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Hasbro G.I. Joe Classified Series: Sgt. Stalker Action Figure Review


Hey all, thanks for checking in with Dan's ToyBox! Today we're taking a look at the Hasbro G.I. Joe Classified Series: Sgt. Stalker. As with Spirit and the other Joes in my collection, I really appreciate what Hasbro has done with this line. That being said, I do have a few complaints with Sgt. Stalker, but will they affect his review score? Let's find out!


Lonzo Wilkinson, code name: Stalker, was the one of the original 13 members of the G.I. Joe team. He is the team's original Ranger and debuted in 1982. Wilkinson served in Southeast Asia as part of the same Long Range Recon Patrol team that Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow were attached to. During one mission, the team ran into trouble in the form of a platoon of Viet Cong regulars. Stalker, Storm Shadow, and Snake Eyes were the only members to escape (or so they thought) and when the extraction helicopter arrived, it looked like the trio was safe. Stalker and Storm Shadow made their way to the chopper, with Snake Eyes providing cover and then everything went crazy. The air was filled with tracer fire and Snake Eyes dropped like a ragdoll. Ignoring Stalker's orders, Storm Shadow immediately raced to save his fallen friend. The pair made it back to the helicopter and were airlifted to safety. Years later, having been selected to be part of the elite counter-terrorist unit, code named G.I. Joe, Stalker would join Hawk in recruiting Snake Eyes to the team. Stalker would hold the rank of E-5, Sergeant, when he joined the Joes and would be promoted regularly through the years, currently holding the rank of E-9, Sergeant Major. Stalker's specialty is that of Army Ranger, with his primary MOS being Infantry and his secondary MOS as both Medic and Interpreter. He would serve as the team's Field Commander on missions, until being promoted and replaced in the field by Duke. Stalker would play an integral role in a rescue mission of Snake Eyes in Sierra Gordo. Unfortunately, during the mission, Stalker would be injured and in need of med-evac. As the next ranking officer, Snake Eyes took command and ordered the rest of the team to evacuate, while he held off the pursuing Cobra Troops. Later, Stalker's leadership and skills would come under severe trial as he, Snow Job, Quick Kick, and Outback undertake a mission in Borovia. The operation goes bad, and Outback is the only team member to escape. He does so, reluctantly, under orders from Stalker. In the meantime, the remaining members are captured by Borovian authorities and imprisoned for several months in a horrible prison camp. The U.S. government disavows any knowledge of the mission and refuses to help the three Joes. G.I. Joe is ordered to stand down and not attempt any rescue mission. Not letting a silly thing like "orders" get in their way, Scarlett and Snake Eyes fake their own deaths and embark on an unsanctioned mission with Storm Shadow to rescue their comrades. They manage to pull Stalker, Quick Kick, and a deathly ill Snow Job out of Borovia and get them home safely. Once back at home, the three warriors seek out Outback to reassure him, that by following orders he did the right thing. Stalker tells him that the only thought that kept them going was that Outback had made it home and that rescue would be coming. Stalker would continue to serve with the Joe team until it was disbanded in 1994. In response to Cobra's return in 2001, the Joe team would be reinstated, and Stalker would return to duty with his long-time teammates to face this re-born threat.


When I was a kid, the 3.75" figures were awesome, though not terribly well articulated. As engineering improved so did the range of motion for those small figures. Seeing them in 1/12 scale though, is just better than I could have hoped for back then. It also means we get to discuss our four favorite categories: Accessories, Appearance, Articulation, and Affordability. After which, Stalker will receive an overall grade of zero to ten toyboxes! YO JOE!!!!


ACCESSORIES

Sgt. Stalker comes with: a removable beret, an M1911 pistol, his M3 "Grease Gun," a combat knife, his M32 Pulverizer Machine Gun, a detachable sound suppressor, and a carrying case that plugs into his back for the M3. The only thing mine was missing was his shemagh (tactical scarf). I ordered mine on Amazon and when I received it, the package was properly sealed, no extra tape or anything, which means someone at quality control must have been taking a nap. I honestly can't think of a reason why someone would take that singular piece out, so... it has to be a QC issue. I'm kind of disappointed, to be honest, because I thought it was a cool accessory for the character. If anybody has an extra shemagh floating around, I'd be happy to buy it from you. Both the M3 and M32 feature removable ammunition magazines. I appreciate the fact that Stalker can either carry or stow all of his equipment. I am disappointed that the rifle case has a tendency to slip out of the port on his back somewhat easily. I'm thinking of swabbing a tiny amount of nail polish or even a minute drop of glue into the hole to give a bit more friction and hold the plug better. As mentioned, the M3 fits in his backpack case, the pistol and suppressor are held in his thigh holster and the knife fits easily in it's sheath. Stalker's hands are then free to carry the M32. Now, I have to admit that I did see something funny in Hasbro's promotional shots for the figure. They have him posed with the magazine for the M3, and the suppressor plugged into the M32, while the ammunition for the M32 is plugged into the spot on the holster designed to hold the suppressor. I mean, I suppose you can interchange these pieces... but 1) it looks kind of ridiculous and 2) c'mon Hasbro, you guys should know better than this. Unfortunately, missing the tactical scarf is a huge no-no and drops the overall score for accessories down to 6 out of 10. (Especially considering Hasbro Pulse advertises "10 Character Inspired Accessories" and mine didn't have all of them.)



APPEARANCE

This is the modernized appearance of what Stalker looked like in the 80's and I really like it! My only real issue is that the figure is relatively monochromatic. Yes, his camo was always in different shades of green and olive drab, but this really takes that a step further. Even his boots are a dull shade of darker green. The only paint details, really, are the darker green camo splotches, the skin tone and hair, the gold on his beret insignia, the silver on his knife, and the copper color for the ammunition rounds on the M32 magazine. I would have liked to have seen maybe a wash on the rifle case or over his web gear to at least bring out the sculpted details a bit better. I also think some paint detail on the boots would have made for a nice difference. Black laces or boot soles perhaps? I mean, even some detail paint on the clasps and snaps on his web gear would have broken up the overall monotone of the figure. I will say that the sculpted detail is marvelous and Stalker's facial features, including his mustache and eyebrows look fantastic. The sculpting definitely saves the figure... well, except for one spot. The singular, most baffling thing I discovered on Stalker though was this weird brown line on only one side of his head.


What the heck?!?

When you remove his beret, you can see this... design. It's too low to be a part, and I don't recall Stalker ever having his hair parted, plus the brown doesn't match his skin tone... if this was an attempt to give him some kind of hairstyle design, it fails miserably. Thankfully his beret does conceal most of it. When looking at Stalker from a bit of a distance, this is a really great looking figure and I do enjoy having him in the collection. HOWEVER, getting in close and really inspecting the figure reveals a number of flaws that are disappointments. While the sculpting is top notch, the lazy paint applications drop the score... and that weird brown line on his head does NOT help at all. Stalker gets a mediocre 5 out of 10 for appearance.



ARTICULATION

Even with the web gear, Stalker's articulation is pretty solid, actually. His head turns easily enough, side to side, and can look down fairly well, but is somewhat limited in looking up. His shoulders rotate very well and can raise out to just above a T pose. The upper bicep cut works well and his double-jointed elbows bend in all the way, bringing his hands up to touch his shoulders! The right hand has a vertical hinge, while the left has the typical horizontal. Both can pivot easily on their pegs. His diaphragm joint will actually bend forward two clicks, in spite of his web harness, which is nice, and the waist swivel also offers a bit more range for crunches. The drop-down leg feature is one of my favorites as it helps increase the range of both splits and forward leg kicks. As a result, Stalker can nearly do a full-on split and can kick his legs forward very high. As with the biceps, the upper thigh cuts work well and aren't hindered by the holster or knife sheathe. His knees will bend in quite far, thanks to their double-joints, but I did have to warm them as the lower joint on his left leg and the upper joint on the right were very stiff. There is boot rotation for those of you who like that and his ankles hinge both up and down surprisingly well and have great pivot motion. Generally, in these reviews the appearance is the top scorer, with articulation suffering. Not so in this case. I'm really happy with how well Stalker moves, even having had to heat his knees up. I'm more than happy to give this an 8 out of 10 score for articulation. Sure, there is some room for improvement as always, but his gear doesn't hinder nearly as much as with other figures.


AFFORDABILITY

As I mentioned earlier, I bought Stalker online at Amazon. He was on sale for $23.22 plus tax and after the joy of applying rewards points, I paid a whopping $19.04. He is available on Hasbro Pulse for retail price of $24.99. Astonishingly, I actually have no real issues with this price range, simply because on the whole, G.I. Joe figures tend to come with far more accessories than Marvel Legends, thus justifying the price. Also, to date, with the exception of the Snake Eyes deluxe packs, each Joe figure I've purchased has still come in a package with a window, so that's a plus! I'm happy enough to give this a 7 out of 10 score, but only because there are still six/seven-inch figures out there from different companies that are retailing for less.


Overall, while I am very happy to have Stalker in my personal collection, I'm a bit disappointed that the figure wasn't better. The missing accessory, pedestrian paint details, and odd head sculpt really bring down what could have been a very cool figure. So, with that in mind, Sgt. Stalker earns:



6.5 out of 10 ToyBoxes

I really wanted to give this figure a higher rating but, objectively, there was just enough wrong to bring it down. He is still a fun addition, especially if you are a die-hard G.I. Joe fan, but for the casual collector, this isn't necessarily a FOMO figure. Thanks again for stopping by Dan's ToyBox and until next time... GEEK OUT!!!


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