Sideshow Collectibles 12" Stalker - A guest review by Mysterious Stranger

The Original 13.  Mention this to any G.I. Joe fan and they’ll know who you’re talking about.  They were the first 13 characters introduced in the G.I. Joe Real American Hero line back in 1982.  Launching a toy line that has grown to hundreds of characters and thousands of figures, it’s hard to believe that it all started with those first 13 soldiers.  When you take into account all the different versions of all those hundreds of characters over the last 30 years, Sideshow has a really deep well to pull from for its 1/6 G.I. Joe line.  Yet, of the 9 different Joes they’ve put out since the line launched, 4 of those are characters from the Original 13.  That fact right there should tell you something about the strength of those initial characters (thanks in no small part to Larry Hama and the filecards and comics those characters grew from) and that brings us to this review – Sideshow Collectibles 1/6 scale Stalker.

I’ve never had much exposure to Stalker until my recent return to Joe collecting back in the Sigma 6 days.  Looking back on my childhood I see that I was drawn to the more visually outstanding figures like Torpedo in his black and gray wet-suit, Mutt with his black dog trainer glove and later figures like the T.A.R.G.A.T. and v.1 Countdown.  The figures that looked cool and futuristic to my young eyes and came with a lot of really interesting accessories are what came home with me from our shopping trips (which I think explains my love of the Sigma 6 line but that’s a tale for another time).  So Stalker, in his green tiger-stripe camo just really didn’t wow me.  Since my return to G.I. Joe I’ve done a lot of research on the things I missed out on and one of the things I’ve grown attached to is the Original 13 and I’ve since begun to appreciate Stalker’s role in that team and the G.I. Joe universe as a whole.

Sideshow has gone back to the original look for Stalker and modernized it in the way we’ve seen with their other figures.  I’m looking at the exclusive version which comes with the green sweater you see in the photo above.

The regular version features the classic green “tiger stripe” camo uniform and it looks really good.   The short sleeves might not be v.1 accurate but I think they work well for a modern version of that look.  The pants have the drawstring cuffs as opposed to the elastic ones we got on Duke and Flint.  Personally I prefer the elastic but I understand the reasoning for switching to the string (it is more accurate and fits better at this scale than the elastic).  Once you get them tied in a good position the string ends can be tucked into the boots and hidden easily.
Stalkers’ webgear and backpack are done in black and his classic green beret is flocked, something that wasn’t done for Beachhead or Flint.  I have to say the flocking didn’t sit well with me at first.  But now that I have a few figures with flocked berets I’m starting to appreciate the fabric look the flocking provides.

Stalker’s head sculpt is very solid and I can definitely see the grizzled street gang member turned Special Forces soldier in the facial expression.  But the paint seems to fall a little flat.  The original ARAH figure had a distinctive moustache and every figure since has carried that forward.  The moustache is sculpted here but the paint is lighter than I’d like.  He also has a bald head with a light coat of painted stubble but again the paint is very lightly applied, same as his eyebrows.  I wasn’t expecting a dark color but the moustache being one of his “iconic” features being so light that it almost disappears to the naked eye is disappointing.

In the accessory department Stalker isn’t lacking.  He comes with his classic rifle which is a very nice touch.  The gun is a bit undersized and doesn’t look right in his hands but I appreciate the effort.  Stalker also comes with the classic cartoon laser rifle and a new, more modern rifle.  Unfortunately mine was broken in the package (the end of the barrel was snapped off) but Sideshow’s incredible customer service replaced it right away.

The rest of his gear is what we’ve gotten with past figures – grenades, spare ammo clips, a pistol and ammo clip, a great black backpack and a wicked jungle knife (which I neglected to take a picture of).  He has the full complement of hands and the “action” boot feet and the standard G.I. Joe logo figure stand.

Stalker was not only one of the Original 13 but he played a major role in the Marvel comics and has had several figures in the 3 ¾” line.  He’s a fan favorite and a great choice for the Sideshow line.  A minor paint issue and the undersized classic rifle are the only negatives I can see with this figure.  The exclusive sweater is a nice piece but not necessary at all for the classic look of the character.  I’m very happy to have him in my collection and I give him 4 out of a possible 5 stars.