Check out our Spirit GI Joe Classified Series review and vintage figure comparison. We take an in depth look with tons of pics!
I’ve written many reviews for our website, but this is the review I (The Toy Sorceress) am most excited about and most proud to write for the Toy Habits website! Spirit has always been one of my absolute favorite GI Joe A Real American Hero figures and characters! I have been not so patiently waiting to get my hands on this figure ever since he was announced last October, and it feels like forever! I have had him on pre-order thru Hasbro Pulse, but I was lucky enough to snag one on Amazon thru our handy dandy GI Joe Classified Toy Habits Shop page last week! So here we are, I got Spirit in hand a couple days ago, and I am so impressed at his stunning details, accessories, facial expression, articulation and added bonus of the spectacular Eagle Freedom included with this standard release figure! Hasbro has totally knocked it out of the park with Spirit Iron Knife and his trusty pal Freedom! Given my love for Toy Photography, and for nature and the outdoors, Spirit and Freedom have been an absolute joy to photograph for this review! So here we go and enjoy!
History of Spirit Iron Knife:
Spirit’s real name is Charlie Iron-Knife, and he was born to poor Native American parents in the Taos Pueblo Reservation in Taos, New Mexico. Was an infantry specialist and also specialized in social services. In High School, he was a hunting guide, then served in Southeast Asia after joining the military. Once Spirit returned to civilian life he completed his education, then returned to the military as a as a tracker, and an expert with the M-16, M1911A1 Auto Pistol, and the Remington sniper rifle. Spirit’s outfit reflects his identity as a Native American medicine man and shaman. He wears braided hair, a headband, a knife and pants with designs that are typical to Native American tribes. Source: Spirit (G.I. Joe) – Wikipedia
Spirit is mysterious. He’s mysterious not because he wouldn’t tell people his secrets but because you can’t figure him out. He went through the education and rites of a Shaman and became a mystic himself. He’s a medicine man but he’s not a doctor, he performs rituals but he’s no priest, he knows how to fix what ails you that he couldn’t be a quack. He is so attuned to nature and his surroundings that his tracking skills just may be second to none. He can read even the faintest of trail signs. As a Native American mystic warrior with a degree in psychology, he has a whole different perspective on how his quarry thinks and moves.
Spirit was raised to respect nature and in the ways of his ancestors. His family was poor but he made extra money as a hunting guide during high school. After graduating, he enlisted in the Army and even saw action in Southeast Asia as a member of long range recon patrols. He returned to civilian life and completed his education but re-enlisted once more, an action very few people may ever understand. He is familiar with most NATO small arms and is proficient with the compound bow and throwing knife.Spirit (RAH) | Joepedia | Fandom
Spirit Iron Knife was first released by Hasbro in the A Real American Hero toy line in 1984. According to yojoe.com
File Name: Iron-Knife, Charlie
Birthplace: Taos, New Mexico
Primary Specialty: Infantry
Secondary Specialty: Social Services
Spirit comes from a family so far below the poverty line that they never realized they were poor. Was a hunting guide through high school. Served in Southeast Asia, then as a civilian completed his education. Returned to service for reasons inexplicable to anyone but a native American mystic warrior. Qualified expert: M-16; M-1911A1 Auto Pistol; Remington sniper rifle. “Charlie is a Shaman, a medicine man. He’s not a healer or a priest or a witch doctor. There isn’t any equivalent in our culture for what he is unless we had shrinks that could actually help people.”
Spirit first appeared in the 1980’s GI Joe A Real American Hero Sunbow cartoon mini-series The Revenge of Cobra. Spirit was often featured squaring off against none other than Storm Shadow. In the first-season episode “Countdown for Zartan”, Spirit and Freedom are guarding the Worldwide Defense Center, where Zartan inflitrates the base, and Spirit follows him, leading to yet another encounter with Storm Shadow. Spirit meets Storm Shadow once again, as Cobra seeks to obtain the satellite as well. In the episode, “Satellite Down”, Spirit is among the Joes who go on a mission to recover a satellite that crashed in Africa. Spirit squares off yet again with Storm Shadow, as Cobra seeks to obtain the satellite. In the end, Spirit frees Storm Shadow and allies with him breifly but then latter flees. He always had his trusty pal Freedom not far behind and often came to Spirits rescue when he got into sticky situations.
Had a little bit of fun recreating this scene with the new Classified Storm Shadow! What a classic Sunbow match up! Just love this and wanted to share!
Spirit Iron Knife GI Joe Classified Series is the Classified figure I was most looking forward to. Hasbro really nailed it when it comes to capturing that A Real American Hero Native American essence of Spirit while bringing him into the modern age. From the amazingly detailed head sculpt to the classic blue shirt, red bandana and tan pants outfit that Spirit is wearing, this is a perfect tribute to the vintage figure with all the amazing articulation and stunning detail we are all accustomed to with the Classified Series.
Spirit Iron-Knife is outfitted in his classic blue denim colored shirt with red undershirt. He is wearing tan pants with brown boots. He sports his signature red bandana on his head, and of course his braided hair. Hasbro even took the extra step to add a few locks flowing over the front his bandana. Spirit has a chest strap that has a couple grenades and tan leather knife sheath with fringe on it, which gives it that very Native American look. He has several pouches and equipment hanging from on his belt with silver belt buckle. He has a gun holster on his right leg, and knife sheath on the left leg. He is wearing a brown falconry glove on his left hand to allow a place for Freedom to perch.
His trusty feathered friend Freedom is also highly articulated for a pet companion and has the ability to stand on his left arm by the dark brown Falconry Glove that Spirit is wearing. He can be in flight mode or sitting mode with the 2 different sets of included wings. Freedom can also perch on the wooden bird post on top of Spirit’s backpack. We will go into further detail about Freedom below. As you can see from the photos thus far, it is a lot of fun to pose Spirit with Freedom.
Packaging & Artwork
Spirit Iron-Knife comes packaged in the standard window box packaging as the rest of the Classified figures. It includes custom artwork on the front and sides, and a collage of GI Joe Characters on the back. This type of packaging is being phased out to now windowless packaging as we saw with the latest pre-orders from Hasbro with Kamakura and the Blue Ninja’s two pack. I understand the need to lessen plastic waste and I all for saving the environment, but it will be a sad day when we can no longer see the action figured we are getting thru the front of the package. But i digress, as this is a separate discussion for another day.
The package features beautiful custom artwork by Jeffrey Veregge. It features various images of Spirit and Freedom in a beautiful rendition that captures the Native American heritage of Spirit, and I absolutely love it! This art piece captures the essence of Spirit so well and could be my favorite artwork of all the Classified Series thus far! As a matter of fact, I liked it so much, I wanted to track down where I can get a poster of this artwork. If you want to purchase a poster of this beautiful artwork, you can get the Poster & Frame on Amazon.com.
This is what the poster looks like on the wall, and it is spectacular! I highly recommend it to decorate any collection room! It looks great in my (Toy Sorceress) collection room!
Spirit comes packaged with a multitude of accessories, beautifully laid out in his plastic tray. As you can see from the photo below Spirit’s accessories include:
- Freedom Eagle Articulated figure
- Pair of alternate open wings
- 2 Knives
- One bird head handle with silver painted blade
- One black knife
- Sniper rifle
- Backpack with bird perch
Spirit’s head is beautifully sculpted and captures that stern look of stealthy determination and guts that Spirit is known for. He is wearing his hair is in his signature pony tails with red bands tying the ends of them. He wears a red bandana on his head. Hasbro decided to add a strand of hair hanging over the front of his bandana in a beautiful touch of added detail and realism. He has a furrowed brow, strong cheek bones, and deep piercing brown eyes. He has a little bit of color on his lips that contrast perfectly with his nice tan skin tone. Hasbro has really captured Spirit’s Native American heritage in this head sculpt. I am very pleased with how Spirit’s head sculpt came out and is a perfect translation of the vintage figure in modern form.
Chest & Back
Spirit’s dressed in his classic blue shirt with red t-shirt underneath. He has 2 pockets on his chest of his button up shirt. He’s wearing a leatherlike chest strap that has a couple grenades strapped near his shoulder. He also has a light tan leather like knife sheath that has very detailed fringe on the side, to capture that Native American look.
His chest strap wraps around the back in a sort of “Y” shape, that has some molded rivet details, and connects to his belt. You can also see the hole in his back for his backpack peg hole.
Arms / Waist / Legs
Arms & Hands
His right arm features his blue denim shirt sleeves cuffed short sleeve with a small folder over and button, nice, detailed touch. You can see a Native American axe symbol in red on his right shoulder. His forearms are bare, and he is wearing a brown leather glove and gold bracelet. His left arm features the same blue cuffed short sleeve, with fold over and button. This side however has 3 red military stripes, and it looks like Spirit has earned 3 stripes. His forearm is also bare, but on his left hand and wrist he is wearing a falconry glove used for those handing large birds.
You will notice that even though Spirit is a brand-new figure, he did not make it to the new body design with pin-less joints. That is unfortunate because he is such a wonderful figure, it would have made him perfect if he didn’t have these pins in his elbow and knee joints.
Here you can see a close up on Spirit’s right brown leather gloved hand with gold bracelet. You can also see a close up of his left hand where he is wearing a dark brown leather looking falconry glove used for those handing large birds. Freedom comes with 2 pegs at the bottom of his talons. You will notice 2 peg holes and molded areas for Freedom’s talons to rest on. He also has a gold bracelet on this wrist as well.
Spirit is wearing a series of belts and straps around his waist. His belts feature several pieces of military equipment hanging from it and several various buckles and rivets. His brown belt features a silver Native American style belt buckle. He also has a black clasp to the secondary strap wrapped around his waist. His belt strap has several pockets on it, and he has a pair of binoculars hanging from the back of his belt. You can also see the fabric detail in his pants. He has 2 pockets molded on his butt (Ya, I said it!) You can also see the molded detail of his pants button and zipper. The details on his waist are spectacular and very realistic.
Legs & Boots
Spirit is wearing tan-colored pants which have a corduroy or denim like texture to them. As mentioned above, he has a lot of detail to his pants including buttons, zipper, butt cheek pockets, and pockets on his thighs as well. He also looks to have a bit of knee pads as well. He is wearing a weapons holster on each leg.
The details on his pants are amazing. The amount of detail including buttons, zippers, and pockets real add to the realistic look to his pants. He is wearing a brown side arm holster on his right leg. And he has a matching brown knife sheath on his left leg. Spirit being a brand-new figure did not benefit of the newer pin-less joint technology, as you can see a series of pins above and below his knees.
Here you can see a close up of the brown side arm holster on his right leg. It has some nice detail to it with straps and buckles on his inner thigh. Here is also a close up of the matching brown knife sheath on his left leg. You can see the added texture to make it look like leather. Hasbro really went above and beyond to add texture and detail to all his clothing and accessories to make them look very life-like.
Spirit’s dark brown boots are very detailed and are no exception when it comes to realistic details. You can see his shoelaces and a series of straps on the ankle area. He also has some amazing details on the edges of his boot treads which are colored in black. The bottom of his boots are still hollow looking. But I think in the next round of upcoming figures, Hasbro has gone all out with the boot details and added full boot treads to the bottom of their feet starting with Outback Too bad Spirit’s boots didn’t get this treatment, but they still look great.
Freedom is an amazing pet companion that comes packed with Spirit. Hasbro did a phenomenal job with Freedom. He comes with both standard standing still wings and “in flight” wings. The standing still wings are on a standard joint and move up and down but remain in the same plane. He is also articulated at the neck joint. His head is on a ball joint and rotates all the way around and up and down. His feet are also articulated and rotate in a circular motion. His legs are also articulated as well and move up and down.
Freedom’s “in flight wings are on a ball joint so are fully articulated at the joint, up down in and out. So, you can pose Freedom in all sorts of cool positions. His wings have a lot of texture to them and also have a little bit of a light brown paint wash to add additional detail and realism to them.
Freedom can perch on Spirit’s backpack on a ‘Wooden” looking pole at the top of the backpack. Freedom has a peg coming out of each leg that allows him to perch onto this pole.
Freedom can also perch onto Spirit’s left arm, as Sprit is equipped with a brown leathery looking falconry glove. The glove has 2 peg holes that Freedom’s feet pegs into. It’s fun to pose Freedom on Spirit’s arm as Spirit looks into the eyes of his trusted friend. It gives for some wonderful moments to take some amazing photographs.
Spirit comes packaged with a multitude of accessories. As you can see from the photo on the right Spirit’s accessories include:
- Sniper Rifle
- 2 Knives
- One bird head handle with silver painted blade
- One black knife
- Backpack with bird perch
The accessories are nicely detailed, some with paint accents and others with different color plastics. Let’s take a look at each one more closely below.
Spirit comes packed with a Sniper rifle because he is now considered more of a sniper than a tracker. His vintage figure came with a arrow gun to help him with his tracking and hunting skills.
This Sniper Rifle includes a large scope on top, heavy rifle butt, and a brown grip. It’s nice that they used two different color plastics on this accessory as it gives it a lot more realism.
Given Spirit’s great articulation, it’s fun to pose him aiming through the scope. Spirit’s Rifle can also stow on the right side if his backpack on a peg that his trigger area can slide onto. It’s nice that Spirit can stow all his accessories onto his person.
Knives & Side Arm
Spirit includes 2 unique knives. The first is a black plastic colored knife with a heavy serrated edge and a ripped handle. It can stow in the knife sheath on his left leg. The leg knife sheath is a brown color that has some texture to it to make it look like leather and is strapped to his left leg.
The second knife that Spirit comes with has a smooth edge but has half the blade with a silver crackled looking pattern and the other half of the blade is all silver. The Knife handle looks like the head of a bird and is reminiscent of the knife that was molded onto the chest of the vintage action figure. This knife stows in the tan colored leather looking knife sheath that is on his chest strap.
Here you can see Spirit’s two Knife sheaths. His knife sheath on his leg has a nice strap that keeps it fastened to his leg fairly well. It doesn’t slip down on it’s own, so they did a great job designing this strap. Both look leather like. But the tan one on his chest has a lot more detail on it as it also looks leather like but includes a nice fringe detail on one side to reflect Spirit’s Native American heritage. It is also a lot more stylized in it’s shape as well.
Spirit includes a standard side arm pistol that comes in ablack plastic color.
His side arm pistol stows into the gun holster on Spirit’s right leg. This holster has a ton of detail on it. It is chalked full of realistic looking straps and rivets. The straps have a lot of detail on them and look like a corduroy material with nicely detailed molded clips on them.
Spirit can easily access the accessories stowed on his various holsters and knife sheaths. It’s a lot of fun to pose spirit with his various accessories.
Spirit’s backpack is a new design and does not match his classic arrow filled backpack of the A Real American Hero 1980’s figure. This new modern backpack is a tan & black color with a lot of details on it. The majority of the backpack is made of tan colored plastic. There are two large, molded pockets on the bottom. The top half is made of a black plastic, which look like 2 large storage compartments. Then there is a faux wood log molded on the top of the backpack with 2 peg holes on the top for Freedom to peg his feet into. You have the choice to perch Freedom on this backpack post or Spirit’s arm. I think it’s awesome that Hasbro gave us these two options!
The Classified Series version of Spirit Iron-Knife is a spectacular homage to the vintage figure. The Classified Series Spirit still captures that beautiful Native American heritage of the character, while modernizing his design and still capturing that classic Spirit look. Both the Vintage ARAH figure and CS figure both are outfitted with blue denim like shirts, red undershirts, red bandana, gold bracelets, tan paints and brown boots. The CS Spirit’s hairdo still carries over that vintage look of the ponytails, but one ups the vintage with that strand of hair that is wafting over his bandana in a beautiful extra touch! The new CS Spirit still carries over his insignias on both his shoulders. The one thing I miss on the CS Spirit is the red skirt like piece on the vintage ARAH figure. It seems to me to be a missing component of the new figure and something I may want to customize for him.
The vintage figure had a little bit more adornment on his chest as he was wearing a necklace of some sort of animal teeth, and the new CS version does not have that. In a beautiful tribute to the vintage figure, the new CS figure includes a knife with a bird shape knife head on it that stows on the knife sheath on his chest which mimics the molded white bird headed knife on the vintage figure’s chest. Also, the best part is that you can still have Freedom perch on Spirit’s arm, just like on the vintage figure.
All in all, Hasbro did a spectacular job in capturing that classic A Real American Hero look while also modernizing the figure, bravo!
Toy Photography fun
If any of you follow our Toy Habits Instagram page and The Toy Sorceress Instagram page, you will see the Toy Sorceress loves Toy Photography, so here are some photographs for your enjoyment and inspiration! Spirit was especially fun to photograph in the wild because of his character’s connection to nature and his Native American Heritage.
Hasbro was able to bring Spirit into the modern age, while still honoring his Native American heritage in a beautifully stunning homage to the vintage 1984 A Real American Hero Spirit figure. The details on his face sculpt, the included accessories, and highly articulated and detailed pet companion Eagle Freedom, make this Classified Series figures that best standard release figure to date! I love Toy photography, nature and the outdoors, so Spirit was the embodiment of all of these things and an absolute joy to photograph for this review! He is one of my absolute favorite ARAH figures and I could not be happier to finally have him in my collection. For these reasons I am giving Spirit a perfect 7.0 out of 7.0!
I highly recommend him, and you can pick one up for yourself by checking out handy dandy GI Joe Classified Shop page!
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