Spirit Iron-Knife (2015)
For such a well-known Joe team member, Spirit hasn’t had a ton of remakes over the years. He’s been represented in all the various formats since the 1980s, yet he’s not had numerous appearances in the range of someone like Stalker. It’s not a bad thing, and he’s made it through each era with a distinct new design. The latest two-packs place him up against an old enemy–Storm Shadow. This pairing makes perfect sense to a kid raised on the Sunbow ‘toon. The only problem this time around: no Freedom to catch shurikens hurled his way.
The 50th Anniversary figures have had their share of funky paint app issues, particularly with the eyes. Spirit is not only aquitted well in the peepers department, but he’s even given a sort of sideways glare. He looks fairly intense for a 4 inch plastic solider. I wouldn’t mess with him.
It took me a minute to realize that this figure, like the exclusive 2011 Slaughter’s Marauders version, uses some of the once-popular late movie line City Strike Snake Eyes mold. The distinctive legs certainly give Spirit a look that’s unique and different from the Pursuit of Cobra’s Predator homage. It’s good to see we’re not being hit over the head with 80s homage elements this time around, and thanks to the paint scheme, I also now have a Spirit that could work well in a desert environment. Maybe that’s by design, and he can hang out with Chuckles and Night Fox in the FOE Striker.
The ball-jointed hands are great, and I was hopeful that I’d have a figure that could finally properly brandish the dart rifle. However, the right hand fingers just can’t quite grip it securely enough to stay in place. The left fares a bit better, but it doesn’t feature the up-down articulation needed to get a nice firing position. He does look pretty badass carrying it though. In fact, if I had to characterize it, thanks to his stare and added articulation, I’d call this version Badass Spirit.