G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Spirit Iron-Knife

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The 50th Anniversary line that came about in 2014 was what felt like kind of a last ditch olive branch to the fandom to celebrate our brand’s 50th anniversary, even if our 12” other brothers weren’t the focus as perhaps they should have been (at least partly).  It was obviously greatly inspired by vintage designs, using a lot of existing tooling and characters that appeared just as they did back in the 80s.

For this second iteration of the 50th Anniversary line, we certainly get some of that as well, but part of it also feels a bit more new.  The introduction of the Wolf Squad and some different vehicle elements separates this line at least a little bit and makes it seem to exist better as a continuation rather than just a revisiting.  Spirit Iron-Knife is a good example of that.

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Rather than just a re-release of a classic deco type figure, or the Pursuit of Cobra version released to Toys “R” Us, Hasbro goes in a slightly different direction, giving us a version of Spirit in a unique desert camouflage color pallet.  His parts are all existing, from the aforementioned Pursuit of Cobra version for his head sculpt, with what looks to be Retaliation Flint for the torso and arms, with Resolute Snake Eyes legs.  It’s a unique combination of parts that work pretty well giving us a figure that remains really well articulated throughout.  The elbows and wrists are terrific, allowing him great flexibility to hold his various weapons, including the dart gun that’s normally a real pain.  The handle and trigger guard combination on the dart gun still makes it a bit of a challenge for Spirit to grasp, but it can be made to work, which is more than can be said for previous versions of the character.

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As mentioned, the camouflage and paint colors seem to focus on desert camouflage, with a basic tan shirt and sleeves, and a camouflage pattern on the legs.  The leg design isn’t especially intricate or detailed, but works well enough, and maintains a style that G.I. Joe has used since the beginning.  Darker brown boots and kneepads offset the lighter colors well, and Spirit’s skin is a nice variable shade of color as well.

Accessories

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There are a number of neat accessories for Spirit Iron-Knife here, mostly refreshed from his 25th Anniversary version.  He’s got the same great backpack and dart gun combination with removable cartridges that plug into the weapon.  I had almost forgotten how great those accessories were when they came with that version of Spirit so many years ago.  I really don’t like that figure much, so I tend to block out the entire release, but the accessories are really very nice, and work well in this new version as well.  As I said, the thick handle and tight trigger guard make it a bit tough for him to hold, but not impossible.

He comes with the same tactical vest that the Pursuit of Cobra version did (carried forward from the Rise of Cobra Pit Commando I believe) and that works quite nicely, too.  He also has a knife and machete, though unfortunately no place to store either one.  I also can’t help but wonder why a desert version of the figure needs a machete in the first place.  A secondary weapon would have been nice, I’d think a dart gun could only carry you so far.

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I’m surprised at how much I like this version of G.I. Joe’s first tracker.  It’s a very straight forward combination of parts and deco, but it’s an effective combination and the end result is pretty fun.  Good accessories and an aesthetically pleasing paint job.  Pretty nice job on this one.

Mike Thompson breaks his G.I. Joe silence with some more RoC art!

Every Joe fan’s favorite package artist Mike Thompson had a stretch where he was posting several awesome pieces of his Joe art on an almost weekly basis.  Working as a package artist through the Rise of Cobra and into the Pursuit of Cobra era, Mike’s excellent blog, Mike T Artworks showcased his excellent renditions of characters like Spirit, City Strike Scarlett, and Whiteout.

He’s taken a break from posting G.I. Joe related art, most likely because he’s either shown most of it already, or is still waiting for them to be cleared by Hasbro to post…but today that changed!  During our interview of Mike Thompson on the What’s on Joe Mind podcast we were lucky enough to see some of his other pieces, and now he has posted them via his Twitter page.

These head shots were to be used on some canceled Wal-Mart 2-Packs featuring Nano-B.A.T., Zap, Budo, and Dr. Mindbender.  Check out these excellent images below.  Also make sure you keep your eyes on MikeTArtworks.com which is his main site featuring some fantastic work that he’s done over the years.  He has some amazing talent, even if you’re checking out some non-G.I. Joe work, I think you’ll appreciate what he does.  He’s obviously a geek at heart!

To hear straight from the source about the process for producing this incredible artwork, hit up the embedded player below to listen to our interview with Mr. Thompson.  It’s enlightening to say the least!

GeneralsJoes Reviews BBTS Exclusive Spirit, Low Light, “Gnaw” and Zanzibar

Florida Everglades.  0310 Hours.

Already things were going South.  Desperately attempting a covert approach, the Marauders had been spotted and Burn Out had razed their team with his flamethrower.  As Barbecue separated to take on the aggressive Dreadnok, the team split apart, hoping to flank their disorganized enemy.

Only it turns out the enemy was not so disorganized.

Spirit wove seamlessly through the brush, almost becoming one with the jungle as he paced himself South, trying to find a way around the cackling Dreadnok.  His movements were smooth, slick, and silent, but even the quietest of hunter gives off heat amongst the cold leaves of the surrounding trees.

A quick shot rang out, which Spirit was a bit too slow to avoid, and took a bullet at his left hip as he dove to the ground.  Low Light, who had been following close behind, immediately dropped to a crouch and raised his rifle to his eye, quickly spotting the familiar curled hat of Australian poacher Dreadnok “Gnaw”.  The snarling ruffian let his rifle slope a little towards Spirit as he moved away.  The Native American Joe caught Gnaw’s scent now, and silently chided himself for not noticing it sooner.  He also quickly noticed amongst the thick brush, he had no immediate outlet, and could almost feel the heat of the infrared scope on his forehead.

Low Light squeezed off a shot, striking his target, the broad side of Gnaw’s rifle, shattering it.  The poacher shouted profanity and spun around, whipping a knife from a sheath in the small of his back.  Low Light jacked back the magazine, loading another round in the chamber, but another shot rang out to his right and struck him in the shoulder.  Grimacing, the sniper slammed to the thick jungle ground as the Dreadnok pirate Zanzibar was on him, casting aside his old school pistol for a blade of his own.  But Low Light was ready.

Ten yards away, Gnaw gracefully eased forward, his knife glinting in the moonlight, but suddenly his prey was upon him and Spirit descended like a jungle demon.

Finish your own adventure on my 30th Anniversary Review Page or click the links directly below!

Pre-Order this set at Big Bad Toy Store today!

GeneralsJoes Reviews G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #164

Over the past few months I’ve done nothing but heap praise upon the Real American Hero title, which had been disappointing me for a little while, but has since made up for it in a big way.

Well, this month, for the most part, it continues to redeem itself, but something happened in the latest issue, which was actually pretty disappointing to me.  Probably minor in the grand scheme of things, and one of the risks you take when you attempt to extend a continuity that hasn’t been touched for over a decade (Devils’ Due notwithstanding).

Still, I do expect more out of Larry Hama, and IDW’s editorial staff.  Click the Read the Rest of this Entry link below to find out what I’m bitching about.

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Another ten minute video figure review – Pursuit of Cobra galore!

Frequent GeneralsJoes contributor (a feat for which I am endlessly grateful) cmderinchief has posted yet another video review!  Not content to cover just one item, though, he does a quick review of the TRU Exclusive Spirit, Quick Kick, the Pursuit of Cobra Duke & Snow Job, and also manages to say some words about the Canadian JoeCon convention sets!

Wow.  Check out all the Gary Goodness right below.

More Pursuit of Cobra Images – Alley Viper, Spirit, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow

So a short while ago, GeneralsJoes contributor Hawkwinter sent me an assortment of awesome pictures of the upcoming Pursuit of Cobra figures…specifically Spirit and Alley-Viper.  Included in these images are carded pics, file card, accessories, and the insert that comes in the package.  Very cool stuff.

Of course it was in the middle of my busy stretch, so I didn’t get it posted until…well… right about now:

But while on the topic of the Alley-Viper, and new Pursuit of Cobra figures in general, I gotta give some serious props to The Terror Drome, who continues to update “Scoop’s Dark Room” with some awesome images of upcoming figures.  This time they gave us Alley-Viper, Snake Eyes (Desert Battle), and Storm Shadow (Desert Battle).  Great images and some very revealing details that have not yet been seen.  Really cool stuff.

Some images are mirrored below, but you should absolutely check the source as well.

The day is coming…  hope everyone’s ready!  Once August hits we get inundated with Pursuit of Cobra, and the PoC joy should carry us right into the fall and hopefully Renegades appearing on The Hub.  After a quiet first half of 2010, things are looking up.  I’m psyched!

Huge thanks to the Terror Drome, and of course Hawkwinter as well for sharing my unhealthy obsession with the Pursuit of Cobra and sharing those images as well.

Pursuit of Cobra Spirit and Quick Kick images unleashed

The Toys “R” Us exclusive figures have been somewhat hit or miss over the past twelve months.  While opinion was generally quite favorable over Firefly, Bench Press and the Snow Serpent Officer, I don’t think the fans were exactly wild about Barbecue, Doc, or Arctic Shipwreck.  However, with the upcoming Pursuit of Cobra line, I think Hasbro really took out the stops, and we’re getting  a pair of exclusives that are awesome homages to not only the vintage characters, but also plenty of other 80’s themes!

Spirit is pulled straight from the movie classic Predator, while Quick Kick is infused with a combination of Bruce Lee and the Karate Kid.  As he usually does, HissTank forum member Gyre-Viper showcases both figures in a unique way.  Check them in this thread, or mirrored below.

USA Today interviews Max Brooks about Hearts and Minds

Sometimes it’s good having geeks in the right places…  Brian Truitt at USA Today is an unabashed toy, comic, and media geek, and as such, gets some great opportunities to interview folks connected to those properties and share them with us!

Over on USA Today, Mr. Truitt has posted a great interview with Max Brooks, who  talks quite a bit about G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds the new limited series he’s writing for IDW.  The interview is littered with great insight and information, and even discusses some characters from Hearts and Minds:

“Some choices have been controversial, he says. At first, Brooks couldn’t use Major Bludd (because he’s starring in a subplot in Chuck Dixon’s G.I. Joe book) or Spirit. “I think they were afraid of coming from a point of view of the standard stereotypical Indian,” Brook says. “That’s actually what piqued my interest, when they said Hasbro doesn’t want to offend people. It was barely passable in the ’80s, and is just not acceptable now.”

In subsequent issues, Brooks has a Blowtorch story that discusses whether using fire is a humane form of warfare, and a tale about explosives expert Tripwire, “who doesn’t have a death wish but is in a situation where he can’t lose — that’s how he looks at it,” Brooks says. “The character of Doc deals with an issue of medical malpractice, which hits very close to home. With Dr. Mindbender, instead of making him the traditional mad scientist, I wanted to deal with the issue of religion vs. science and ethics vs. science.”

The interview also reveals that Max Brooks was a Joe fan as a kid, and that he contributed a short story to a collection of G.I. Joe related prose that is possibly in the works.  Check out the full interview right here, and be sure to add Brian Truitt’s Twitter Page to your favorites and follow him!

JoeCon 2010 – Where the news at?

I know for it being a JoeCon weekend, GeneralsJoes has been noticably silent, but trust me that’s only because it’s been a very busy few days.  When not taking tours and volunteering for the club, I’m being dragged to restaurants and bars and forced to consume various amounts of food and liquids that are totally alien to me.  Trust me, after one of those sessions, you don’t want to see me typing.

Anyway…  news has been pretty quiet to date.  There’s not a whole lot more to report.  I’ve got photos of the showroom preparing to upload, but most of it is what we’ve seen before.

However…  Hasbro is kicking off their seminar tomorrow, and it promises to be full of new information about G.I. Joe: Renegades, other 2011 plans, and there should be some new product to check out as well.

Eagle eyed picture watchers have hopefully located a new Spirit figure in various diorama pictures already.  But if not…

Looks like he’s a combination of other parts, but a pretty awesome combination.  I promise more good stuff is coming, it just hasn’t hit yet.