One of the strengths of the G.I. Joe mythology over the years was the prevalence of strong female characters, which was something you didn’t always see back in the bygone days of the 80’s. From the very first, many of the central, most important characters who drove the G.I. Joe world were female, and certainly within the confines of the Sunbow animated series, Lady Jaye was at the top of that list.
While she was paired with Flint throughout much of their time in animation, she was clearly her own character as well, often starring in episodes as more than just “Flint’s other half” and carving out her own identity and personality. All that being said, I was a little surprised to hear her mentioned as part of the G.I. Joe: Classified line so early in its life. That surprise, however, swiftly became anticipation, as Hasbro revealed a fantastic iteration of Lady Jaye.
While I’m thrilled to see Lady Jaye’s inclusion within G.I. Joe: Classified, I wasn’t sure how well her look would translate to a more modern aesthetic. She’s always had a pretty unique old-school appearance, and even as Hasbro gave her new tooling throughout several updated versions, she never really got a new “look”, always just the same vintage uniform with some minor alterations.
I’m pleased to say for the Classified version they managed to draw inspiration and spirit from her original ’85 appearance, but updated it in a few key ways that manage to make her look vintage inspired, but also mesh with the more modern Classified style pretty seamlessly.
Lady Jaye has her familiar green uniform that she’s been shown in since day one. The color is very much as its always been with a somewhat bright sheen, though not too bright. She’s got her familiar popped-up collar, though Hasbro did dial back the plunging neckline a bit, definitely for the better.
She’s got combat pants and boots and her rolled-up sleeves, all of which call back to her vintage appearance, but also give the modern designers some freedom to do a few interesting things.
As we’ve seen with several other Classified figures, the additional texture and sculpting detail allowed at a six-inch scale is put to very good use here. Several seams are sculpted into her uniform as well as a nice application of layered texture and padding, which adds some depth and dimension to the figure.
Pockets, pouches and straps sculpted on top of her base uniform adds some really cool detail and this Classified aesthetic and the secondary belt and straps are pretty terrific. I like the hip pouch and what’s become the trademark blue communications device that also helps tie her in to the rest of the team.
What’s perhaps my favorite aspect of this figure’s design, however, is how they handle her head.
As any G.I. Joe fan knows, the original Lady Jaye figure wore a baseball cap (as did several of her more recent releases as well) however in the animated series, she was featured without it. In fact, it wasn’t until the 25th Anniversary line a little over 10 years ago that we even got a Lady Jaye figure without her baseball cap.
With this Classified update, Hasbro finds a way to please both camps! The figure comes with the cap-less head, but the hair is removable with the ability to swap it out for a hat with hair attached. Honestly? It works perfectly.
As with most of the Classified figures, Lady Jaye features some impressive articulation, only this figure actually goes even further above and beyond.
Lady Jaye was actually one of the first Hasbro female figures to feature double-joint elbows, and she also has the latest state-of-the-art pinless joints so the aesthetic of the figure is not interrupted by the obvious round pins that keep the parts together. In spite of this new revolutionary construction, she manages to retain full range of motion and is just as highly articulated as any other figure in the line (and actually even better articulated than Scarlett and Baroness).
There have been some reports that the elbow joints do restrict motion a little bit, though mine has been fine with some careful moving and an application of some heat from a hair dryer.
As great as the figure design itself is, Lady Jaye only shines further in the accessory department.
While the original ’85 release figure had a somewhat funky javelin/gun sort of combination, the Sunbow animation really leaned into the whole javelin idea and actually gave her spears to throw, many of them with unique tips that could provide all sorts of different functions– explosive, acid, even one that formed an airtight bubble to protect her and Flint from lava. Yes, you read that right.
The Classified version manages to meld both ideas, giving her a modular javelin gun that can be separated so she ends up with spare javelins for throwing, and they even have removable tips! Not only that, but the spare tips can fit within recesses in her backpack, which also has a fantastic modular surveillance camera system for some of those covert operations she is sent on. There’s also a removable knife that fits into a sheath, and as I mentioned before, the whole hat/hairpiece combination.
In short, her accessories are fantastic. It would have been cool if she could have come with some other sort of combat weapon that leaned a touch more realistic, but Hasbro was clearly leaning on the ’85 version for inspiration, which is what most fans want, so hard to blame them there.
Sort of like the upcoming Target exclusive Barbecue, Lady Jaye wasn’t a figure I realized I needed quite as badly as I did, but now that I’ve got her in hand, I’m really impressed and thrilled that Hasbro got her in collector hands so early in the line.
To anyone who fell in love with the Sunbow cartoon, Lady Jaye was clearly a central cog in that machine and it’s great to see Hasbro giving the character her due.
They did great work with this figure and I really don’t have any complaints, though the pinless elbow joints have been reported as issues either with their mobility or their durability. I feel fortunate that I haven’t experienced that myself, but it should be mentioned regardless.
As an aside, I’m hearing and seeing reports that both this figure and Flint have been relatively easy to locate at brick and mortar retail– a great and hopeful sign of things to come as the world continues its recovery from 2020 and looks ahead to a renewed explosion of G.I. Joe popularity.
G.I. Joe Classified Lady Jaye
The way Hasbro handled their six inch update to Lady Jaye is about as good as it gets, from my perspective. The unique way they handled the javelin weapons, the swappable hat/hairpiece and the added elbow articulation all add to a terrific overhaul.