This here is the Battle Beast, Deer Stalker. As with all Battle Beasts, I didn’t know Deer Stalker had an actual name when I was a kid so I named him Battle Deer.
Deer Stalker was included in the first wave of BB figures. He came packaged with Pirate Lion. It makes sense that he would appear early in the line as deer seem, at least to me, like one of the “main” animals. What do I mean by that? I’m not sure exactly. I just think that if I asked someone to rhyme off as many animal species as they can in 2 minutes they would get to “deer” fairly quickly. Of course lions, tigers, and bears immediately spring to mind. Dogs and cats are frontrunners as well. But deer are pretty abundant and common so I think they would make most people’s short list. Perhaps that’s just because of where I live. Halifax is a city but it’s surrounded by lots of trees and it’s not uncommon to see deer along the highways. Vanessa and I spotted a group of 7 or 8 of them last summer and I actually saw one while on my way to work just last month. It was casually strolling through the residential neighborhood I live in which is just outside of the downtown core.
Outside of trips to the zoo I’ve never gotten very close to one. They strike me as rather majestic beasts. They stand so alert and can sprint off so quickly. I find their movements to be so precise and elegant. Mind you, I don’t necessarily know what I’m talking about. I recall Louis CK talking about moving to a rural home in one of his stand-up specials and commenting about how so much exposure to deer changed his attitude towards them. He used to think they were majestic too but after they tore up his lawn, crapped everywhere, and made gross grunting sounds towards him he saw them as nothing more than forest pests fit for slaughter. Anyway, I’ve gotten a little off topic here, back to the toy review.
I suppose my perception of deer shaped the way I played with this figure when I was a kid. Deer Stalker was a rather rigid and quiet member of Battle Rhino’s team. He did what he had to do and didn’t concern himself with being liked by others. I imagined Stalker as a bit of a science/techie guy. I think it was the combination of his goggles and his drill hand that made him seem like he knew a thing or two about technology.
The sculpt on this figure is really nice. His legs are different that those of most other BB figures because they’re almost entirely exposed; most have boots. I imagine the lack of boots freed him up to spring around the battle field very nimbly. His armor is pretty standard but he does have an interesting cylinder on his right shoulder that reminds me of War Machine’s gatling gun, though Deer Stalker’s looks more like a laser, a light, or maybe a camera. Some Battle Beast’s had weaponized hands and as I mentioned earlier Deer Stalker has a pretty serious drill for a right hand. I imagine it could have been used pretty gruesomely on an enemy but I don’t see Stalker using it as a weapon so much as a tool when he’s working in his lab. The goggles completely cover his eyes which gives him an almost robotic look. The blank expression probably contributed to the stoic personally I assigned him; he’d be kind of like Robo-Cop. Lastly his antlers are pretty unique and neat-looking.
The color choices are great. The brown and green give him a very appropriate forest color palette. The orange highlights add a nice bit of flair. His weapon is one of my favorites from the original line. It’s basically just a giant serrated blade. As with the drill I imagine this weapon could have lead to some pretty gory battles which is why I usually let my Shark figure use it; it felt more appropriate for a more violent character.
This is a great figure amongst a whole line of great figures. If you’re not collecting Battle Beasts yet you should be. 9 out of 10.