G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)
Alright, I gave some love one of Hasbro’s in-house properties, how about the other? It’s been a little tricky to devote proper love to G.I. Joe in the last few years, what with the line essentially dying for a bit, and then its subsequent re-launch in 2020 being absurdly hard to get ahold of for the first two years of its run. Perhaps 2022 is the year that things start to turn around? That sure would be nice. Something that does seem to be pointing to things being at least a little better is how they’re handling the army builders. The line’s first few army builders were wonky, with the initial Cobra Trooper and Viper as really hard to get exclusives, and the Red Ninja being the short pack of its respective assortment. This year, we’re getting two army builders, packed at heavier numbers, in standard assortments, right out of the gate. The first of them is an update on 1986’s own Battle Android Trooper, better known as the B.A.T. for short!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The B.A.T. is figure 33 in the G.I. Joe: Classified Series line-up, hitting in the first assortment of 2022, alongside the Alley Viper and a re-pack of Gung-Ho. The B.A.T. is the heaviest packed figure in the assortment, which certainly makes a lot of sense, and will hopefully help to keep the figure from being quite as prohibitively hard to find as some of the line’s earlier figures. The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation. The articulation scheme more or less just follows what’s been previously established with the line, and I’m quite alright with that, really. The B.A.T.’s sculpt is an all-new one, very clearly patterned on the original V1 version of the character. As with the rest of the line, there’s certainly some updating and modernizing, but on this release in particular, it’s rather down-played. This one feels much more like a rather direct update, as opposed to more of an overhaul. I really enjoy just how much detailing goes into this particular look, from the mechanics of the arms, to the heavy texturing of the overlying uniform. I also really love the in-depth sculpting on the torso panel; to think that used to just be a sticker on prior figures. The color work on the figure largely follows the V1 set-up. It’s fairly basic overall, but does what it needs to. I’m not crazy about the molded plastic silver on the arms, thigh strap, and grenades, especially when all the other silver is painted, but it’s not the end of the world, and, at least on the arms, it’s true to the V1. The B.A.T. is packed with a handgun, two removeable chest plates (one standard, one damaged), an alternate damaged head, a backpack, and three different alternate hand attachments, mimicking those seen on the original figure. The chest plates being solid black is the one notable design change here, and while it’s not my first choice, it’s also not a terrible look either (plus there are third party clear plates out there, if you’re a stickler about it), and I love the damaged option. The damaged alt head is really awesome, calling back to one of the best features of the 25th line, and just further expanding upon it. The alternate hands are rather standard, and aside from maybe wishing the claw had gotten extra movement like on the 25th release, I’m quite happy with them. In general, it’s just a really solid selection of extras here.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
After the Viper, the B.A.T. is a very close runner-up for my favorite Cobra army builder. I knew it wasn’t going to be long before we saw them, but I was still a little bit anxious to see them when we were early in the line. Once we got the rumors, and then the eventual confirmation, I was very down for these figures. No way was I gonna pass on a really cool B.A.T. And that’s what this is: a really cool B.A.T. I love how close they stuck to the original, while still giving him enough subtle changes to fit in with the rest of the line. All of the extras here are fantastic, and I look forward to seeing what possible re-decos and such we might be able to see of this one.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review. If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.