Monday, April 4, 2011

REVIEW: GI JOE 25th Anniversary - Cobra BAT

Produced by Hasbro | Released 2008

B.A.T.s are the perfect COBRA troopers. They never question orders, complain about the chow, shirk duty or surrender. They require no leave time, sick pay or benefits of any kind, and they are cheap and easy to replace. On the other hand, B.A.T.s do no react very well to changes in field conditions, nor do they discriminate between targets. They will shoot at anything that moves, be it friend or foe. They also have an unfortunate tendency to burst into flames when hit from behind.

Packaging Shots

Cobra B.A.T.
If you haven't already figured it out from the card blurb, BATs (Battle Android Troopers) are effectively the GI Joe universe's Cybermen/Borg, a group of cybernetically-enhanced drones sent into battle to eliminate anything that stands in their way. The figure does a great job of capturing the concept of them as cyborgs and - a couple of production/design issues aside - it's a very cool figure.

The core sculpt is pretty good, if a little uniform. Although given the Cobra BAT is an Army Builder, that's really what you want. The figure uses a basic fatigue-clad body featuring a cybernetic chest panel (more on that in a second) and although not massively detailed, it serves its purpose.

This core look is enhanced through the use of cybernetic parts. As mentioned, there's the chest panel, which shows the BAT's mechanical ''innards.'' Personally I prefer the mechanical limb pieces' look - metal, brushed with black to make them appear functional. It's an odd clash of styles though, with the chest panel looking like Dr. Theopolis and the limbs owing more to The Terminator.

These cybernetics are also visible at the calf and the neck, with the rolled-up shirtsleeves showing off the arms to good effect, too. Speaking of the arms, no, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you - the Cobra BAT has interchangeable arms. Although we'll cover it in more detail in the Extras section, it's worth saying now how cool-looking each is. There's a tonne of detail on the limb pieces, each has a specific function that's clearly visible and the paint app is superb.

The head sculpt is also very cool. Although the card art shows it as being quite squashed and flat, it owes more to Boba Fett in its design and is a very cool, ''blank'' face, ideally suited for an unstoppable killing machine. That's not to say there's a lack of detail though - small ports on either side of the visor and ''ears'' on the side of the head certainly keep the design interesting.

Articulation is good, on the whole. The figure doesn't have any bulging parts or overly-sculpted pieces to inhibit movement. Some of the replaceable limbs even feature articulation, such as the ''Death Claw'' pincer hand. Sadly the ''regular'' cyber-hands do not feature wrist articulation but can be rotated at the forearm where they attach to the arm.

The only minor point I found was my Cobra BAT's left leg had a tendency to ''spring'' back into its neutral position for some reason, which made posing a little difficult at times. The head articulation is also limited slightly, with very little in the way of tilt movement (although it rotates just fine.)

Paint is very well used. Although the black and yellow combo is a little bright, it works well for this figure (given that BATs aren't ''regular'' soldiers) and although the green grenade (attached to his chest) is a little too green for my tastes and the chest panel's interior circuitry is like something from the Six Million Dollar Man school of computers, the limbs more than make up for this. The use of gun-metal is great and the black wash not only sets-off the detail but also gives it a great ''worn/used'' look. I approve.

The Cobra BAT is very well-armed. Oh you knew that was coming, so don't look so disgusted...

The figure comes with five interchangeable limbs - two ''regular'' robotic hands, a drill hand, a flame-thrower hand and a pincer claw hand. There's also a side-arm, backpack (more on that below) and his own stand.

Unfortunately Hasbro's designers dropped the ball with these pieces. Whilst the look and design is great, they don't quite work as they should. You see, each limb has a slightly different sized port, meaning when they're attached to the arm peg, some stay in place and some don't. The ''regular'' hands, for example, will terrify you when you attempt to pull them off, as they're such a tight fit. The drill arm, on the other hand (ha!) barely stays on. But then when you place it in the backpack (which features pegs for holding spare limbs) the drill fits perfectly but the ''regular'' hands won't even fit over the storage peg. That's not good.

On the plus side, the backpack has space for the spare parts and one of the ''regular'' hands can also be placed within the pack when not in use. The ''regular'' hands are also pretty good at holding the included pistol (which has a holster) so that's also a win.

Final Thoughts
Despite my initial misgivings due to the silly chest cybernetics and the card art, the Cobra BAT is actually a very good figure. The design of the limbs is excellent (even if the execution is flawed) and the backpack (again if flawed) is a great idea. I like that he can carry all these spare parts and switch around when he needs to. A slightly heftier weapon like a rifle or even a bazooka arm would have been a nice touch but given they're supposed to be unstoppable, advancing machines the close-up weaponry of the limbs makes sense.

It's just too bad the limb pegs/ports are off, as this does limit the figure's dress/display options. But if you can get over this (and if you're smart with your display poses, you can quite easily) you'll find he looks cool in your collection. Although I'm sure kids would love the concept, I would worry a little about the figure, playability-wise, simply due to those poorly produced connectors. 

That aside though, this is a great figure.

Production QualityC+
Final ScoreB+

Image Gallery


  1. Another favorite of mine along with the Cobra Vipers. : )

  2. There's a PoC Jungle BAT coming out later this month...

  3. I saw that Lok but i have my eyes on the Cobra Viper and Croc Master at the moment. : )

  4. The only bit I dislike is the chest panel - it's too 1980s (which I know is the point but still.) The rest of it is very cool.

  5. Who are you trying to kid, Jboy - you're like me and you've got your eyes on them all!

  6. lol i do so lets say that Croc Master and Cobra Viper are on top of my list. : )


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