Wednesday, October 5, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe 30th Anniversary - Sgt Stalker

Produced by Hasbro | Released September 2011

SGT STALKER developed his survival skills growing up on the mean streets of his hometown, and sharpened them even more in advanced combat training. He uses his keen intelligence and quick perception to maintain a calm, cool atmosphere in high-stress situations. Quick to react, he moves like lightning: silent, fast and strong.

Packaging Shots

Sgt Stalker
Having been disappointed numerous times over the last few weeks, you can imagine how surprised I was during a shopping trip yesterday to find Sgt Stalker at retail. As the only original release in the first Wave of the 30th Anniversary figures (OK, so the Hazard-Viper is a re-issue of a figure never ''officially'' released, but still...) Sgt Stalker was a figure I'd certainly been looking forward to. But was he worth the wait?

Like many GI Joes, his basic sculpt is rather detailed but you may also get that you've sense of seen it all before, due to many of these parts being re-used from previous releases. Which is fine, as they're (A) supposed to be military-issue uniforms and (B) very good parts. As is often the case with Hasbro's releases, it's more about how the individual pieces are used to create something new rather than the figures being unique and Sgt Stalker is a good example of how - when they get it right - Hasbro's designers can be remarkably creative.

Sgt Stalker is clad in a ribbed sweater, combat fatigues and a webbing/harness (which is a separate piece and may be removed.) It's a pretty good look, overall and there's a lot of nice detail here, with a number of (working) weapon holsters/sheaths combining with more ''decorative'' detail such as the shirt's ribbing and the pants' folds. The only minor point is that his elbows seem a little odd in their sculpting, as if the joint is too far down the arm or something. It's hard to describe but there's something just not quite right about them.

The head sculpt is very good. Sgt Stalker's dreadlocks are sculpted to appear as individual pieces and the beret is - surprisingly - very cool-looking. The facial detail is also nicely sculpted, with Sgt Stalker having a very expressive scowl on his face. I like it a lot.

Articulation is good, on the whole. The figure includes the new tilt-able wrist joint, which is a definite improvement and something I hope Hasbro continues to use. There are no issues with joint movement and even the ponytail doesn't inhibit movement. 

However, when you come to pose your Sgt Stalker you may find his hand sculpt/pose to be a little odd. Like Agent Helix, getting him to grip a pistol in a lifelike manner is rather difficult. The angle of his hand makes it appear a rather dainty task and - as you can see in the image below - the included pistols just don't quite sit properly in his hands.

Paint-wise, Sgt Stalker is very good. The basic green/grey of his uniform is augmented with black accessories and - although it may not be clear from the images - features a jungle camouflage design. It's very subtle but effective and I like it a lot. The app itself is nicely done, with the facial detail being particularly good. The only thing I wonder about is his beret badge. The packaging shows it as being a red, yellow and blue detail but - at least on my figure - it's unpainted.

Like most modern GI Joe figures, Sgt Stalker includes a number of weapons and accessories.

There's a lot to like here: they're all cast from black plastic, so they look lifelike; there's a mix of weapons including a dagger, machete, twin pistols and a sub-machine gun; and most of the accessories can be stored on the figure in some manner.

However, as mentioned above, Sgt Stalker's hands aren't always up to the task of holding his gear; the silenced pistol features a teeny-tiny silencer that will be lost within seconds of play by the majority of younger collectors (and some older ones); the machete features a large ''plug'' on one side, as if it's intended to connect to the figure in some manner, but I've yet to work this out (anybody know what it's supposed to do?); and worst of all, the SMG stock is simply too long to really fit properly into the figure's arms.

Whilst I appreciate all the gear, I wish somebody at Hasbro had actually sat down and ''dressed'' the figure with it all to see how it worked together.

Sgt Stalker also includes his own stand.

Final Thoughts
Sgt Stalker is one of those releases you think of in terms of ''fair'' or ''solid.'' He has some nice details and looks cool but there's also not much about him to really get you excited. With better hands and some nicer accessories he'd probably be a cooler figure but even then, he falls into the ''good but not particularly exciting'' camp. Don't get me wrong, he's fairly well produced and looks pretty cool but there's really nothing here we haven't seen before.

I could see kids enjoying playing with the figure but the issue of his non-gripping/oddly-sculpted hands could see a lot of frustration on the part of the younger collector. And the aforementioned silencer is pretty much guaranteed to go missing. But the figure itself is sturdy enough and could easily withstand a good play session.

For collectors, he's a fairly solid investment. He just lacks that ''wow'' factor seen with such figures as, say, General Hawk or Steel Brigade from the previous wave. But if you're a fan of the character or you like the look of the figure then what we have here is pretty good. Just don't expect to be blown away.

Production QualityB
Final ScoreB+

Image Gallery


  1. I just dont care for this version of Stalker i guess i just like the original one i had as a kid the best.

  2. This one is my original one... :)


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