Friday, February 23, 2024

Action Figure Review: Shadow Tracker from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   In January the newest series of Walmart exclusive G.I. Joe: Classified Series figures shipped out and, once again, they features the Night Force theme for the Joe team members. Tunnel Rat and Wolf Spider were the Joe team members in Night Force gear (Tunnel Rat's a repaint while Wolf Spider is a completely new character that reuses some parts from other figures) but Shadow Tracker, a member of Cobra, might be the star of the show. Shadow Tracker was created during the Pursuit of Cobra era, an era which was perhaps the best post-vintage era ever for 1/18th scale G.I. Joe figures. The Pursuit of Cobra figures seemed to draw from a variety of pop culture sources and featured "Jungle Assault" versions of Duke, Spirit, and Recondo that felt suspiciously like tributes to Dutch, Billy, and Blain from the 1987 film Predator, one of the few truly perfect motion pictures to ever exist. And who did those guys square off against? Shadow Tracker, a mask wearing, blade wielding jungle hunter who sported dreadlocks and various trophies made from bone. This guy absolutely rocked the Joe fandom back in 2011 and he's still a pretty unique villain in the Classified Series today. Ready for an incredible new menace for your Joes to face off against? Then join me after the break...


The Facts:

Height: 6 1/2 inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed drop down hips, ball jointed waist, mid-torso hinge, butterfly pecs, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, ball jointed neck base, and a barbell jointed head.

Accessories: 2 masks, compound bow, stabilizer, kukri, tomahawk, hatchet holster, necklace, quiver, and arrow.

Non-Scalper Price: $25 dollars

The Positives:

* Shadow Tracker is quite similar to the 2011 Pursuit of Cobra figure but isn't a direct 1:1 replica or anything. He's still wearing clothing designed for hunting in the jungle, though he's sporting a bit more armor. His vest looks like it give him a bit of protection, but it's clearly designed for storing lots of gear he needs for hunting his prey. It's a separate piece that sits over his torso (nonremovable) and has a shoulder pad made from the skull of something he's killed. His gauntlets and loves also sport some protection, probably both for combat and protecting his hands while using his bow. He's also wearing an animal hide from a rope belt. With green, grey, and black, he definitely can blend into the jungle and into the night, making him a formidable adversary for Night Force. 

* The original Shadow Tracker had a translucent yellow mask on, which this figure comes with too, but the yellow mask wasn't removable. Underneath the mask was what looked like a skull-like face, maybe just another part of the mask. The Classified Shadow Tracker has a black skull-mask with green highlights and solid white eyes. It's quite creepy and gets you thinking about the significance of the mask. Is it just to scare people or is it maybe melded to his face, like Black Mask. Maybe it has personal significance, or covers a scarred visage he'd rather not expose?

* From the back you can not only check out the scale-like pattern on the light green part of his vest but you can also see the detail in Shadow Trackers dreadlocks. They're quite nicely sculpted and there's an interesting paint effect that gives the top of them a whitish-greyish look. Is this some sort of style choice or is Shadow Tracker supposed to be a middle aged guy with some grey showing up at his roots?

* He comes with two swappable masks, the first being the aforementioned translucent mask from the original figure. While it looks like it's made of some sort of high-impact plastic, like a face shield or a hockey mask, the style definitely seems reminiscent of the Predator's mask. I wonder if these function like some driving glasses, making things appear brighter in low-light conditions?

* The second mask is new to the Classified Series take on Shadow Tracker, and it's my favorite. It's a creepy looking skull. That's a very disturbing thing to come across when sneaking through the jungle. Does anyone else see this and think of the Hobby Horse skull that one of the Waits wears in Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford?

* Here's a closer look at Shadow Tracker's bone gauntlet and the animal skull shoulder pad. The shoulder pad is attached to the vest and moves around enough to not inhibit the shoulder articulation. 

* Besides just having some really cool armored plating on his kneepads, thighs, and shins, Shadow Tracker is also wearing boots with what looks like a flame pattern. They're pretty slick looking. 

* Here's a look at the animal skin hanging from his waist. Check out those printed on spots. What kind of animal was this, anyway?

* The articulation in this series has been killer all around and Shadow Tracker continues that tradition of excellence. He moves really well with his chest being the only point of articulation inhibited, and that's due to his vest. I'm nonplussed by that, though, as the vest looks really good and his arms and waist move just fine. Overall, he's really fun to play with. Some bow wielding poses can be a bit wonky, but that's true with nearly every action figure that uses a bow. 

* The Pursuit of Cobra Shadow Tracker came with lots of accessories, more than even the Classified Series figures does. Those guys were loaded down, though the Classified Shadow Tracker ought to make most other modern figures jealous with his weaponry. First up is his nifty compound bow. It's not the same as Storm Shadow's; it's a completely new mold, and a better one. I'm not a bow hunter myself but I know a bowhunter named Nock Fletching and I showed this to him. He gave it a thumbs up and just said "Right on!" I take that as meaning Hasbro did a good job here.

* Shadow Tracker's compound bow also has an unusual little doohickey on the end that Nock tells me is a stabilizer. He said it reduces the noise and vibration from when the arrow is released and helps you to keep a steadier aim on the bow. They also help the parts of the compound bow to fall into place faster, making for a quicker, more accurate aim. The stabilizer is removable, so if you don't want it on there (Nock says he uses one but he knows plenty of other folks who don't) you can pop it off. 

* I showed Nock this arrow and he pointed out the fletching on the back of it, which is the same as his last name...

OK, so I don't really know a Nock Fletching. I made him up. I just wanted to be cool. I just googled stuff and read some articles. 

* His quiver fits on his back and has three nonremovable arrows sculpted in. It's a smaller, sleek quiver, probably so Shadow Tracker can move through the jungle more quickly and quietly. I imagine he uses this and the pouches in his vest to carry everything he needs. 

* For closeup kills, Shadow Tracker carries a kukri. This is really similar to the kukri the 1/18th scaled figure came with and it makes a cool weapon for him that's different than just a regular knife. 

* The quiver has clips and loops on it so you can attach the compound bow, the stabilizer and the kukri. The lone loose arrow also fits into the quiver.

* Shadow Tracker also comes with what looks like a tomahawk. It's definitely longer and thinner than a hatchet, so I'm going with it being a tomahawk. It's a very modern design, kind of what you'd call a tactical tomahawk. 

* There's a removable thigh strap with a loop for holding the tomahawk in, so that means Shadow Tracker can hold all of his weapons with his hands free. You just have to select which mask he's wearing. 
The Negatives:

*The removable stabilizer is very cool but unfortunately the peg it fits over is very thin and seems a bit fragile. Just take care.

* It's also a bit of a bummer that there's nowhere for the arrow to clip on the bow to help aid in posing. 

   Shadow Tracker is a really cool looking figure and a pretty exciting way to start 2024 for the Classified Series. While I still love getting updates of the classic figures, I get really excited when Hasbro releases new characters or figures of characters from the 2nd and 3rd generation lines. There were some great characters released during those years and there are many I'd love to see make it into the Classified Series. Shadow Tracker is an Epic figure and a terrific update to the now 13 year old original figure. And yes, it makes me feel really old to consider that the Pursuit of Cobra line is that old. Sheesh. 

This is the first figure of Shadow Tracker I've reviewed on here. For more G.I. Joe: Classified Series reviews check out the following:


  1. Replies
    1. For sure. Now we need Jungle versions of the Joes to serve as doppelgangers of the Predator Crew. I'd buy those in a heartbeat!

  2. I don't know how I ended up here, but this was an INCREDIBLE read! I don't even collect figures. Kept me engaged all the way through. Man, what a cool figure, I get why this hobby is a thing! :D

    1. Thanks Jordan! I appreciate it! Maybe you need to pick up a few G.I. Joe: Classified Series figures. They're incredibly fun to pose, photograph, and mess around with.

  3. Excellent review as always! I'll be picking this up.

    1. Glad to hear it. Shadow Tracker is a cool one for sure. Also, I'm totally jealous that you have a picture of yourself with Carrie Fisher!

    2. Thanks! Met Carrie Fisher at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 and she was wonderful!


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