G.I. Jane Revisited

Female figures don’t sell. It’s a marketing mantra all too familiar to action figure collectors. We don’t like to believe it, but it really is true. As much as we communicate via forums, Twitter and the like, sometimes we mistake the loudness of our online voices for greatness in number. The fact is, those of us who are online are not the largest portion of the consumer base, even for GI Joe.

The collector’s perceived idea of rarity of female figures flies in the face of the “females don’t sell” idea. Since the toy collecting boom of the 1990’s, fan-favorite female characters have certainly been some of the harder figures to find on shelves. Is it because of the dreaded eBay scalper, the collectors buying to a hook-up an online friend, or are truly lower quantities of female figures produced? All may very well contribute to the issue, but the old mystery remains. Even in an age of communication between fans and toy makers, companies just aren’t very forthcoming about production numbers.

Female Joe team members are few and far between, and this homage to both the 60’s nurse doll and the Marvel still stands out as one of the gems of the new sculpt era. GI Jane’s original entry continues to be quite popular on the site. I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that a lot of searches for the name show up, as it’s a common expression.

I was re-reading Marvel issue 86 (featuring Jane and Joe Colton) recently, and it perfectly encapsulated for me the excitement of the best Larry Hama stories. Though he created a great universe and history that flowed throughout his original Marvel run, even the one-off stories were fun, rollicking 23 page adventures.

The background story for the box set in which this figure appeared bears a strong resemblance to GI Joe issue 86, with Joe and Jane working on a secret defense system. While the box set’s packaging doesn’t reveal the ending to Joe and Jane’s capture by Cobra, I can imagine the Joe team staging a rescue and again demonstrating the legendary teamwork and ingenuity that helped make the classic comic consistently enthralling.

7 comments

  • “Joe and Jane” aren’t by far my favorite of Larry Hama’s concepts for the RAH universe although I understand why Hasbro wanted to link their history back in the day. Larry has used these two characters in the new series and while they still don’t work for me, (Flagg and Austin were the true minds behind the original Joe team, and Colton shouldn’t exist at all) others do seem to enjoy them. For once, I’m glad the figures were not based on their comic look since Jane here might have turned up in a lab coat and glasses. Instead, we got a great addition to the female ranks that more folks should know about.

  • Great figure using Bombstrike’s bang’n body. I should track them down.

    Odd thing about the female figures don’t sell well is that I got Zarana and Jinx back in the day when I was still single digits and loved them. I didn’t care about them being female, I just loved having kick ass action figures.

  • I love the contrapposto stance. It shows she’s all business, and all woman! It’s cool that Larry Hama was able to come up with a fresh take on the GI Joe origins, and put Jane on par with her male counterparts. Yo Jane!

  • This is one of those figures that has always eluded me. I keep my eyes open from time to time but haven’t found her yet.
    I really like the idea of female Joe members and wish there were more of those characters.

  • I just bought a figure that looks VERY similar to this one, yet her hair and T-shirt is slightly different. Anybody know what I have?

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