I’ve always loved the B.A.T. figures. I even ordered an internet exclusive set in 2003 when I wasn’t really collecting Joes. I’ve still got those around here somewhere.
The Battle Android Troopers represent a major divergence in me and my father’s feeling s about GI Joe. I had enjoyed years of spoiling due to my father being in the military and being fully behind the concept of selling military service to eight-year-olds as a great idea. But 1986 is when GI Joe got really wacky and he started to give me that certain mouth contortion that I would grow so familiar with over the course of my adolescence. It meant, “The stuff you’re into is so stupid.”
This from the man that had once joyfully arranged Star Wars toys under the Christmas tree to represent scenes from the movie. That’s what adulthood does to some of us, I guess.
Anyway, I love everything about Cobra’s Battle Android Troopers. Their detachable forearms that can be replaced with guns, flamethrowers, giant crab-like claws (give me a B.A.T. claw over a Clawful claw any time) and whatever the heck that cone-shaped thing is supposed to be. Their lenticular chests and to a degree even the hollow tube-filled chests form that misstep in the early 2000’s. I love the black and yellow color scheme of the original, but I love some of the variants Hasbro has come up with as well. The translucent Inferno ones from that internet set are my favorite.
Now we have an all-new variation on the B.A.T. – the Jungle B.A.T.!
First Glance: I like that Hasbro is doing environmental themes with the Joes right now. So far we’ve had desert, urban, jungle and arctic. I really hope they get around to some aquatic stuff, and not just repaints of Torpedo and Wet-Suit.
The Jungle B.A.T. looks nice and manages to put camo pants on a robot without it looking stupid. You might ask why Cobra clothes their robots rather than just painting them whatever color would fit into the environment but you should probably just shut the hell up. These are people that make their enemies fight each other to the death in neon gladiator pits or find their way through a funhouse filled with snake-related gimmicks. Practicality is not their watchword.
Sculpt: The base figure is exactly the same as the last modern B.A.T., which is as it should be. I’m not a big fun of the techno-doodad on the figure’s right thigh, but I am a huge fan of the functional holster on its left. The forearms remove easily and all the different attachments look good and fit well.
Design: The camo looks better than I thought it would. I was a little less excited about this Jungle B.A.T. than some other versions, but I’d buy a pink Hello Kitty B.A.T. if they made one, so I got two of these. Once it they were out of the package I was happier with them. I thought just their pants were camo, but the shirts are as well so it doesn’t look as goofy. The paint on the visible robotic parts looks great, with a black wash over the silver to give them an aged look. There is an awful lot of detail going on with these guys – more than you might expect from a generic troop builder.
Accessories: Lots. Three different attachments for the arms, the standard B.A.T. backpack, a pistol, a rifle and a chain gun with a bullet strap and backpack. You also get a bandolier and an alternate head with “Battle Damage”. I am disappointed this version doesn’t have the swappable chest plate. I hate permanent damage on a figure. I could have given up the whole heavy artillery rig if we could have just gotten an undamaged chest plate.
The peg on the ammo backpack is too long and looks ridiculous, but a pair of wire cutters can fix that right up.
Packaging: Simple Joe packaging. For this scale of figure, nothing will ever beat the classic plastic blister glued to cardboard. They’ve brought the filecards back, but I really wish they still had that tab at the top left.
Overall: Great troop builders. Buy four of them. With all the accessories you can make quite a few different-looking B.A.T.s.
4 out of 5
It would be a “5”, but the chest plate thing really bugs me.
Until next time, stay creepy