|Code Name: SPIRIT|
Another very 'American' figure that passed me by in my youth (I'm not entirely sure if the original figure even came out in the UK), it was Spirit's decent showings in the Marvel G.I. Joe comic that won me over to the guy. While Spirit was never quite in the top drawer of the comic's roster, he tends to impress when he does show up, notably a super stint in America's Elite.
The 25th Anniversary version is based on the original design, rather than the somewhat dull updates which featured in the Devil's Due comics. There's something about the mix of plain army shirt and native American garb that just really works, even if I am frequently tempted by the modern updates given to the character, most recently for Pursuit of Cobra (though it has too much green) and the 30th Anniversary line (too much blue). However, Spirit's head cast isn't the best. Like Mainframe, it goes a bit too far trying for grizzled veteran, instead looking like Spirit's about fifty. Plus whoever decided to cast the hair so one of his pigtails was going forward deserves a slap in the balls - the thing gets caught in the (non-removable) webbing far too easily. Similarly, the 'dummy' knife on his chest is restrictive, not least because it must be in his line of sight the whole time.
Still, it's not all bad. The articulation and detail is superb as usual (though sadly he can't sit cross-legged), while there's an excellent accessory kit - an arrow-rifle with removable cartridges, a backpack frame with a removable satchel and two extra magazines for the rifle, a removable knife in a leg holster and the eagle Freedom, who can perch on Spirit's wrists or on the top of the backpack frame.
The head aside, Spirit's a very good figure. It's just that with a better cast he could have been really excellent. Those arrow magazines are great, though. The price he can go for isn't, sadly - he can fetch a little bit more than a lot of 25th Anniversary figures, probably too much to be justified for some nice arrow magazines.