Sgt. Stalker (2002)

As much furor as we’ve seen in the Joe fandom from the reduced articulation of the new movie figures, it pales in comparison to the epic T-crotch hissy fit of 2002. I still find it amazing that Hasbro so quickly did an about-face on the articulation of the GI Joe relaunch back then.  It’s interesting to remember the angst about the new construction, because just five years later, the familiar rubber ring was gone again, replaced by a mid-torso joint.

The first series of 2002 had a few effective redesigns, but the new construction created its own issues. Snake Eyes for instance was stuck in a pre-posed, wide leg stance that limited his use for me. Storm Shadow I felt was a great redesign, but the chunky style held it back. Unfortunately, neither of the two were retooled with the o-ring construction.

By the time this Stalker was released, the trusty O-ring was back, and everything was right with Joe. Well, not quite. Proportions became the focus of some complaints. Stalker didn’t fare too badly, and was one of the figures I thought could “make do” alongside the 80’s and 90’s figures.

His new uniform is quite nice, and is another of the overlooked positives of the era. Having a Stalker not outfitted in either green camo or tundra garb was a nice change. The high collared jacket gives him a more commanding look, befitting his frequent take charge role on the team. When I first saw this figure, I thought that maybe he’d been promoted, since it seemed that previously only guys like Hawk could come back to the line wearing a spiffy new jacket. Stalker goes Hawk one better though, and gets a Joe logo on the back. Nice.


  • I think by 2007 most fans knew that the o-ring had run its course. I’m still not that wild about the torso joint replacing it, however.

    This Stalker has a mean look to him which jives nicely with DDP’s then new, older, tougher family man. I like the high collared jacket and bright green here for some reason. Not the best Stalker by far but a good one for its time.

  • I’m not particularly interested in the new sculpt era figures as collectibles in and of themselves, but sometimes I WOULD like to see Hasbro look to some of the characters and designs for figures using newer construction. I’d love to have a Stalker using modern construction that took its cues from this figure – the high collared jacket, the gauntlet/bracer look on his hands. I’d definitely buy it. Preferably it would NOT have dreadlocks.

  • Of the two decos used for this figure, which do you guys prefer?

  • The anti-t-crotch “hissy fit” was probably the last time the majority of Joe fandom agreed on something. The return of the o-ring was a victory for fandom overall, of course this was before being a corporate apologist was the cool thing for Joe fan sites. Remember the complaints had a lot more to do with reduced articulation, the losing of the ball jointed hips, more than the love of a circular piece of rubber. When “modern Style” emerged it still had ball jointed hips, and met with greater acceptance. Had “modern style” design appeared in 2002, there would’ve been less negative reaction.

    Currently people are saying the new 4″ Spider-Man figures stink for having t-crotches. With good reason? Who wants to settle for less at the same or even a higher price?

  • As much as I love Stalker, I think I somehow managed not to have this figure in my collection. I think between his kind of weak packmates (I was never a fan of the Neo-Viper Commander in general or the color scheme on the “crazy techno arms” Zartan) and the slightly wonky proportions, I just missed out on him. Looking at it closer, he’s actually a pretty good figure but just one that hasn’t been on my radar until now…also, Senny Cull, I’m in total agreement on the lameness of the T-crotched movie Spider-Man figures. Why buy a Spider-Man figure (or a Joe, for that matter) with a more limited range of movement than we’re used to?

  • I think the T crotch Joes had more to do with kenner taking over hasbros Boys Toys division the T crotch was kenners thing and a lot od Star Wars figures from that time have the same chunky contruction that SW figures of that time had. and even today most SW figures have a T crotch construction.

  • I like this figure and for me, the jacket design makes the bulky, new-sculpt body look OK and as Clutch noted it did fit the Devil’s Due ethos very well. As for the T-crotch story, it was the limited articulation that did it for me. The current body design is OK, I still prefer waist articulation rather than upper torso, but some of the figures are very gangly and I really hate the fact that everything changed to 4″.

  • I always felt this version of Staker was underrated due to the controversy of the time. I personally love it and used it for a great many years. In some ways I think the design is much better than the 25th versions we have gotten.

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