G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO (HASBRO)
“Lady Jaye graduated from Bryn Mawr and did her graduate work at Trinity College in Dublin where she acquired the faint Gaelic lilt that adorns her speech. An accomplished actress and mime as well as a studied linguist, she can easily pass as a native in France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Germany, Afghanistan, Spain, and Portugal. Airborne and Ranger qualified, graduated intelligence school Fort Holabird. Qualified expert: M-16, M1911A1 and reflex crossbow.”
The female component of the G.I. Joe line was more present than you might think, given it was a primarily boys-driven toyline, but that didn’t mean they were letting the girls bunch up in the lineup. From ’82-’87, there was exactly one new female character introduced each year. In ’85, that character was Lady Jaye, who like Baroness had actually been introduced elsewhere, specifically the Sunbow animated series, where she would serve as the second most featured character in the series after main baddie Cobra Commander. That earned her quite the built up fanbase, as did her consistently established connection with another fan-favorite, Flint. Though she may not have been the first female Joe, she certainly made a very important impression in the line.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
As noted above, Lady Jaye was added to the line in 1985, after making her debut in the cartoon the previous year during the Revenge of Cobra mini-series. The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall (actually a little bit taller than the V1 Flint figure) and she has 14 points of articulation. 1985 marked the first year that the ball-jointed neck joints were included in the line, meaning that Jaye is a bit more mobile than her predecessors, at least in terms of moving her neck around. Lady Jaye got an all-new sculpt, and one that would see no re-use, which is a little surprising. Her design was considerably different from the cartoon’s take on the character, but unlike Baroness’ change from the comics to her toy, Lady Jaye’s toy design would not inspire a change in the cartoon design for the character. So, we just had this completely different look for the character, at least until the 25th Anniversary line finally did a cartoon version. ’85 was when the characters really started looking more unique from each other, in ways other than just “this guy’s got a different gimmick.” Jaye’s distinctly different from the likes of Scarlett, Cover Girl, and Baroness, and seems like a character that more properly fits the military aesthetic than those three did. She’s also not really skinny, which was another change, and makes for a figure that doesn’t feel as frail as those others. Jaye’s paintwork is one of the more reserved schemes of the ’85 lineup, sticking pretty much just to basic military colors, but it doesn’t end up looking quite as drab as the original ’82 figures. Jaye is packed with a javelin (always her main armament), a back pack, and a spy camera. A little lighter than some figures in the line, but not a bad selection.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When I was getting into G.I. Joe in the early 2000s, the only available media outside of the toys were the reruns of the cartoon running early mornings on Cartoon Network. Jaye’s prominent role in that show definitely stuck out to me, even if I was never able to track down the ’00s figure. She and Flint are definitely a favorite pairing of mine, and in fact I even quit reading the Devil’s Due comic series when they killed her off. After getting a vintage Flint a few years back, I had been on the lookout for Jaye, and was definitely happy to see her turn up in the large Joe collection that came into All Time Toys. I still prefer the cartoon look, but there’s no denying this is a pretty solid figure.
As I touched on above, Lady Jaye came from All Time Toys, who got in a rather sizable vintage Joe collection, the remnants of which can be checked out the Joe section of their eBay page here. If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.