Direct to Consumer Wave 3 - Med Alert

Toy name: Med Alert
Assortment: Direct-to-Consumer Wave 3
Price: MSRP $4.99
Availability: December, 2005

I consider myself pretty different from a lot of the other online Joe fans mostly because of how I view the classics and what I look for in the new sculpts. Whether or not you think the figures are good, whether or not you agree with certain aspect of the line, the one thing I could not understand was the huge desire for everyone to see every single figure remade in new sculpt form. I don't really get it. While there are some classic figures and characters that needed updates and still do, for the most part I can't think of many figures that aren't cool enough as is. There are rumors of figures coming out in an upcoming wave like Falcon and Outback. While this is interesting, personally, I love my '87 Falcon and my Night Force Outback. I don't NEED new versions. Same thing with characters like Low Light...I like the versions I have just fine. Why get new ones? Grand Slam? Him, I can see, since his mold is pretty dated. But with all of the Low Lights out there to choose from, who needs yet another one? Personally, I'd rather see Hasbro break out and do some new things...either take existing characters and put them in interesting situations (like the Interrogator in the upcoming Viper Lockdown set) or just get us some new characters. Well, Med Alert is a new character, so I should be thrilled, right? Well...kinda. ;)

Med Alert is a new character, which immediately gets bonus points in my book, but he seems to be a complete rehash of Lifeline, all the way to his filecard indicating that he's a martial arts expert, something that was identified with Lifeline way back in the day. However, Med Alert is not a pacifist, at least I don't think so, looking at the mini arsenal that he comes with.

Figure Mold

Med Alert has a new mold head, and it looks strikingly similar to G.I. Joe Brand Manager Billy Lagor...I'm not sure if it scanned from him, or merely a coincidence, but it's almost scary. Regardless of who it looks like, though, the head is at least a decent sculpt, and considering it's pretty much the one single new sculpted part in the entire third wave (aside from Monkeywrench's new head as well) I guess we have to take what we can get.

Original pictures made the figure out to look pretty red and white, which really brought up the comparisons between him and Lifeline...but in the end, this figure is much more orange, which I think still works. The mold is Hard Drive from neck to toes, and he works pretty well as a medic with all of those pouches and straps giving him some life. Even though the figure doesn't come with any med kits or anything (which is pretty weird in and of itself) there are enough pouches and such to make it seem like Med Alert can just carry the stuff with him. Proportion wise Hard Drive wasn't too bad either, considering other figures released around him, so all in all, this figure fits in pretty well with the others. I still really dig his wrist comm, too, and it works well for a medic as it did for a computer expert.

The mold is a straight repaint, and not really revolutionary, but is still interesting and offers some nice details overall.

Paint Applications/Color Choices

Bright, bright, bright! But as bright as the figure is, it does fit in some ways. While he originally looked red and white, the new orange color actually differentiates him from Lifeline pretty well, but still makes him pretty bright to look at. A lot of the re-release DTC figures have featured nicely muted paint apps, a nice side effect to not having to be catered to mass retailers I would guess, but Med Alert goes super bright. In a real world situation, even the field medics wear your basic camouflage uniform, but for a team like G.I. Joe, I guess it works all right. The orange is eye-catching and mixes with the white pretty nicely to really create a "medical" look. Not extraordinarily realistic, but still strangely appealing. The silver wrist computer and black kneepads separate the colors a little bit and make a small improvement. Not bad overall, but nothing real great. The somewhat strange paint apps do kind of lend this figure as one of the downsides to the wave, though, I do have to say.


But as much as the paint apps hurt him, his accessory compliment redeems him, somewhat. I say only somewhat because even though his is a medic, he doesn't come with ANY medical-related accessories. He does have the same belt that other figures have come with, but it seems like more of a supply/military belt and not really anything that has medical supplies in it. He also has a great looking classic sculpt pistol and a very nice helmet! I really dig the helmet with the lights on it and a microphone and the overall design really looks great. Then we have this bizarre, but strangely cool shotgun/rifle thing. The pump action shotgun looks pretty cool as it is, and then we have this terrific arm-guard looking thing and you end up with a pseudo futuristic looking weapon that is still grounded in reality and looks awesome! It makes a pretty strange accessory for a medic to come with, but I still really dig it. Not sure Med Alert will get much use out of it, but someone will, for sure.

Final Comments

I keep talking about how much I'd rather see new characters than existing characters, yet I have to say the one new character this wave is the low point, at least on the Joe side. His colors are garrish (yeah, even a little too garish for me), his mold is okay, but not great, and his accessory compliment doesn't lend itself to a medic. It's not a terrible figure, but it seems like a pretty blatant Lifeline wannabe (from the filecard on up) and seems somewhat contrived in some spots. It's nice to get another new face, and I'm REALLY hoping we see some more, but in this case, the execution was just a little bit lacking.

Ratings (out of 10)

Character: 5.5
Mold : 6.5
Paint Apps: 5
Value: 6
Overall score (not an average): 5.75

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