In the wrong hands, Spirit-Iron Knife would have been an unintended awful stereotype. Diversity in the GI Joe line was important, but it’s hard to see how another writer not named Larry Hama would have taken a precarious character like Spirit and make him one of the iconic, endearing members of the roster.
And with more cultural sensibilities at play in this modern era, see the cancelled WWE Chief Jay Strongbow figure, I had some concern if we’d actually get Spirit in the GI Joe Classified Series line. And if so, how much of his Real American Hero figure would carry over.
Thankfully, Hasbro’s original design didn’t tread on too many visual stereotypes and with just a few tweaks, Spirit is largely unchanged. The omissions weren’t major, so we have a clearly vintage inspired CS take on Spirit that looks to be another figure of the year candidate from a line that’s just cranked out winners in 2022.
Package: Spirit features the traditional package setup. I don’t love the art style here from Native American artist Jeffrey Veregge, but I get the purpose. It’s a nice touch to have the logo on Spirit’s arm used as the backdrop on the side art panel.
I really love the updated rear package art with even more characters and vehicles. I’d happily buy this as a poster or T-shirt.
On the down side, Spirit marks the first figure that doesn’t have a bio available on gijoe.hasbro.com
The skill code still checks out though there’s no indication of the level of Spirit’s proficiency since there’s no bio. Spirit is adept at light weapons, animal handling, stealth and recon.
Likeness: It might take a while for another Joe to top Spirit’s head sculpt. It captures that intrinsic badass nature of the character that Hawk sends out to bring someone in or leads the recon mission long after the tech team’s latest gadgets fail.
He looks serious without looking 80 years old — looking at you Marvel Legends Warpath — and I love the little touch of having a strand of hair coming over the headband. It gives Spirit a more youthful, less particular vibe.
The two hair braids are intact and the basics of the shirt and undershirt seemed like the ideal base for a retro style Flint figure. Especially with the higher rolled sleeve.
He’s got a harness instead of having his accessories just floating on his shirt. The longer and round grenades carry though along with the leather sheath for the eagle handled knife. Spirit does have the Joe-com device, which is fine since that was a cool element from the first wave that isn’t distracting here.
On his left arm is a gauntlet/falconer’s glove for Freedom to rest on thanks to the peg holes. That’s a nice design touch.
Spirit’s belt is styled like the original figure with a secondary side belt with a buckle suggesting his heritage more than the skirt piece.
The boots no longer have the fur around the tops proving around the tops proving that Hasbro generally had the right idea about the design for the most part. There is a unique leather like covering on them to provide a modern take that still seems to acknowledge Spirit’s heritage.
I love the shift to the Real American Hero designs with minimal modern tweaks. This marriage is working very well and leading to some incredibly well-designed figures.
Paint: Of the 1983 series, Spirit had the coolest paint job. He looked original while fitting in seamlessly with the evolving style of the post O13 Joes.
All of the classic colors are replicated here with the light blue shirt, red undershirt. The shirt sleeve logos are intact although the direction of the three arrows are up instead of down.
I don’t typically have any problems with Classified Series paintjobs. Spirit has some very minor issues — some of the black seeps through on his headband and some red from the braid ties runs over on the hair. These are the kinds of issues I wouldn’t notice if I wasn’t looking for them.
Scale: Spirit is average height, so he’ll be looking eye to eye with Flint and Duke and looking up at Gung-Ho and Roadblock.
Articulation: There’s no surprise at this point. The Classified Series line feature stellar articulation and allows for some very creative and fun posing.
That’s especially useful for a sniper/tracker like Spirit.
- shoulders (butterfly)
- elbow (double-jointed)
- wrist hinge
- hips (ball-jointed)
- drop down hips
- knees (double-jointed)
Accessories: Spirit is in the running for most geared-up figure.
He comes with a ton of accessories that are an enhancement from his original Real American Hero figure.
He’s got two knives. The thicker, silver one sports some nicely sculpted detail in the blade. I’m also seeing a hawk/eagle head in the hilt.
The thinner bladed black knife has a serrated edge to make it stand out while featuring a thicker grip pad on the hilt. These are both very nice small arms for Spirit.
He’s also got a handgun, which features that same high level of detailing right down to eagle wings on it!
Spirit’s backpack is more complex than his original figure. The top looks to be a more tech-heavy section — possibly for any gear Spirit might need while tracking someone — and replaces the arrows from the original. Like the original, the bottom is a more traditional pack with two separate buckles and pouches.
On the top left side is a perch for Freedom and the right mid-section features a plug for the sniper rifle via the trigger loop. It’s always great when a figure can store all their gear instead of leaving some of it behind.
Onto the sniper rifle itself. It looks great with its big scope, extended barrel and shoulder stock. The detail is there of course and I love that it’s two-tone with some brown in the mix as well.
All of that would have been terrific, but there’s one accessory that is essential for Spirit and that’s his trusty eagle Freedom.
While not as incredible as Timber or Fiona, Freedom absolutely delivers. He has folded wings for resting on Spirit’s backpack perch or swap them with the wide-open wings for flying poses.
I appreciate that versatility and it shows how thoughtful Hasbro is in implementing essential aspects of play/posing for these figures.
Worth It? Spirit was $22.99. That doesn’t feel like a terrible price for any Classified Series figure given the amount of detail with the figure and the accessory load.
Rating: 10 out of 10
My Classified Series ratings might be getting a tad boring, but Hasbro is killing it with the line and every figure is now starting to be the iconic ideal 6” modern update I’ve wanted for years. And Spirit might be the best Joe yet.
Where to Get It? You shouldn’t have too much trouble finding Spirit online at least. He’s available right now on Amazon and Hasbro Pulse and I’ve seen some reports of him popping up at Walmart though my area stores haven’t gotten any new CS figures in months. Entertainment Earth has him slated for a September release.
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