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Law & Order

GI Joe Renegades
by yo go re

One of the coolest things about GI Joe: Renegades was seeing what guest stars the writers threw at us. In just one season, they really managed to plumb the depths of GI Joe lore. For instance? It was only eight episodes in when they introduced Law & Order.

Law works as a prison guard with his canine partner, Order. A rookie at the prison, Law is honest and fair. He refuses to join the corrupt warden and guards who hold illegal cage fights between prisoners. Law and Order encounter the Renegades when Duke is arrested after being mistaken for a member of a chop shop ring.

Oh, and speaking of GI Joe lore, the illegal cage fights mentioned on the filecard? The guards refered to it as "the Arena of Sport," a name that comes from the second-ever episode of GI Joe, "Slaves of the Cobra Master." Of course, that was a gladiatorial arena inside the Cobra citadel, not a chain link fence under an Idaho prison, but the intention is clear.

Despite the fact that Law (on the cartoon) was a young guy, befitting the filecard's description of him as a rookie, the toy's face makes him look much older. The face isn't quite a reference to Kirk Bozigian any more, but it's certainly closer to the old toy than it is to the animated design, whether it's been untooned or not.

The mold used for Law looks a lot like Renegades Duke, but it's mostly different: the only shared parts are the feet, the left leg, and the right shin, which means more than half the figure is either new or retooled. They really could have gotten away with reusing an existing torso, since it's covered by the big bulky tactical vest, so the fact that it's new is frankly a bit amazing. The vest itself is incredibly well done, with lots of small details in the pads and pouches. It has a radio on the right breast and a golden badge on the left. There's a small hole on the back, on the left side of the padded panel that hangs below the belt, but none of the accessories have an equivalent peg to plug in there.

The codename "Law" would be exceedingly dull if not for his partner, Order. Of course, "Order" would be an even dumber name were he not paired with Law, so it's sort of a symbiotic relationship. Order is a German shepherd, just as the original version was in the '80s, but this is a much better toy. Remember, we just saw the '80s accessory reused a few years ago in the movie line, so everybody can remember clearly how crappy it was.

This new Order is a much luckier dog. For one thing, he actually has articulation! His neck is a balljoint, so he can look in different directions. He's also a lot safer than his previous release, since he's wearing a bulletproof vest. Yes, they make bulletproof vests for dogs. Just like real vests, the doggie versions cover all the important organs and protect the wearer. In this case, they also hide the figure's joint, keeping his seamless look. A leash is molded at the neck, too.

Now, let's talk accessories. You'd think a highly detailed vest, a removable helmet and an articulated sidekick would be enough, but not for Law! He has Snake-Eyes' pistol and silencer (and the holster to accommodate them), Mercer's shotgun, a submachine gun, Croc Master's revolver, a new nightstick and a new pair of functional handcuffs. Oh, and a transparent face-shield, which fits over his helmet for riot situations. The helmet, by the way, is branded with an "MP," for Military Police - that's what the 1987 Law was, but this version is a civilian police officer. And personally, I'm glad to see the nightstick: the old figure came with one, and was my first introduction to a tonfa. For the longest time, I thought it was a gun. Once again, I was a stupid kid.

It's always going to be weird that we got a Renegades Law & Order when we never even completed the main team (O Roadblock, where art thou?), but the figure itself is objectively great. Law doesn't look too much like the G1 figure, but a few quick coats of paint would fix that. Order is a killer new design, at once super-cute and secure in his bulletproof vest. Plus, the accessories are top notch, even if we don't get the radio, flashlight and "electroshock weapon" promised by the filecard. If you're lucky enough to find Law & Order, bring them home.

-- 03/16/12

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