GI Jane US Army Helicopter Pilot (1997)
A GI Jane figure was one of the first subjects of this blog, almost two and a half years ago. For those initial entries, I was coming at things from a more historical perspective, introducing various highlights of Joe’s history with each post. Since I’ve already covered a bit of Jane’s history in that original post, I think this one is a suitable entry to play historian again and cover the 12 inch scale’s Classic Collection.
When the Real American Hero series ended in 1994, I was collecting both the small and large scale GI Joe figures. I didn’t have more than a passing interest in the big guys until the Hall of Fame collection of the 90s. The Real American Hero based figures were great to see in the large format, but the back of the packaging is what really piqued my curiosity. Each figure had a somewhat close sort of corollary from the previous era pictured on its packaging. Many of these I hadn’t seen before, and some I assumed were simply made up. Of course, that was not the case, as I would learn once I bought a guidebook to the older figures. I eventually sought out many of the figures that struck my fancy, like the Scramble Pilot, Green Beret and the original Action Soldier. When the Classic Collection debuted in 1996, I picked up the first assortment, and was very happy with the product, especially the beautiful package art. But that’s a post for another day.
GI Jane evidences the improvements that the Classic Collection made over the previous twelve inch scale Hall of Fame series. The bodies featured improved proportions and articulation, and the fit and finish of the costumes were more along the lines of the 60s and 70s generation. Zippers and metal snaps were back, along with a focus on realistic military subjects. All of Jane’s uniform is tailored for her body type, including apparently her helmet. It seems quite narrow to work with a male head as well. While the uniform isn’t up to the hyper detailed quality of current 1/6 scale manufacturers like Sideshow Toy and Hot Toys, this is still an impressive toy for its time. I still like the helmet, with its movable visor and positionable microphone, and the vest is impressive for its miniaturized webbing. Even the patches are more accurately scaled down. The attention to scale effect is a bit offset by the large zipper, but hey, it was 1997.
I’m still surprised that Hasbro introduced a female figure so early in the relaunched twelve inch line. Then again, the series was more directly aimed at collectors than its smaller brethren. Jane’s packaging even touted its limited edition status. I didn’t buy a blonde Jane, either, in keeping with her 60s nurse origins. I did however pick up the African American version, which was a nice move on Hasbro’s part include racial diversity in addition to the concept of a female soldier.
Overall, I’d say this is a nice looking figure.
I remember the Classic Collection made for a nice revival of the original 60’s military concept in the 12” range. I almost picked up the Australian soldier but I wasn’t collecting heavily at the time so I passed on the line. I’m still tempted by some figures if I see them going for bargain prices on eBay.
Many 12” inch collectors returned to the fold with these figures and for a while there in the early 2000’s you even had both the large and small Joes available simultaneously. I can imagine that it was a great time to be in the game.
Unless your collecting clones, racial diversity is important.
I understand the reason the first G.I JANE [from the 60’s] sold poorly was because she wasnt as pretty as a certain popular fashion doll and boys didnt want her as she was a girl.
I for one am not aversed to female characters as my sister used to be Baroness and Zarana when we played with our Joes as kids. As for this girl i want her, badly [looks around nerviously] AND it has nothing to do with the fact she looks identical to my old girfreind
@Skymate – I hope your old girlfriend wasn’t plastic too 🙂
To the best of my knowledge she wasnt
I own the Hispanic variant Hasbro did of this doll. She has black hair and brown eyes and a tanned complexion, so along with Brunette, African American and Blonde thats four versions they did back in 1997…She’s a great sculpt, while the hairstyles logically done it is a shame they didn’t do one with a more shaggier hairstyle. Hasbro should bring back a modern era 12” Joe line and then allow Hasbro UK to adapt it to make a modern Action Man, including this sculpt as its just as good now as it was back then.
Nice girl! Beautiful face.
I was in the regular army for two years in the First Cavalry Division in an all-male armor unit. Then five years into my time in the NY National Guard, I changed MOS’s to a combat engineer unit, with various women attached. including medics, chaplain assistants, etc. You have no idea the utter chaos that results when you stick a couple of females in with an all-male combat unit.
I’m not in the Australian army. I tried to join but i’m asthmatic, short sighted and enemic. Anyway, there was some debate over here about the role women can play in the front line of defence forces. It was mostly down to how male medics would respond to a wounded female combatant and facilites on planes are usually designed for Joe pilots not Janes. I’m unaware of what the situation is like now
Is her hair braided? or just a boy cut?
HOOAH! I was the first female attached to a MI Detachment at Ft. Hood that did surveillance operations at the border. No chaos. I worked hard. Did the same job as my male counterparts and did pretty well.