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Lady Jaye

GI Joe Classified Series
by yo go re

Wouldn't you want your "Global Undercover Operative" to be unmemorable?

A master of blending in wherever she goes, Lady Jaye rejects common disguise techniques in favor of total assimilation. She speaks countless languages with a perfect accent and makes subtle changes to her body language and gestures to go undercover in any region around the globe and spy on Cobra operations.

Okay, so why don't her stats list linguistics at all? Her Role is listed as Covert Ops (3), her Gear is Arrow Weapons (also 3), but then her Skill and Mastery are Infiltration 3 and Disguise 4. That bio makes her sound like she should have a Linguistics level of 5, at least. Is it because she doesn't use her language and cultural skills to "communicate, translate, decrypt, and interrogate," as the description says, but rather to blend in with the crowds? Since "Disguise" is about makeup and costumes, and that's not Lady Jaye's style, Hasbro could have swapped that one out for Linguistics (which isn't one anyone else is likely to use anyway).

Scarlett is great and all, but Lady Jaye was the real fox of the team. The confidence, the sass, the voice like hot cocoa on a frosty winter's morn... Flint knew what was up for sure. Maybe speaking all those languages is what gave her the voice? She looks too young to have a voice naturally that deep, but maybe constantly wrecking her vocal cords has delivered her something special?

Lady Jaye wears plain fatigues, the kind of green uniform that all the Joe recruits get - but she sure makes it her own! Despite being a 1985 introduction, she dresses as much like a plain soldier as any of the original team did: green pants, green shirt, green underwear probably... the girl knows how to rock a theme. Her boots and gloves are black, and there are darker patches of green behind the pockets on her thighs. Hasbro really loves giving these figures separate belts - Lady Jaye has a double-belt around her waist, plus a sash running over her right shoulder. There are also brown straps right around the top of the arms, but they appear to be part of the shirt, different from the backpack straps.

Classified Lady Jaye stands just under 6⅛" tall - her boots have thick soles, sure, but not thick enough to add five inches to her height! (The official website's character section says she's 5'8", so the toy should be closer to 5¾".) She's got a balljointead head, a hinge at the top of the neck and a balljoint at the bottom, swivel/hinge shoulders on pectoral hinges, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed chest and waist, hips that are a balljoint mounted on a hinge, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel boots, and swivel/hinge ankles. And then she also has some articulation in her accessories.

Although the straps are molded on her shirt, Lady Jaye does have a separate backpack. It's basically a small green box, but on one side you'll find a mechanical black arm. This arm is sculpted (like the entire rest of this toy, by Sarah Lynn Reynolds) to look like it has eight or so joints, though in reality it only has two swivels and a hinge. It's not immediately clear what it's supposed to be - Scott Fischer's box art makes it look like some sort of camera, cluing us in to the fact that this is a conceptual update of the original figure's boxy 1980s camcorder accessory! Okay, that's kind of clever.

The interior of the backpack has hollows to hold two of the included spearheads: one a simple silver blade, the other a black cutting tool. Or maybe a claw? Like for a grappling hook or something? You remember how Lady Jaye's thing on the cartoon was using javelins, right? Well, there ya go. The set includes two spear shafts and three heads. But why do two of the pointy kind and only one of the round kind? Trade one of the duplicates for a bomb or something. There's a clip on the side where the spare shaft can be stored, and she includes that powered launcher thing to help her chuck her spears even farther than usual. She also includes knife that can be sheathed on her belt.

Like we've said before, the big difference between Lady Jaye as a toy and Lady Jaye as a cartoon was that the cartoon version didn't wear a hat. So if you're Hasbro, how do you decide which of her classic looks to use for the Classified series? Do you give her the hat, or go with bare hair? Both! Lady Jaye's hair is a separate piece, and can be removed so you can swap it with an alternate version that includes a blue ballcap. That's pretty neat, and covers all the bases!

Flint and Lady Jaye are GI Joe's preeminent couple (Transformers, too), so it's cool that Hasbro put them right next to each other in the lineup. It's also cool they seem to be getting them into stores - I've seen them at both Walmart and Target, alongside a rerelease of Cobra Commander. But it highlights the problem with this line that they're numbers 25 and 26, when the last things to make any kind of appearance on shelves were all in the single-digits.

-- 06/11/21

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