Tuesday, June 14, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe Jungle Assault Jungle BAT

Produced by Hasbro | Released May 2011

BATS 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. Jungle BATS are one of the robotic variants designed for specific environments; this version is extremely resistant to heat and humidity and can easily find its way through thick jungle foliage.

Packaging Shots

Jungle Assault Jungle BAT
The Jungle Assault BAT is a recoloured, slightly re-tooled re-issue of the 25th Anniversary Cobra BAT. The Cobra BAT was a very good figure. Does the Jungle Assault BAT maintain that same level of quality?

The sculpt is - as far as I can tell - identical on the core figure. What's surprising is how different it looks in a more muted colour scheme (more on that later) and how much detail I see here I didn't notice on the previous version.

The Jungle BAT is clad in a one-piece coverall, with exposed arms and rolled-up sleeves. The sculpt is very nicely detailed, with an assortment of folds and pouches conveying the sense of clothing and the exposed ''skin'' of the BAT being suitably mechanical. Like the 25th Anniversary BAT, the Jungle BAT also includes the chest-mounted ''cybernetic components.'' However, the Jungle BAT comes with the shielding damaged and partially shattered, as if he's been in combat. It's a very cool touch and helps add a little realism to the 1980s bleep-bloop does-not-compute style of ''electronics'' on show.

The figure includes a removable bandolier of ammo that's a little snug (and can get in the way when you attach a backpack) but it's a nice accessory that breaks-up the figure's lines nicely. There's also a holster on his left thigh that includes a (removable) pistol.

The head sculpts - yes, ''sculpts,'' plural - are very cool. The non-damaged head is identical to that used on the 25th Anniversary Cobra BAT but the set also includes an awesome battle-damaged head, with the left-side of the protective helmet missing to reveal the inner workings of the Jungle BAT. The right-hand side also includes a couple of nicks and dents and - coolest of all - the silver face plate is shattered. It looks superb, especially with the chest damage.

Articulation is very good, with no problems to report. The bandolier doesn't really get in the way but you may find if you pose him with the Gatling gun and attach the ammo belt to the backpack that you'll occasionally find the accessories popping out or hanging loose. It's not a major issue though and can be worked around quite easily.

The paintwork really shines on the Jungle BAT. Unlike the day-glo coloured Cobra BAT or even yesterday's Blowtorch, the Jungle BAT has a paint scheme that not only works for his environment but also looks superb. I think I'd just about come to terms with the black and yellow of the 25th Anniversary BAT but the Jungle BAT blows it away. The camouflaged fatigues, the muted black accessories, the gun-metal limbs and the cybernetic parts (complete with battle wear and oil washes) all look superb and this is definitely a paint job that not only looks great but works to enhance the sculpt. As I mentioned before, I'm seeing parts on this Jungle BAT I never even noticed on the regular BAT, due entirely to the paintwork.

As for the actual application, I'd have to say it's flawless. I can't see any miss-applied paint or errant splodges. The figure's sculpt is great but it's the paintwork really makes the toy something special.

The Jungle Assault Jungle BAT is intended to be an Army Builder and, as such, comes with a serious arsenal of extras.

The figure features the same weaponry found with the regular BAT, namely a pistol, two ''normal'' hands, a flamethrower hand, a drill hand and a claw hand, plus a ''carrying basket'' to store the weapons. These hands seem to be a much better fit than those found with the previous version, although I did find getting them to stay on the pegs in the ''basket'' was harder. But if it's a trade between fitting the figure or fitting the basket pegs, I'll take the former any day. These interchangeable arms look great, fit nicely and are well-sculpted accessories. Army Builders will love the choices they offer.

The figure includes an additional set of gear not seen with the original BAT: a second, battle-damaged head, an ammo bandolier (removable), a machete, an assault rifle, an ammo belt, a second backpack and a  Gatling gun. Whilst the battle-damaged head is great and the bandolier looks cool, both the machete and assault rifle are pretty weak and are clearly kitbashed pieces from other figures. They simply don't fit in the BAT's hands well-enough (the machete at all) and you'll find yourself struggling to get them to pose with these weapons. 

The Gatling gun is an OK fit but if you use the ''regular'' hands you may run into some problems posing the BAT with this weapon. I found replacing the left hand with the claw hand allowed him to hold the weapon in place without issue and the ''regular'' right hand can just about grip the butt. It can take a little work and a bit of smart posing to get him to balance with this weapon but it's perfectly possible to do so.

I also found that neither of the backpacks were particularly good fits and both tended to protrude on their peg when I inserted them in the back port. And that was both with and without the ammo bandolier being worn. It's an oddity but you can just about work around it.

The Jungle BAT also includes his own base.

Final Thoughts
I really liked the 25th Anniversary BAT but my real stumbling block was the overly-bright paintwork and loose robotic limb connectors. Thankfully the Jungle Assault Jungle BAT not only addresses the loose limb issue but also re-invents the BAT for the modern era, stripping away the comicbook colouring and instead creating a figure that's both lifelike and intimidating.

The battle-damage to the chest is a stroke of genius and conveys a real sense of the unstoppable-nature of the BAT. Add to that the interchangeable heads and you can further enhance its relentless, indestructible killing machine nature. It's also a great piece for Army Building.

The machete and assault rifle are nigh-on useless. The  Gatling gun can be problematic to pose him with and both backpacks suffer from some oddly-sized pegs. But these are just minor points. The machete and assault rifle are accessories you don't really need anyway. The backpacks will stay on and you can mask the weird fit though smart posing. And the Gatling gun's posing options may be limited but you can get some great poses out of it with a little effort. So whilst it's disappointing that these accessories aren't the best, they're not deal-breakers.

As a toy I could see kids loving this. Although there's a chance they'll lose the interchangeable arms when they're not connected, there's no danger of them coming loose during play. Getting the BAT to hold his weapons could be problematic for younger kids but given that his arms ARE weapons, they can easily play with him without any accessories and still have a lot of fun.

For the collector though, this is a definite must-have. As I said before, I liked the BAT concept and the 25th Anniversary version was cool, aside from the loose limb connectors and neon-bright paintwork. Given that the Jungle BAT addresses both these points - and does so very well - then it'll come as no surprise when I tell you that this is one of the absolute highlights of this Wave. Grab one when and wherever you can, as the combination of a great figure and superb Army Building potential will see this one flying off the shelves.

Production QualityB+
Final ScoreA-

Image Gallery


  1. Nice! I shall this to my "To find and buy" list along with CA:TFA Crossbones. These two could battle it out lol.

  2. The response at HISS Tank has been really divided on this one. Some people dig the camo look, others say they should be more brightly coloured. I personally fall into the former category, as I don't see why being camouflaged makes them any less menacing (indeed, in my view it makes them even more intimidating.)

  3. You know how i feel about the bright colors Kevin i really love them but the Camo looks great too.

  4. Yeah, it's a good look and nicely applied, which is always a bonus!

  5. I couldn't get it to stay in his hand. It's actually tied to the hand using a clear rubbery band out of the box. I think you'd have to resort to doing that to get it to remain in-place.


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