The Power of Packaging: Law & Order (1987)

As a kid, the MP figures were some of my favorites. Both Mutt & Junkyard and Law & Order saw lots of use in my Joe team. The animal companion concept was a unique feature of the 80s line, and the dogs in particular were great. Junkyard and Order were quite formidable fighters in my Joeverse. 

While 1987 had more than its share of weird Cobras, Law was one of the Joes who fit right in with what had come before. And the red, white and blue uniform color combo rocked. 

12 comments

  • The dogs were useless to me. But, Law’s dog collar worked as a prisoner collar for me that Law used to lead condemned Cobras off to prison.

    This is really one of my favorite figures and I don’t think he ever had a bad repaint. That’s the sign of a good mold.

    • James From Miami

      Yeah, you’re right. Order’s collar was designed very differently from Junkyard’s collar, therefore allowing for kids to use it exactly the way that you described it. I wonder why the G.I. Joe designers did not think of that design when they were designing Junkyard’s collar a few years earlier? Also, Order’s collar can be cut, and used for a custom Dreadnok who wears a dog collar.

  • Such a great figure and awesome to learn later in life he was Kirk Bozigian.

  • Law must have been a pretty popular figure back in the day. Just about every mixed bag I get contains several dinged up Laws in them

  • James From Miami

    Yep, $2.99 in 1987 is about right. And I think either $3.50, or $3.99, at Kmart stores around South Florida around the late 80’s. I remember those prices on the G.I. Joe figures around that time in the Miami Florida area back then. They were so expensive to some parents, that their kids would steal them from the stores. I remember some of my fellow students in elementary school telling our small group of friends, that they had to steal a figure from a store because their parents didn’t want to buy it for them, because they told them they cost too much. If those same parents had little kids today, and saw the prices on G.I. Joe figures now, they would be buying those little kids a set of marbles, and a bag of those little green plastic army soldiers. Not that there is anything wrong with those toys(I had some of those back then, also), I’m just saying that that is what some parents back then would have done, instead of buying their kids expensive toys. Anyway, even though I have always liked this figure a lot, I have to admit that the red shirt just looks way too bright on this figure. I think that they should have chosen a more army like color for Law’s shirt. Now, the blue vest is perfect, because it looks very police like, even though Law is a military police, so they would not dress like that. But, it is G.I. Joe, a different kind of U.S. armed forces. As for the dog, Order, to me it was extremely useless. Not only because the legs did not move, but worse, because his head was molded turned to the left side of his body, rather than been molded facing straight forward, like Junkyard. So, to me, Order was just useless, and unrealistic. Very unrealistic. What were the designers thinking back then when they were designing that dog? As much as I have always liked the figures that came with animal companions, but I have to admit also, that the designers never really got the animals right. I mean, just take a look at the 87 Croc Master’s alligator, or crocodile, pet. What is that thing? And don’t forget about the birds that were designed with one leg. I’m just joking, but y’all know exactly what I mean. Anyway, thank you for showing the back of Law’s card. Those photos of the cards always bring me back good memories of the few cards that I had back then.

    • Dreadnok: Spirit

      $2.99 was the going price for a standard G.I. Joe figure at my local Toys ‘R Us all the way into the ’90s. On average, they had the most affordable price compared to other stores. Kay Bee was always known for having toys priced way too out of line with what other retailers were charging. It kinda surprises me Kay Bee stayed in business as long as they did with the outrageous prices and the fact that you could go there at any time of day and be the only customer in the store.

      • James From Miami

        You know, I always found it weird that KB Toys went out business a few years after they started to sell their toys at two for the price of one, if I’m not mistaking. By the way, that is how I got a lot of the G.I. Joe Vs Cobra, and then, the Spy Troops, two figure packs back then in the early 2000’s. And some other cool collectible stuff for the same buy two for the price of one, deal. And then, all of a sudden, KB Toys was gone. Just like Circuit City. I still miss those stores, and many others, that I used to go to back in the days, very much. I remember a KB Toys that used to be in a mall called International Mall down here, and there were hardly any people in that store every single time that I went there. I would always get a lot of stuff from that store without having to worry about any competition from anybody. You know, speaking of a disappointment, to me that version of the DEF Law, looks way too slim to be Law, plus, it looks more like a diver. I could just imagine putting a breathing hose over the front of the helmet, somehow, and placing an oxygen tank on the back of that figure, and two flippers for the feet, and there it is, a DEF diver. I’m sure that the DEF could have used a diver for something, back in the 90’s. Doesn’t the Coast Guard use divers to look for drugs? Of course they do. So, instead of Law, that figure could have been someone else who could have been a DEF diver. Don’t you think?

        • Dreadnok: Spirit

          Let me start by correcting myself. I mistakenly keep calling this figure DEF when it’s actually Battle Corps. To be fair, it was intended to be released as a DEF figure originally before they cancelled that series and instead, they just released it as a Battle Corps toy. With that out of the way, I’ve got to admit that the armored Law always resembled more of a diver to me too, because of the look of the helmet and as you pointed out, the slimness of the figure. And to be honest, if the packaging didn’t state his name as “Law”, it could easily be just some other guy. There’s nothing about this figure that resembles the previous versions of Law to make you think it’s Law just by looking at it. I would’ve preferred having the Sonic Fighters version of Law, but as a kid, that was one of only three Sonic figures I never found.

          And on the subject of the DEF: If there was one character I could add to that group, it would be Chuckles. He’d be perfect for going undercover and infiltrating Headman’s operations for the Joes.

          • James From Miami

            I also made the same mistake of forgetting that the DEF was discontinued on what would have been it’s second year. I forget that some times. What an awful, and stupid decision by the Hasbro folks that was. They also did the exact same thing with the Eco Warriors figures that were supposed to have been released that same year. They already were going to release some subset figures, so why not release the DEF, and the Eco Warriors subsets also? Oh, but they sure did put out a bunch of repainted Star Brigade figures, both in 1993, and then those same figures repainted again for 1994. How many space versions of Countdown, Ozone, Payload, or should I say, Barbecue, Roadblock, and Sci-Fi, does anyone need? And the fact that many of those figures were sold in stores for about a year, or so, and then they were discontinued. What was that all about? Anyway, to me those figures that were supposed to have been members of the DEF in 1993, (like Mace, and Long Arm, who was, or is, supposed to be a DEF bomb disposal specialist, and you can see the name of the Headhunters mentioned on his 93 filecard, and many other figures), I still consider them DEF figures, and I keep them posing next to my 92 DEF figures. And to me, Gristle has always been a member of the Evil Headhunters gang. Also, your comment about Chuckles, reminded me that I have been thinking for some years now, that there could have been other Joe characters that could have joined the DEF back in the 90’s, if the Hasbro folks had not given up on that interesting subset. So, besides Chuckles, other Joes that could have joined that team back then could have been, the 86 version of Beach Head, who already looks like a S.W.A.T. team member, Tripwire, Law and Order, but only the 87 versions repainted, Low Light, a sniper, preferably the 86 version, Bullhorn(who already had the accessories to be a DEF member back then), and Stretcher, because he is a medic, of course. And many other Joes could have also joined the DEF, and maybe that would have helped to keep the original Real American Hero collection around longer. Maybe, or maybe not. But I’m pretty sure that it would have helped, somehow. But, it seems like the Hasbro folks were running out of ideas, and gimmicks, and were making too many bad decisions. But, I will always believe that if they had kept all of their G.I. Joe subsets like Tiger Force, Night Force, Eco Warriors, Sky Patrol, DEF, and many others, and the Cobra Python Patrol, and the Iron Grenadiers, and the Evil Headhunters, and the Dreadnoks, the original Real American Hero collection would have lasted longer. I’m sure about that. Anyway, I’m glad to know that I’m not the only person that thinks that that Battle Corps Law figure looks more like a diver figure. Perhaps, that figure was originally meant to have been a DEF Torpedo figure, but probably, somebody at Hasbro decided to call it Law, instead.

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    I always thought Law and Order were very underrated and this is the best version. I had the DEF version, which was fun, but it didn’t come with Order, so that was a disappointment to me.

  • $2.99 seems about right for an action figures back in the day. What was the hourly rate then for minimum wage? about half the price of that figure? My Jetfire has a $24.99 pricetag on its box. When i picked him up at a fair a few years ago, i showed my parents. They both scoffed as my Dad was working three minimum wage jobs in ’84 and he commented on how ‘expensive’ $25.00 was.

    • James From Miami

      Yeah, $24.99 would have been about right for Jetfire back then, if I’m not mistaken. But, Jetfire was released in 1985, if I’m not mistaken. That reminds me of when the original Transformers Robots In Disguise collection from 2001 came out in stores, and both of the bigger versions of Optimus Prime, and Ultra Magnus, were sold in most stores for about $29.99. I got me a few of those Optimus Primes when they went on clearance prices at some stores really cheap by the beginning of the following year. And then around the summer of 2002, when the Transformers Armada collection came out, I saw that the prices on those Transformers were higher than the ones from RID. The bigger version of the Armada Optimus Prime that came with the trailer, was about $39.99. I was like, what is happening here? Well, I eventually noticed that the Hasbro folks had made the Armada boxes bigger, so that they could then charge more money for those items while they were still brand new in the stores. What a ripoff that was. So, I just had no other choice but to wait for the bigger items to get old, so that they could finally be put on either a special store sale, or a clearance. But, it was worth the wait.

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