th Anniversary figure but smartly stayed away from the controversial assault rifle while still arming him with a pistol like he had back in the day. All in all, the gear is great and honestly, if Tiger Force Lifeline had been released with no modern medical gear, he honestly would have been kind of lame.
Tiger Force Lifeline is still a little bit of a mystery to me. He’s based on a figure I wanted to find as a kid, so he should be all win, but for some reason, I’m just not as enthralled with him as I thought I’d be. It’s still a stellar figure, but I think since I lucked out by finding a 30th Anniversary Lifeline, there’s an element of been-there, done-that to him. It’s a nice looking figure and it’s great that the GIJCC has nearly completed the original Tiger Force team, but Lifeline just kind of feels there. Parts of me wonder if the slightly too vibrant green pants are part of what tempers my love of the figure just because they’re a bit off model and the rest of the vintage Tiger Force-inspired figures are pretty close to their originals, but that doesn’t seem right either. There’s just something ineffable missing from this figure and it’s a shame I can’t quite put my finger on what’s missing here.