Law & Order (30th Anniversary)
I’ve mentioned before that a lot of what I’m reviewing is what I currently have on display in a small curio cabinet on my wall plus a couple of additional shelves. It’s impressive to say the least that all five figures from the last wave of the 30th Anniversary line all managed to make the cut and stay on display. Hasbro usually winds up putting one figure in per wave that while not a bad figure, isn’t one that catches my attention enough to warrant it being on display in my relatively limited space. However, that final wave really brought the heat. Even though the design was a bit of a departure for Law & Order, it’s a great figure and I’m very glad I managed to track him down. He’s a great figure and he was probably the one I was looking forward to the most out of that wave, and considering how good that wave was, that’s really says a lot.
I was very excited at the prospect of having a new Law & Order. My brother and I split the Joe K-9 units and while I loved Mutt, I thought Order was the better K-9 companion because his figure was a bit more detailed. I always liked Law & Order and so I was looking forward to an update. Then it became clear he was a Renegades figure. A few months before the wave’s announcement, that would have been a kiss of death for me, but I was finally able to watch Renegades and I really enjoyed it…and I liked their take on Law. That raised the anticipation for me even higher. Law is again a testament to wise parts reuse. He shares his torso with the carded Rise of Cobra Hawk, his upper legs with Pursuit of Cobra Desert Snake Eyes version 2 and his lower legs with Renegades Duke. His arms and head are brand new and thank goodness for that. Prototype pictures had Law rocking the Renegades Duke arms and while they’re very similar, Law’s sleeves looks slightly different and he has remolded wrists look far more natural that Duke’s bulbous wrists. Those wrists killed that figure for me and I’m glad they weren’t used here on Law. Law’s look hangs together very well. I like the unbloused trousers since it lends itself well to Law’s iteration as a prison guard at a privately-run facility as opposed to a military official. He’s not quite part of Cobra (and has serious misgivings about their actions throughout the episode), but he’s affiliated with them at the beginning of the episode. It makes sense that his prison guard gear looks similar to Cobra’s equipment. To make him look more like a prison guard, he’s got a new tactical vest. It’s loaded with pouches and has a radio clipped to the front. However, the detail I love is his badge. The detailing on it is great and it looks quite realistic. While it doesn’t quite fit with the “privately-run prison” look, it looks a lot like a police badge. It works well and allows Law to straddle the line between Renegades figure and vintage update. Law’s new head is very good, though it’s a pretty wide deviation both from his Renegades look and his vintage appearance. The heads for the masked characters (i.e., Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow) managed to transfer pretty well from the stylized animation look to the more realistic approach the figures had, but really none of the other heads really captured their respective characters’ heads all that well. Law’s head isn’t bad, I just wish it looked more like either source they could have referenced here. It looks a little too old for the young guy that Law was in Renegades and looks too serious to be the Law we’ve known and loved since 1987. If you had just shown me the head and asked me to guess what Joe it would be, I think it would have taken a while to get to Law just because it’s a rather generic head sculpt. That’s not necessarily a bad thing in the long run, but I wish I got more of a Law-vibe from his head.
Law’s color scheme was also a bit of a disappointment for me, at least initially. The look has grown on me, but parts of me were kind of hoping that he’d be his original, colorful self. That said, Law’s Renegades colors do work very well together. The olive drab and gray work well on his pants and I really like the grayish green for his shirt. The dark blue bulletproof vest makes sense for a prison guard and the badge looks great in gold. All in all, Hasbro chose some very effective colors and did an excellent job in the application. There’s no bleed or fuzz anywhere and that’s good considering most people that have in their collection probably had to get him from the Internet and you can’t check those things out before making an online purchase.
Law is another Renegades figure that came with a surprisingly large amount of gear. In hand, it doesn’t look like much, but he is really well equipped. Starting off at the top of the figure, Law gets a newly-sculpted helmet with a removable face shield. Unfortunately, the helmet has a bit of a ding in it, at least on my figure. It looks like a flaw in the production process, but I’m not sure. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it is somewhat bothersome since I could have checked for this had I been able to find him at retail. I’m also not a big fan of the way they worked the face shield. While it’s more realistic than just a flip down face shield like the Rise of Cobra PIT Commando had, I prefer the one-piece look over this. It just feels a little too bulky and kind of throws the look off. Even worse, without the bulky face shield on, the helmet looks a little incomplete to me, so it’s kind of a double whammy. The helmet doesn’t work with the face shield but it really doesn’t work without it. Mercifully, Law looks fine without it, but it would be nice if the helmeted look worked better. For weapons, Law has a lot of different options. He starts out with the requisite pistol and silencer that every figure that uses those Snake Eyes upper legs comes with. In a nice little break with tradition, they’re both molded in gray instead of black, so at least that’s a difference. As a second pistol option, Law also has the very nice, large revolver that the Resolute Comic Pack Pilot Destro came with. I’ve always liked that particular pistol and in Law’s hands it’s got a nice Dirty Harry vibe to it. He comes with a compact submachine gun (that I think is what the filecard refers to as an “electroshock weapon” which really makes no sense but nothing else really looks like a compact electroshock weapon) that I like. It’s a great new mold and the silencer from the Snake Eyes pistol fits on the end of the weapon as well. While the gray one doesn’t match up, I’ve got enough versions of that particular accessory lying around that if I want to silence Law’s submachine gun, I can. For a little heavier firepower, Law gets a great tactical shotgun. I liked this mold when I first saw it in the Marauders set and I like it here to. It’s another thing that makes a lot of sense for Law, especially if he’s working in full-on riot suppression gear. After all, most non-lethal rounds (your beanbags, pepper balls or even taser-based cartridges) are fired from a shotgun. Finally, for a close-quarters, less-than-lethal option, Law carries a nightstick. He shares the nightstick with the Renegades Cobra Trooper, and that’s fine with me. The prison Law works at is affiliated with Cobra, so it makes sense that they’d have some similar equipment.
However, Law wouldn’t be Law without his K-9 companion, Order, and as much as I loved the new Junkyard, the new Order completely blows him away. First of all, Order has a point of articulation. His head can turn and I really like that feature. It really adds to my enjoyment of the figure because now Order can look at Law as though he’s responding to his commands. The mold is excellent and I love that Order is equipped in K-9 body armor. Military working dogs are a valuable asset, both monetarily and as a field operative. It makes sense to protect them as well and I’m glad the Joe team has realized that. Order’s got a Kevlar pad covering the front of his chest (which also has “POLICE” tampoed on it) and it attaches to the saddle packs over his back. There, Order has six pouches that I can see Law filling with extra ammo should he need it (and of course, the occasionally doggie treat). Order’s paint scheme is also excellent. He’s mostly molded in brown plastic but they applied a nice light gray wash to bring out some detailing. The body armor is two tones of gray and, like Law, looks appropriate in a real-world scenario.
I had some pretty high expectations for Law & Order, and the pair really didn’t disappoint. Even as a Renegades figure, they did an excellent job translating the cartoon’s design into a 3-D figure. While I would have appreciated a few more nods to the original Law, I’m still very satisfied with him. He looks like a real-world prison guard but at the same time, he looks military enough that you could also use him on a base as an MP like he was back in the day. Order shows just how good the Hasbro folks have gotten with making in-scale animals. Order is nicely detailed and looks very realistic. While Junkyard felt just a little too large, Order is the perfect size for his handler. I also appreciate that the design is a little more neutral. Junkyard was molded in attack mode, which works, but I think Order would have looked a little out of place snarling or barking permanently. German Sheppards are used as guard dogs, but they’re also used for vehicle inspection and search and rescue capacities. This version of Order really looks natural in any of these capacities. I’m very glad Law & Order received a modern update, I just lament the fact that he appeared in a phantom wave. While he wasn’t quite the phantom that Renegades Storm Shadow was, no one in that wave was easy to track down and it’s always a little saddening when a good figure becomes rare not because of popularity but because of distribution problems on Hasbro’s end.