What better way is there to please Joe fans than by selling Cobra troops individually and in new color schemes for fairly low prices?
After making everybody part of a two-pack, Hasbro decided to make some special, individually packaged repaints for kids with less money and collectors that have their eyes peeled. This B.A.T. includes two guns, two hands, and a backpack.
One thing Hasbro managed to do very well with G.I. Joe over the years was to come up with a compelling reason to do a repaint. Maybe it was for some new high-tech uniform, or perhaps some indication of "elite" status. Either way, it gave diorama makers and army builders a lot to play with, and this particular B.A.T. is one of at least four releases from this design, not counting variations.
The basic Joe construction is quite different from most figures from this line. The swiveling arm joints have been removed, but these were replaced by detachable hands. At the wrists, you can swivel the hands or the guns if you decide that's what you want to put there. The figure doesn't have any weapons to grip, but as you can see, it is armed.
The figure doesn't break new ground on deco, as it's more or less a straight repaint of an older figure. Now it's a match for the ever-popular Crimson teams, with added detail in silver, gold, and black. He has two different styles of Cobra logos which you can see on the left arm and right leg. These are elements that make these toys just a little bit nicer, but as they are done in a silver paint there's a good chance this could wear down if played with. As such, if you're buying loose red B.A.T.s in the year 2010, make sure to get a good look at the silver paint operations first.
The only real problem we had with this figure, and it may be unique to our sample, is that the legs aren't as sturdy as we would like and tend to bend a little below the knee. While this can be compensated for, it's worth noting that you may need a stand or some patience to get this figure to do what you want.
Backpack, guns, and hands. Not bad.
The backpack was originally used with Torch nearly 20 years ago, and it plugs into the back nicely. The other accessories plug into a unique socket on the arms, and can be rotated and all of that stuff. It allows you to transform the figure from a machination for battle to a guy to sit in a seat in Cobra HQ in seconds, and it's nice to be able to have a figure like this one serve more than one purpose.
As this review was written after the packaging was discarded, we do not have images of the single card Valor vs. Venom packaging with the artwork for the character. The art was not recolored to match the new red deco, nor was the file card altered to be different from previous releases. The figure was packaged on the second kind of VvV packaging where instead of a boxlike rectangular bubble, a form-fitting one was employed instead.
For $2-$4, this figure is a real winner-- you can have your trooper and you're not stuck with a second figure to clutter your home. The deco is unique to this release and as such is well worth tracking down if you're looking for figures of this nature. If you don't like terrorist androids, though, there isn't much to say here.
Text and photos by Adam Pawlus
Review posted on March 20 2005
Sample purchased in January 2005 at Fry's Marketplace in Phoenix, AZ for about $3.19