Way back in 1993 just before the Joe line began to wear down, Hasbro released a fairly large amount of new figures as mail-away exclusives. A few, such as a ’91 General Hawk repaint were sold by themselves, while others were sold in sets of three to four figures, like this Stalker from the Arctic Commandos set.
The figure is a straight up repaint of ‘89 Stalker, and on the surface he doesn’t seem too interesting. ‘89 Stalker was already a really solid figure, so this guy doesn’t have much to improve upon. The main difference is that this figure replaces a lot of the green with more white, and the muddy camouflage pattern on the legs is more subdued. I rather like the change, as while ‘89 Stalker had an interesting palette, Arctic Commandos Stalker has one that’s more cohesive with the other cold-climate centric figures.
The parts for these mail-away sets were pretty sparse in general. This Stalker seemingly got the short end of the stick, coming with only a silver knife, the same one from V1 Shockwave. It’s a decent little part and Stalker can use it well enough, but it’s somewhat of a shame that he doesn’t retain any of the excellent gear from the ‘89 figure. Back when this guy came out I suppose the lack of decent weapons really didn’t matter much, since if you bought this mail-away, you presumably had some other recent figures who could share a gun or two.
Overall, the other 1993 mail-in figures were probably more interesting. But, this Stalker is a fun figure to have in a collection as both a novelty and an alternative to the 1989 figure. He’s niche and truly forgotten, so it makes him a fun and interesting collectible if you’re into that. He also benefits from being likely the best version of this mold color-wise, maybe second only to the 2007 Convention Rock ‘n Roll.
Just a few years ago all of the figures from this Arctic Commandos set weren’t too hard to find. Especially this Stalker, who some collectors ended up with in excess trying to army-build the Snow Serpent from the set. Times have changed though, and although he’s still relatively a bargain figure, none of the figures from this set are as common as they used to be. Excess stock of the 90‘s mail-aways were bought up by dealers at cheap prices and saturated the market for years. But like with Funskool figures, many once common figures are now hard to find as the GI Joe market is drying up. Still, Stalker here goes for as little as $4 to $10 when one does show up for auction. He’s a really nice collectable for that much.