Lady Jaye (25th Anniversary)
I’ve been a fan of Lady Jaye for as long as I can remember. I thought Flint and Lady Jaye were the best part of the cartoon when I was a kid and I know I had the original Lady Jaye figure for a really long time in my collection. She, Tiger Force Flint and Battle Armor Cobra Commander are definitely my most play-worn figures, which means they saw a lot of action when I was a kid. While I had trouble running down the first 25th Anniversary Flint figure, Lady Jaye was a comparatively easy find at retail and while time has not been kind to this version since she’s a very early 25th Anniversary figure, I think there’s still a lot to like with this figure and I’m very glad that I was able to add all of my early figures to my modern collection relatively easily.
Since Lady Jaye doesn’t look like Scarlett at all, this figure uses all new parts. Across the board, the build is appropriately slender and feminine yet still strong, however, there are a few issues here and there. First of all, the design of Lady Jaye’s military style jumpsuit is just too tight. The vintage figure’s pants were fairly baggy and looked functional. On this Lady Jaye, her pants are so skintight they almost look painted on. Up top, her jumpsuit is also unzipped inappropriately far down. Yes, the vintage Lady Jaye’s jumpsuit was unzipped a bit, but this version of Lady Jaye is showing off an impressive amount of cleavage and it just makes me feel a little bit dirty. Despite my issues with the overall design, though, there are some great things about this figure. First of all, I love the sculpted ankle holster on her left leg. It looks good and adds a little something to the character. Lady Jaye also experiments a bit with a floating belt around her waist and it looks pretty good. It hangs nicely around the waist and the fact that it is pulled down a little on the holster side actually does make a degree of sense. Yes, it was probably done to accentuate Lady Jaye’s hips, but it also is reflective of the fact that the weight of the gun would naturally make that side of the belt hang just a little lower than the other side. Lady Jaye’s Airborne Ranger pin is also nicely sculpted, though you may not notice it because it’s right next to her distracting amount of cleavage. The arms are fairly basic, but they work well for Lady Jaye and fit with the rest of the figure. Her newly sculpted head has been a bit of a source of contention for most Joe fans and I have a problem with it as well, but not for the most common reason. Personally, I love the hatted Lady Jaye look. I know that’s not the look she had in the cartoon, but because I had the figure and used it so much, that is definitely the look I associate more with Lady Jaye, so I’m fine with her wearing a hat. My issue is that the head seems just a tad oversized for her body and is just a little underdetailed. The designers made sure Lady Jaye looked attractive, but her face is cartoonishly smooth. There is some character to the face, so she doesn’t look like a mannequin like 25th Anniversary Duke, but the face feels just a little unnaturally perfect. The hat is nicely sculpted and the Ranger insignia up there is also sculpted, like it’s a patch or embroidered feature on the hat. That’s a nice touch and the design team should be lauded for their solid work up there. Since Lady Jaye is an early 25th Anniversary figure, she does have the dreaded diaper crotch. I was disappointed to learn that because I wanted her manning my Tomahawk alongside Tiger Force Flint, but she couldn’t since she can’t sit without her legs spread wide open. The design is a little too sexy for how I view Lady Jaye, but the detailing work the design team did is excellent. I just wish they had made her look like an actual soldier rather than a good looking woman wearing a “Sexy Soldier” Halloween costume.
The design is a bit different from the vintage Lady Jaye figure, but the color scheme is definitely far closer to the vintage figure. Like the vintage figure, the base of the figure is green, but this version of Lady Jaye is wearing a far darker green than the original version was. The dark green is nice, though the Caucasian skintone paint does have a little trouble covering the dark green. There’s also a bit of fuzz when it comes to the paint lines between her chest and her shirt and it looks just a little off. The boots, gloves, and hat are a nice dark gray and the Ranger insignia on her cap is grayish-silver. Her floating belt and the straps molded into the torso are brown and the bullets on the belt and belt buckle are even painted gold. The Airborne Ranger pin is also painted gold and the coverage is solid. The paint work on her face is nice and crisp and her brown hair looks quite natural. The color scheme on this version of Lady Jaye is a little darker than the vintage version, but I actually like the darker green, I just wish the figure’s skin color covered it a little more effectively.
Lady Jaye has always been a little light in the accessory department and this figure is no different. Interestingly, though, Hasbro did a few things different, but I’m not quite sure what to think of them. Lady Jaye’s primary weapon has always been a javelin. I don’t quite know why Hasbro made that choice back in the day, but it’s meant that Lady Jaye has always been unique in that respect. In the cartoon, she just threw them, but her figures have traditionally come with a javelin gun, and that’s the route this version went. The modern javelin gun is far more detailed than its vintage counterpart and the paint work on it really makes it look nice. Usually, that’s the only weapon Lady Jaye gets. Thankfully, though, since she has a functional holster, she also gets a pistol to fill it. I’m delighted that Lady Jaye got to keep her iconic javelin gun, but I’m also very glad she’s carrying a traditional firearm since a javelin gun isn’t always going to be the most useful weapon in a combat situation. Lady Jaye’s final accessory is a brand new backpack. Unlike the vintage backpacks, this one doesn’t actually plug into Lady Jaye’s back. Instead, it’s got functional straps and she wears it like a real person would wear a real backpack. I’m quite impressed by the engineering behind this backpack, but it’s still not the greatest piece. It’s awfully small and I don’t know how much extra gear Lady Jaye could carry into the field with it. This backpack looks more like something a high school kid would wear to carry their books to school than it does a backpack a soldier would wear to carry more gear. Also, given the choice, I would rather have seen Hasbro give Lady Jaye a camera bag like back in the day than this piece. I don’t know why, but I was always strangely fascinated with Lady Jaye’s camera satchel when I was a kid. I know I used that piece a lot because that meant I could use Lady Jaye right away in the fight because she was part of the recon team that would scope out the Cobra position before the rest of the Joe team would come in. I really liked that piece as a kid and find it almost as iconic as the javelin gun and I’m a little disappointed that Hasbro didn’t remember that particular accessory for any modern Lady Jaye figure.
Since this version of Lady Jaye is a pretty early 25th Anniversary figure, that means she does have some problems. I can overlook the personal issues I have with her sculpting, but the 25th Anniversary diaper crotch does do her a pretty bad disservice. I was looking forward to having Lady Jaye and my preferred Flint in the Retaliation Tomahawk, but she just couldn’t fit in there. I realize that vehicles weren’t initially part of the deal for the 25th Anniversary line, but gosh it would have been nice if she could sit down. The slightly darker color scheme for her jumpsuit is solid and you’re not going to mistake her for any other Joe character at a quick glance. The slightly oversized head isn’t as bad as I remember it, but it still does look just a bit too big for her body. She’s not bobbleheaded like some of the recent FSS figures, but it just looks a little off to my eye. Regardless, though, if this had been the only modern version of Lady Jaye that we ever got, I would be perfectly satisfied. I know I’m in the minority in preferring her wearing a hat, but that’s what my figure looked like back in the day and that’s what I still prefer now. A few changes to her gear load would have been nice, but I have to say, I’m glad she’s got a javelin gun and another traditional firearm, so I’m happy with the calls Hasbro made here.