GI Jane (2006)
By Past Nastification
Released at the tail end of the New Sculpt era, GI Jane utilized the Bombstrike body. It was the best female body, or at least tied with Cover Girl, from that era. This was the second and last use of the body, which is a shame. It would have nice to have seen this recolored several times as Dollar General exclusives.
Although it’s a shoulders-down repaint, it’s nicely done. It gave Hasbro an excuse to roll out the Bombstrike body again. Good proportions, athletic build, highly detailed, concealed shoulder and elbow “rivets”. Hasbro was really doing some nice work here, obviously ramping up for the 25A figures.
GI Jane was included with GI Joe, Interrogator, and three Vipers in a “Viper Lockdown” set. GI Jane is the best figure in the set, with GI Joe really being the only clunker in it.
The head is perfectly sculpted, if not generous in terms of age. For a figure that could have been in her 60’s at the time, there are no crow’s feet or deep-set age lines. But GI Jane doesn’t look like a twenty something, and that’s good. The head looks to be in the mid-40’s or so, what you’d expect for a character with some world experience. The biggest problem with the head -this is very subjective- is the hair color. It’s blonde. Not silver. Sure, women are more apt to dye their hair then men. They fight away the Grey Monster, whereas men are just happy to have hair as they age. But I would have preferred for this figure to have silver hair, but who’s to say that GI Jane simply isn’t a “bottle blonde”?
In the same way that Hasbro could have called 1:18 GI Joe “General Colton”, GI Jane could have been released as “Doctor Martelle” and that would have been fine. But it’s not that often that Hasbro gets to roll out a name it’s had since the original 12” lineup.
As far as the outfit, why would Doctor Martelle be wearing a field uniform? She is a physicist, after all. Like Sunbow’s Doctor Vandermeer*, perhaps a lab coat would have been in order, even if it were worn over the military uniform. In 2017 the GI Joe Collectors’ Club improved on the overall design by adding a lab coat, but of course they fumbled the ball by giving that figure rolled up sleeves. But at least they tried.
Hasbro could have nudged this New Sculpt GI Jane away from the Bombstrike look with a few simple moves:
*Replacing the “GI Joe” logo on the shirt with something science-y, like some sort of nuclear logo.
*Using the 2006 Cover Girl arms.
*Recycling some medical/science/tech gear from other figures. Instead of any STEM equipment, GI Jane came with a rifle, a pistol, and a knife (and a figure stand).
*Using no camouflage, or at least using a different masking than Bombstrike’s.
GI Jane in a lab coat over civilian clothing would have been amazing, but less likely to move toys for Hasbro. But this isn’t the bland and lab-specific GI Jane figure that I would have wanted; it’s GI Jane kitted out for a mission. Accepting this makes it easier to embrace the figure. Hasbro did the best it could with the parts available in 2006 to make this GI Jane, and topped it off with a solid head. It’s a figure that was a happy surprise. 12 years on, this figure is still impressive, even if it looks like Bombstrike’s mom.
*I’m aware we never got a Doctor Vandermeer figure.