LADY JAYE v1 (1985)
Today is May 20th , the first day of Spring. You wouldn’t know it by the snow storm I woke up to this morning but what can you do, that`s just Canada, eh. The reason I’m pointing out the date is because it means that we are just a mere 8 days from the release of G.I. Joe: Retaliation. I’ve been stoked about this movie for so long now that knowing that I’ll be seeing it in a week is almost bitter sweet. I’ll miss that excitement that I’ve been carrying around with me since it was first anounced. But, so long as the movie performs well I suppose I can start getting excited about the inevitable sequel. When this movie was originally slated to come out, in June of last year, I had a Retaliation figure review week. I did that in part because I was excited about the figures and wanted to talk about them and in part to get you guys as excited as I was about seeing the film. Because even if the movie ends up sucking, there will be a sequel so long as it makes a ton of cash. Which is why I want you all to go see it, multiple times if necessary, because we need to keep this franchise alive. I was just as excited before the first movie came out but there was trepidation mixed with the excitement. There were so many red flags raised prior to the release the first film: Stephen Sommers, Marlon Wayans, Cobra Commander’s outfit, the absence of Cobra, Nano-mites, Accelerator suits, Channing Tatum, etcetera, etcetera. The sad thing is, all the things I was worried would suck, did suck. And yet somehow I still enjoyed that film, and have continued to enjoy it through multiple viewings. The fact that this upcoming movie has almost no red flags leads me to believe that it is going to be totally epic.
So let’s get on with the figure review. I have acquired the second wave of Retaliation figures, five single packs and two 3-packs, so I’ve got lots of toys to review. However, most of the characters from wave 2 are the same characters that we saw in wave 1. I’ve got yet another Roadblock, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, and Firefly. There are some new movie characters like Flint and Mouse that I will get to in the next couple of days but to start off Retaliation week I thought I’d try something a little different. One of the new characters being introduced in this film is Lady Jaye. Her “real name” is Alison Hart-Burnett and she is a classic, fan-favorite Joe character who was first introduced way back in 1985. She’s been released multiple times since then and she has a Retaliation figure coming out in the next wave, but since I don’t have that one yet I decided to review the original. Good ‘ol 1985, arguably the best year ever for G.I. Joe toys.
After being introduced Lady Jaye quickly took on a starring role in the animated series and in the comics. Her budding romance with fellow ’85 newcomer Flint gave the show a romantic spin which I’m not embarrassed to admit that I enjoyed. Lady Jaye was the first female Joe I owned. My brother Doug owned Scarlett and Cover Girl so I was excited to finally have a bad-ass chick on my side of the PIT. This figure was vastly superior to those earlier female figures, with way more detail in the costume, but she still failed to represent the character as she appeared on screen. Joe sculptors in the 80s just could not seem to make a pretty girl action figure. The ‘85 Jaye is kind of frumpy, her face is masculine, and she’s got a ball cap permanently attached to her head; a hat we never saw in the cartoon. But she did have some cool accessories in her over the shoulder camera, her javelin gun, and a compact little backpack. The colors might be considered rather loud by some but I really liked the bright green used on Jaye’s uniform. This figure was decent but I always wanted a Lady Jaye that looked how she appeared in the cartoons with wind tousled hair and an arsenal of explosive javelins. It took 20 years but we finally got that version in the 25th anniversary series. Despite the flaws in this original figure I still love it. It holds a ton of great memories for me. Now that I have my Joes out as display pieces the looks are more important to me. As a kid I didn’t mind as much that this Jaye figure was a little manly. In my head I imaged her as she appeared on the show. With that great raspy voice provided by voice actor Mary McDonald Lewis.
I am very glad to see “my” Joe girls in action in this second film as Jinx also plays a role in Retaliation. Fingers crossed for Zarana in the next flick.
Now let’s talk about the actress who is portraying my beloved Lady Jaye in Retaliation, Adrianne Palicki. I had never heard of her prior to the announcement that she was cast in this role. I had never heard of the actor cast to play Flint either, D.J. Cotrona. Apparently both of them have some nerd cred as Adrienne played Wonder Woman in a failed TV pilot and Cotrona was set to play Superman in the Justice League movie that fizzled out a few years back. Adrianne doesn’t look like Jaye to me, and D.J. doesn’t look like Flint either(too young) but I can’t say that it’s poor casting as I’m not familiar with either of the work. The more I see of them as these characters in the trailers and TV spots though, the more convinced I am that they’re great choices. Cotrona especially is starting to grow on me as Flint. The most important thing is that these two are believable together. They MUST have better chemistry than that god awful Scarlett/Ripcord relationship from the Rise of Cobra. And they have to look like they’d actually be together. I hated the casting of Jean and Cyclops in the original X-Men trilogy because they didn’t seem like a believable couple to me, despite the fact that I liked both actors. I don’t know if Jaye and Flint will have any sort of romantic relationship in the film but there had better at least be some flirting.
When I first saw the promotional shots of Palicki as Lady Jaye I thought she was pretty hot but not Mega hot. I googled her to find some pictures to add to this post and I have changed my mind, she is MEGA hot. I ended up finding so many pics that I wanted to post that I hardly had any room left to post pictures of the action figure. If these photos aren’t enough to get you to go see Retaliation next week then nothing will. Lady Jaye: 7 out of 10. Adrianne Palicki: 10 out of 10.