Spirit Iron-Knife (2006)
Spirit is a favorite that goes all the way back to 1984 for me. I can still recall picking up the figure at Children’s Palace. I was enamored with the character from the sight of a tiny version of his card art on a package back, and the specialty, tracker, along with the presence of an eagle companion, placed him high on my must have list. Spirit took pride of place along with other mainstay Joes for many years.
I was surprised then that Spirit didn’t reappear in the relaunch line until the 2005 Direct to Consumer series debuted. Surely the character would have made Hasbro’s cut much earlier, but no dice. Maybe that’s a good thing, as I don’t know if I could have taken him as an anime-styled figure in the early line. As it turns out, another Native American character, Dart, showed up in those earlier assortments, but he’s not very similar in my mind to Charlie Iron-Knife.
The details of the sculpt are great, and the head in particular is full of personality. Unfortunately all the great rendering is wasted on some very funky proportion issues, and the structure of the figure doesn’t lend itself well to posing. Having waited years for another Spirit, I couldn’t help but be disappointed. This repainted edition was available in a comic pack, and was missing the previous release’s unique belt and rifle. However the comic inspired black outfit look is nice. For a much better execution of the character, see the 12 inch version.