numbat's review of: Stalker (European Exclusive)
"Hate till it hurts and then hate some more."
The only land-based Predator. A truly twisted mind that's capable of the purest evil. The master of the double bluff. Uses supertech 'Garble' system to protect Predator signals from Turbomaster spies. Then slyly scrambles their communications to wreak the havoc and confusion he loves. As vehicle, stands solid as a four tracked armoured satellite station and rocket launcher with five missiles. As robot, towers above the battle wielding impressive hand held fighting power.
Stalker is the coolest of the Predators (although Skyquake certainly gives him a run for his money). He has a fantastic alternate mode, and looks thoroughly intimidating as a robot. And, come on, that huge missile really rocks! He has been repainted twice, both times being renamed Soundwave (Machine Wars, 1997; Universe, 2004). You can certainly see why – he does have certain Soundwave qualities, and the head is not dissimilar. Still, I think he’s best as his G1 original (available only in Europe in 1992), with his own unique character. ‘Stalker’ is a great name, and this guy deserves it!
Stalker’s alternate mode is a tracked mobile missile launcher. It reminds me very much of G1 Doubledealer, which is no bad thing. The colour scheme is simple compared with his more recent repaints, but this is hardly surprising. Still, the simple greens and pink work really well with the white missile, and grey molded tracks.
The detailing is beautiful, with loads of interesting things to look at, and the sleek cab looks more than suitably evil. There’s also a nice sticker picking out detail on the copper coloured hatch next to the cab.
The missile looks great sitting up there, and makes you wonder why this guy only warrants a ‘9’ for firepower – surely that thing would be more like a ‘15’ for crimeny! It’s massive! There’s lots of detail on the missile as well, including some good stickers. The missile also serves as a scope of sorts, with a picture of Rotorstorm (Stalker’s nemesis) along with targeting data. A sort of crosshairs is formed on this targeting screen, and can be moved around depending on how you look through the missile, and where you point it at light. It can also combine with the smaller predators to give different targets, I believe.
The hand held gun clips to the side, and originally there were another four green missiles clipped on, but, alas, these have all gone walkabout. I do think that, although nice plastic, the gun does look a little, um, crap compared with the cool weapons the Turbomasters all got. I mean, every Predator got this same gun! Still, it is among the most powerful spring-loaded missile launchers EVER, so that’s fun!
There was also a radar dish with clipped to the other side, but, like the missiles, I seem to have lost this in my younger days. (I never liked it anyway.)
Overall, though, this is one highly displayable alternate mode, and great fun to play with!
The transformation is quite cool, although simple, with nice touches such as flaps to hide where the legs fold through. I particularly love the way the chest rotates for the head to emerge!
Although the alternate mode is superb, this is really where Stalker excels. He just looks amazing. The colour scheme is balanced nicely with the gold chest and stickers radiating from it, and the legs look really cool (and again remind me of Doubledealer). I really love the arms though. They are just so beautifully sculpted.
And, and, of course, there’s the head. As with many of this era of Transformers toys, the head is unique and really well designed. Stalker looks EVIL. And the glowing green eyes really help that, but the copper mouthpiece just makes it.
The missile looks nice perched on his shoulder, if maybe, just a tad, oversized!
And, of course, the poncy radar dish would be placed on the other shoulder, and invisible if he ever chose to raise his gun…
Articulation is, I’m afraid, lacking. Legs don’t move (unless you open the flaps at the back, in which case they can bend at the knees, and quite independently), and neither does the head. The arms move at the shoulders, and he can pivot at the waist, due to his transformation.
Still, all this means is that he HAS to strike an intimidating pose on display. He actually looks really cool without his gun, with both arms at his sides, tensing. He looks like he’s about to launch his missile, or clobber someone!
7 – It’s quite simple really, but good fun and interesting!
5 – Stalker himself is solid, but the missile is made of rather brittle plastic, and the peg on mine broke off a long long time ago.
8 – He is amazing fun, and looks great!
10 – He’ll set you back around £12 ($20) if you want him boxed, but you can pick him up for less than a couple bags if chips if you don’t mind him loose (£3 / $5)!
9 – You really ought to own some version of this guy, as it’ll improve your collection, and shine for your shelf! Just try not to get the Universe Soundwave though – it’s hideous!