LAW & ORDER v.7 (2016)
Last Friday my first “G.I. Joe Collector’s Club: Figure Subscription Service 4.0” package arrived in the mail. For those of you not familiar, the Collector’s Club offers an annual subscription service where you pay a subscription fee above and beyond your standard membership payment in exchange for 12 exclusive G.I. Joe figures. The figures are shipped out in pairs over the course of six months. The 12 figures are all known to subscribers prior to signing up but a mystery 13th figure is included with the final shipment and nobody knows who it is until the package arrives in the mail. I can’t wait to find out who the mystery figure will be this year but that reveal is still 5 months away. For now, let’s take a look at Law & Order.
I’ve opted into the FSS every year and have never been disappointed. Some figures are less exciting than others but overall there’s been a good assortment of characters every year. The line-up for FSS 4.0 was revealed at the 2015 Joe Con last spring and it looked to be another promising year. One figure I had mixed feelings about was Law and his dog Order.
The original Law & Order were released in 1987. When we were kids, every time a new wave of Joe figures was released my brother Doug and I would each get one and then we’d rush home and determine who we’d buy next. Each wave featured approximately 20 figures and they were all showcased on the back of each figure’s blister card in a checklist style grid. We’d take turns picking one by one until every figure was assigned, even the crappy looking ones. I don’t recall specifically, but I’m betting that Law was either the first figure I bought that year or he was one of my first picks. I was a sucker for any Joe that came packaged with an animal sidekick because it was like getting two figures for the price of one.
The painted artwork on Law’s blister card made him look like a no-nonsense badass but the figure didn’t convey that very well. Law had a round face with a goofy smile and his hair was very flat; almost like he was sculpted to be a bald guy and then Hasbro slapped some painted hair on him as an afterthought. Law’s only appearance in the animated series was in the feature length ’87 movie in which he was portrayed as a bit of a dummy with a goofy accent. Despite these things I still really liked the figure. His primary specialty was unique (military police) his accessories were cool (white MP-branded helmet that covered his bad hair, a spiked collar and leash, an uzi, and a night stick) plus he came with a dog. Order was a single piece of plastic with no moving parts, as all Joe pets were, but his sculpt was great and he actually had paint apps. Neither Mutt’s dog Junkyard nor Snake Eyes’ wolf Timer had any paint apps so they looked very fake by comparison. Order had multiple black apps on his face, belly, and back which went a long way in adding to his realism.
Law is a character I was really hoping would get updated in the modern-style during the 25th anniversary toyline of 2007 but it seemed like a long shot given his relative obscurity. It took some time but he actually ended up getting two modern-era figures, one in 2009 and one in 2011. Unfortunately neither one quite gave me what I was looking for. The 2009 figure was shoehorned into the Rise of Cobra toyline based on the live-action movie released that year. He was made completely of recycled parts including Dusty’s head. He came packaged with movie-inspired versions of Footloose, Dialtone, and Repeater in a Toys R Us exclusive multi-pack. None of them looked anything like their classic counterparts. All of them were wearing bland tan outfits and Hasbro even changed Repeater’s race and Dialtone’s gender. I saw the pack as a complete waste of money and ignored it. I came to regret that decision later when I decided that I did want the female Dailtone and discovered that the pack was selling for $100+ on the secondary market. I ended up buying Dialtone loose and never did get the other three.
The second modern-era Law figure was based on the character’s appearance in the short-lived Renegades cartoon. It was a nice figure made up of mostly recycled parts but with a new head and arms. The head sculpt was far superior to the dorky round melon of the original. You could even go so far as to say that the 2011 Law was handsome in that action figure kind of way. He had a strong chin and a swept back wave in his hair. The only problem I had with that figure is that it was too “real-world”. The colors were very drab and militaristic. It looked like a believable real-life MP uniform which is cool but I would’ve preferred a more faithful adaptation of the original look.
The Collector’s Club must’ve felt the same way because they included this classically attired Law in the 4th FSS. I think this figure is pretty great. It’s the best of 1987 and 2011 mashed together. The base figure is made up of the exact same parts as the Renegades version which is a great starting point. The major differences are the change in colours and webgear. Instead of the heavily padded bullet-proof navy blue vest of 2011 this Law has a more casual open vest in beautiful aqua. The pants and t-shirt have also been recoloured to match the vintage version. His accessories are also vintage accurate; helmet, uzi, nightstick, and dog with leash.
Order looks fantastic. The sculpt is perfect including his doggy vest. He has an articulated neck so he can be posed a little bit and the paint apps are the best we’ve seen on a Joe pet yet. He’s got black ears, eyes, nose and tail, a pink tongue, white teeth, and “Police” written on his vest. its the same figure we got in 2011 but the colours are so much better this time around.
My mixed feelings on this figure stemmed from the fact that these FSS figures are expensive and we already had a serviceable Law figure in our modern-era collection. I’d have been happy to purchase this figure at retail but at $40 a pop I would’ve rather seen this FSS slot go to a unique character. That was my initial reaction when the figure was first announced but as usual the Club has won me over. I’m quite happy with the figure now that I have him in hand. My only gripe, the arms don’t seem to rest at his sides and I don’t want to force them. 8 out of 10.