Seems these days it’s almost impossible to tell what the release cadence of G.I. Joe: Classified figures are. While Stalker and the Crimson Twins aren’t due for domestic release for some time yet, I was able to get a hook up from a friend who got their hands on them early, then promptly canceled my outstanding pre-orders. The global supply chain has thrown things in a bit of an upheaval, but in spite of that I’ve seen a relatively consistent stream of Classified releases in 2022, especially over the past month or two.
By all accounts, things are just going to pick up, so hopefully you’re all glued to Hasbro PulseCon in October to see what the fine folks with the G.I. Joe team have up their sleeves.
Meanwhile, here’s a look at the simple, yet spectacular Stalker from the ninth wave (at least I think it’s the ninth wave) of G.I. Joe: Classified. Check out the review at the G.I. Joe: Classified Review Page or linked directly below.
Stalker is one of those intriguing characters in the G.I. Joe mythology. As odd as it sounds there were certain characters that really found their audience in the cartoon while others were made popular through the pages of the comic. Duke was a cartoon stalwart while Snake Eyes was the single most important hero of the comics. Scarlett bridged that gap, rising to large levels of popularity throughout both series, while Stalker definitely became a more popular character through the Marvel issues, even before he was linked to Snake Eyes’ back story.
Because I was always a comic reader back in the day, Stalker became one of my favorite characters and I’m thrilled to say the Classified version basically takes everything I love about the character and wraps it up into one nice package.
As one of the original 13, Stalker has been with the team since the beginning, though for whatever reason he’s sort of dipped in and out of popularity. I would wager he’s one of the core members of the Joe team and I’m glad to see that Hasbro seems to realize that as well, giving him his due relatively early in the line.
That’s not to say this Stalker figure is perfect, there are some issues, but by and large it does a good job updating Lonzo Wilkinson to this new universe and at this new scale.
While Hasbro has remained exceptionally faithful in their modern interpretations of key vintage characters, I’m happy to say they give Stalker some nice updates to make him work as a more modern combat operative.
Stalker’s head sculpt is absolutely perfect. Extremely expressive and full of personality, it looks exactly how I’d picture Stalker to look, complete with a removable beret. The body itself is layered with sculpted texture, looking more like a thick uniform than the original 1982 bodysuit.
The intricate texture of the pants is another nice addition– it’s pretty typical of these figures, but it looks nice and adds a touch of realism. Stalker’s web gear is very reminiscent of his vintage look, but it still works for the more modern interpretation, especially with the addition of shamog, which is a little bulky, but does help modernize the figure somewhat.
If I have any comments or complaints, Stalker’s colors almost come off a little bit too monotone. There isn’t much difference between the greens and the browns throughout, so he doesn’t pop quite as much as some other figures do. That being said, I think Hasbro did a great job overall, giving us a modern interpretation of G.I. Joe’s first Army Ranger.
Great, as we’ve come to expect. The dual strap web gear does restrict mobility a tiny bit, but not nearly as much as a full-torso tactical vest might. As a result, he still poses well and can achieve all sorts of effective shooting poses. His articulation is terrific.
Like another recent figure I purchased, Outback, Stalker comes with a nice amount of various different military-styled accessories. A lot of the gear that these figures come with is predicated on how they can hold that gear. In that way, the G.I. Joe operatives seem to have an advantage, because you can give them backpacks, holsters and sheaths to hold everything they need to hold. I love the pistol holster with a spot for the rectangular suppressor as well. For some reason, I really love that suppressor. I have no idea how realistic it is, but it looks cool and that’s really all I care about when it comes to these figures.
The old school machine gun is very much like the one the original Stalker was released with, complete with a removable magazine that fits into the weapon sheath backpack. He’s got a knife complete with a thigh sheath, the removable beret and the aforementioned shamog which can cover the top half of his torso. I haven’t quite decided if I prefer that look or not.
Stalker’s main weapon appears to be a stoner-influenced machine gun, and though at first I thought it was a made up weapon, the following post on the Facebook group G.I. Joe: Classified Elite led me down another path. In fact, Stalker’s weapon seems at least partially based on the FN EVOLYS but perhaps draws some inspiration to the FiNN LMG found within Call of Duty Modern Warfare. In fact, the weapon seems to be almost a dead ringer for that one. Keep in mind, I’m far from a weapons expert, but I do enjoy seeing where inspiration is drawn and while I don’t mind those early Classified figures, I’m all for a trend toward more realistic looking weapons as well. This one is a good one. Thanks to both James and Brandon from the above Facebook group for pointing out those other weapons.
Stalker is a great, great figure. I’m thrilled to have him join my G.I. Joe ranks and from an execution standpoint, Hasbro did a pretty excellent job.
I wish the color scheme was a bit more exciting, but beyond that, they gave him a ton of great accessories a terrific head sculpt and he’s just a great, if somewhat basic, figure.
G.I. Joe Classified Sgt. Stalker
Although it’s a pretty straight forward modern military update, I love what Hasbro does with Stalker, allowing the collector to go more vintage or modern as they choose. While the color scheme is a bit bland, the sculpt, accessories and overall character are all great enough to warrant high review scores.
– That head sculpt is terrific
– Great accessories and love that he can carry them all. Great stuff
Like Big Brawler and Dial Tone, the Club used the 2003 Toys “R” Us Tiger Force set as an inspiration for Stalker, and I’m glad to say, this time the execution was pretty spectacular.
I do feel the need to say up front that I would have loved Stalker even more if they’d went with the blue and orange, but even as is, this update is really well done.
Using a combination of G.I. Joe: Retaliation parts, with arms from the G.I. Joe Trooper and legs from Ultimate Duke, Stalker has a really nice look and feel, with detailed sculpting etched into his baggy uniform, which manages to maintain a great sense of articulation mixed among all the wrinkles and design aesthetics. I really love those G.I. Joe Trooper arms especially, with the wrapped wrist devices and range of motion in the elbows. Little touches like the tactical holster on the right leg also make a huge difference, and Stalker ends up looking awesomely military even as he runs around in yellow tiger stripes.
Of course its the new head sculpt that really sets him apart. Boss Fight Studio turns in another remarkable work of art with a great rendition of Stalker, featuring a great looking open-mouth sneer and a head that nearly perfectly fits the existing beret. Not only does the head look great, but doing it without a beret gives the Club future flexibility to add other headgear to it (like a knit cap perhaps?).
From the next generation parts choices to the great new head sculpt, immediately Stalker stands apart from many other figures in this set. The color scheme helps, too. With a black jacket, similar to his Talking Battle Commander version, Stalker has just the right trim of yellow throughout his uniform, on his wrists and on the beret. His legs have a terrific tiger stripe pattern of yellow and black, managing to fit the theme really well, while calling back to previous iterations of the character.
I’ve already mentioned the removable beret, but Stalker also has the great G.I. Joe: Retaliation Snake Eyes webgear in the awesome shade of green that I love. His backpack is the Pursuit of Cobra Snow Job one with a removable phone and antenna, as well as a hole to hook his large machine gun into. Yes, Stalker also comes with the mammoth machine gun that Retaliation Roadblock came with, which disassembles into several smaller parts. Of course he also comes with a pistol for his holster and a machine gun as well.
Stalker is the whole package. As the Convention Tiger Force team leader, he has a fantastic new head sculpt, a great build, and some really fun accessories. He’s a great addition to the Tiger Force team and excellent Convention figure.
Like Dial Tone and Big Brawler, Sgt. Stalker comes from the Toys “R” Us 6 Pack, and where the other two had some shortcomings, Stalker succeeds. A great new head sculpt by Boss Fight Studio, some excellent modernized parts choices, a really exciting new deco, and an impressive allotment of accessories brings to life an exceptionally nice Tiger Force update.
I know I missed a couple of days last week, but we’re picking right up today with more guest reviews from Mysterious Stranger! This time around, we’re catching up a bit with two fantastic new members of the G.I. Joe team.
Ugh, I’ve been lagging again. With the furious onslaught of G.I. Joe: Retaliation news and so much other stuff happening in my personal life and the fandom, I’ve just lost step a bit with my IDW reviews, but I’m going to endeavor to get back up to speed if at all possible.
Hopefully no one thinks a lack of reviews is any indication of my enjoyment of what IDW is doing, because it is not. I’m still thoroughly enjoying the roller coaster ride of the Real American Hero title especially, though I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little bit happy to see this Blue Ninja saga coming to an end.
To read my full review of what is advertised as the “Conclusion” to the Blue Ninja saga click the Read the Rest of the Story link below.