G.I. Joe 30th Anniversary Stalker
As a comic fan, I've always had a soft spot for Stalker, since he was so heavily utilized throughout much of the Marvel run. His relationship with Snake Eyes was always a great aspect of the character, and Hama took someone who was kind of a part of the crowd with the original 13 and immediately injected personality and background into him. As so many of those characters faded into obscurity with more modern replacements, Stalker still maintained a presence and as such, he's still a focal character thirty years later.
I remember being very pleasantly surprised when he was revealed as one of the characters to appear in G.I. Joe: Resolute, and I was extremely excited he ended up making the cut as a member of one of the Resolute 7-packs. While there has been some disagreement among the fandom as to the look of the dreadloks, for some reason I really like them, and I think it adds some character to the G.I. Joe squad leader.
Hama has often said that is a reason he sort of resents Duke, because it took away from Stalker, who had been the Marvel Comic's designated field leader in some capacity.
Now, I went on record with my Pursuit of Cobra Snake Eyes Wave 3 review saying that while I like it when Hasbro does new tooling for their figures, I would have no complaints if they dipped back into the Snake Eyes well as often as they feel the need. They've already done this with the Cobra Trooper and the Steel Brigade, and now they do it with one of my all time favorite old school G.I. Joe members out there. I couldn't be happier.
Using the base tooling from Snake Eyes immediately gives Stalker a great military look and feel with the Commando sweater and bulky, heavily detailed combat pants. The range of motion in this figure is fantastic, with great movement in the elbows, knees, and additional articulation in the wrists for holding weapons.
Where Snake Eyes is all in black, Stalker is painted in various shades of green, though the green is extremely light. If I have any complaints about this figure it is that he is almost desaturated. I would have loved to have seen Stalker colored in a bit more rich greens and browns instead of these mildly different shades of neutral green. In images he almost appears gray, and while he is definitely not gray, he's not quite as green as I would like.
Stalker comes pretty nicely equipped as well. He sports the same webgear as Jungle Duke, which is awesome. I am a big fan of the design of that webgear, and it works excellently for the G.I. Joe Army Ranger. The double straps, large pouches, and knife sheath are all great components of the webgear making it a very cool "jungle" accessory. He also comes with his familiar old school machine gun, the pistol/silencer combination from Snake Eyes (as well as the knife), another knife from the Jungle Duke, and a knife from Shadow Tracker. Yeah, he's sporting some blades.
For the most part Stalker can hold all of these weapons on his person somewhere, but the Shadow Tracker knife doesn't have a spot. It has a peg for a backpack hole, but the Jungle Duke webgear covers up the backpack hole on Stalker, so it doesn't quite work out. Still, the number of accessories and the quality of the accessories are both great aspects of this figure, even if there isn't anything new here.
Over the past few years, Hasbro has improved their technique for offering repaints, yet still giving collectors and consumers some level of value. This is a perfect example. There is nothing new here at all, but the end result is a terrific figure, and a great update to the Stalker character. I can't recommend this figure enough, especially for those old school comic fans who love the Stalker character as I do. It really is a great figure.
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