COBRA B.A.T. V1.8
G.I. JOE: COLLECTOR’S CLUB (HASBRO)
Though they have so far been absent from the most recent incarnation of G.I. Joe (well, the toys, anyway; the video game is a slightly different story), Cobra’s robot forces, the Battle Android Troopers, have been a ready fixture in the franchise since their introduction in 1986. They’re generally quite privy to adjustment tweaks over the years, under the guise of “upgrades.” The 25th style figures generally just focused on re-interpreting the classic BAT for a new generation, but there are plenty of different Cobra BAT designs to choose from, and we did *just* manage to get one of those before Hasbro put 3 3/4 Joes on hiatus a few years back. I’m taking a look at that figure today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Cobra BAT V1.8 was released as part of the “Force of Battle 2000” boxed set, which was a Collector’s Club-exclusive set offered up at the International G.I.Joe Convention in 2017. There were actually eight of this guy packaged in the set, alongside a commander and the Battleforce 2000 contingent of G.I. Joe. I’ve just got the one, though. The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation. This BAT serves as an update of the V2 BAT from 1991. That figure was a completely unique sculpt from its predecessor, where as this guy actually relies pretty heavily on parts from the V1-inspired 25th Anniversary figure. Given the common features between the two designs, it’s not the worst call, and it helps that the 25th BAT is probably the nicest sculpt of that era. There’s just a lot of depth to it, especially what’s visible of the inner workings of the torso (actually sculpted, as opposed to the lenticular of the older BATs), and how you can make out the robotic frame beneath the uniform. To bring the sculpt more in line with the V2 design, the figure gets a new head, which is a pretty spot-on recreation of the original toy, and also ditches the 25th figure’s shoulder strap with grenade. It makes for a respectable approximation, although there do still remain some elements that don’t quite match, such as the thigh holster, and the slightly more robotic lower arms. Ultimately, I find the design works a touch better in this incarnation, and I don’t mind the changes, but your mileage may vary. Since the V2 BAT was a ’90s Joe, he had a ’90s-esque color scheme to match, which this figure replicates. He’s very bright and obnoxious, and I love it. I do wish we had maybe seen a little bit of accenting on the mechanical sections, as we did on earlier uses of this mold, but in their defense on this one, I don’t know how that would have mixed with the orange. The BAT V1.8 has an impressive selection of extras, including the standard hands for both sides, a flamethrower hand, a blaster hand, a claw hand, and a sword hand. He’s also got the V1-style backpack to hold a few of them, a gun, a display stand, and the standard and damaged torso plates that later versions of the 25th mold sported. You’ve got a lot of options for those eight figures that came packed into this set.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
While I was pretty heavily into the 25th through 30th lines, I fell out of Joes during all of the Retalliation tie-ins, and was completely gone for all of the club-exclusive stuff, so I didn’t get this guy new. However, he came into All Time last summer as part of a rather large, rather spread out collection, and I’ve always liked BATs, especially on this mold, so I was a pretty easy mark for this one. He’s a pricey boy these days, but that doesn’t make him any less of a cool figure, especially with all the extra pieces. If they weren’t so darn expensive, I wouldn’t mind having a few more. Alas, not for now.