Tuesday, August 10, 2021

2005 Comic Pack Stalker

The Comic Packs were an ingenious idea.  They were a cheap way to sell kids a lot of toys with a built in story.  But, more importantly, they were a way to get collectors some figures that they had been clamoring for since the beginning of the internet.  Sadly, though, the promise of the Comic Packs was wasted with poor figure choices.  The most damning release in the first few packs, though, was the reuse of Stalker in the first wave of 2005 packs while the first use of him was still collecting dust on pegs around the country.

Hasbro was clear that the Oktober Guard wave of Comic Packs saw a truncated production run.  For about a month in the spring of 2005, you could easily find them.  Then, they were gone.  Usually, when this happened, more would show up a few months later.  But, that didn't happen with the Oktober Guard packs.  Collectors of the day were, mostly, able to find them.  But, within a few months, Horrorshow began to appreciate a bit on the secondary market.  This was a pre-cursor to what was going to happen over the next 15 years.  Slowly, the Oktober Guard packs increased in value.  Horrorshow would spike and then come back down a bit.  But, it was a slow progression to where, in 2021, he's more than a $100 figure.  Which, frankly, is insane.  But, modern collectors aren't keen on the actual availability of the figure at the time of his release and mistake current market scarcity for real rarity.  You see it with a lot of the 2000's era Joe releases as well as Funskool and even some Plastirama stuff.  The market, though, should be correcting soon.

Stalker got a lot of re-issues in the repaint era.  The best, though, is the 1997 figure.  And, it's really not even close.  The Vietnam figure is next in line.  It's the best use of this new head.  This 2005 figure and the 2004 figure upon which he's based just don't stack up.  They offer nothing that you can't get in a different figure that was done better.  The green on this 2005 version is nice.  But, it was so close on the heels of the 2004 version that it seemed overdone the second it hit the shelves.  The painted details are pretty strong, though.  If you can forgive the yellow boots, his knife and grenade are painted silver.  But, the grenade has a black handle.  It's an unnecessary detail that gives the figure more depth than a single colored weapon would have.  The red collar is similar.  It's not essential.  But, because it's there, this Stalker isn't as monochromatic in appearance as the 1983 original.

This Stalker holds but one memory.  Around 2013, my parents moved out of the home in which I grew up.  They had owned the house for over 40 years.  So, there was a ton of crap to remove.  I hoped I'd find an old Joe figure or two and snap a couple of last pictures in the backyard.  But, none showed up.  So, I set out upon a quest to hit up a couple of local flea markets I remembered from the old days.  I struck out at the first couple.  But, the last, and largest provided a single score.  Here, I found a bag that included a bunch of military dollar store junk figures along with mint copies of Horrorshow, Stormavik and this Stalker.  The price?  $1.  So, I snatched them up and took them back to get a final pic of them in the yard.  Sadly, the pics really didn't turn out.  So, I've never posted them.  But, that's the only memory this Stalker holds for me.  (Oh, and the cheap, generic figures in the bag?  They are now at my mother's new house where my nieces and nephews still play with them.)

The Comic Packs all had bad gear: at least until they switched over the DTC.  But, at retail, the packs just featured a hodge-podge of weapons that sometimes might make a bit of sense but otherwise were just crap that Hasbro could cheaply pump into production.  This Stalker did include the newly sculpted M-16 that had debuted a year earlier.  While not a great weapon for Stalker, it was always nice to get another version of this weapon.  He then also included a remake of the 1990 Ambush's rifle.  It's not a bad weapon.  But, outside of Ambush, I see it as a Cobra weapon.  (I got a version of it with my 1994 Flint and gave it to a 1994 Viper back in 1995 or 1996.)  Despite having Stalker's M-32 mold in 1997, Hasbro never released it with another Stalker figure after that.  This was a shame as I still associate that weapon with Stalker and he looks off with any other guns.

These days, this Stalker will sell for $30.  That's stupidly high.  The figure isn't that good.  And, this is the type of figure that will fall precipitously when the market corrects.  Carded versions, though, will cost nearly $200.  But, almost all of that value is in the Horrorshow figure with the remainder in Stormavik.  If you're going to drop serious money on a Comic Pack Stalker, buy the Vietnam version.  It's more expensive, but a substantially better figure.  The 2004 figure that uses the same mold can be purchased for about 1/5 the price of the darker green version, too. So, there's still a cheap option to get the head if it's something you want.  For me, this is an example of the folly of new collectors.  There's enough of these figures out there and not too many people really like it.  But, it appears "rare" to those who are new to the hobby and you see prices that far outweigh the figure's demand.  It makes this an easy figure to skip.

2005 Comic Pack Stalker, 1984 Thunder, 1985 Bomb Disposal

2005 Comic Pack Stalker, 2018 Outlaw, Kickstart, Red Laser Army

2005 Comic Pack Stalker, 2002 BJ's Gift Set Dial Tone

2005 Comic Pack Stalker


  1. I guess they had to cost out those new Horrorshow parts.
    Looking at the actual issue, the obvious choice to make is Clutch in Cobra Disguise. It could've been mostly a repaint itself of Comic pack #3 Clutch with a removable helmet and mask.
    If recreating the cover of #7 was important (which never seemed to be a priority in comic packs), then Brekhov would've been in that set with Stalker.

    I'm reminded of issue #9 were we got a rather boring assortment instead of orange Cobra frogman and the Cobra spy/assassin Brain Hassel.

    It's still downright insulting that Dr. Venom wasn't made.

  2. It is downright astonishing that we never got an oring dr. Venom, despite being THE main villain for 15+ issues.