NANO-B.A.T. v1 (2013)
A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the Quarrel figure from the Joe Club Figure Subscription Service (FSS). A month or so before that I reviewed the Dice figure from the same service. Since I’ve previously talked about the FSS in those reviews (check ‘em out if you want to know more) and because I basically reviewed this figure a few months back (with a different paint job) I really don’t have a whole lot to say.
The Cobra B.A.T. or Battle Android Trooper was first introduced in 1986. He was released just once more during the Real American Hero vintage line in 1991. In the new sculpt era of the early 2000s the B.A.T. was released 14 times with various designs and paint jobs. I’ve enjoyed every incarnation of the character, even the grasshopper in bicycle shorts look of 2004. But you can’t beat a classic and so the version 1 design remains my favorite.
When the B.A.T. first saw release in the modern era in 2008 I thought the designers knocked it out of the park. If only all the 25th anniversary figures could’ve been this good. This was the perfect update to the ’86 original. It had all the classic bits that I loved like the swappable weapon hands and exposed chest gears but its proportions and detailing were far superior. I loved it. It remains a high point of those early 25th anniversary figures. In the 5 years since its initial release the modern B.A.T. has been released at least 6 more times with a few tweaks and paint variations along the way. This could technically be called B.A.T. version 23 but the actual number of B.A.T. variations starts to get confusing because there are also Jungle B.A.T.s and variations of Overkill, the B.A.T. leader which could be included. We’ll stick with calling this figure Nano-B.A.T. version 1 to keep things simple.
Sculpt wise the Nano-B.A.T. is identical to the other modern releases of the BAT (I’m gonna stop putting periods in the name, it’s a pain in the ass) with the exception of the upper legs. I’m not sure why the Collector’s Club decided to switch them out but it’s barely noticeable and the new legs even have some cool added design elements. Like the previous BATs this figure has two hands that can be swapped out for a claw, a drill and a flamethrower, all of which are stored in his backpack. This version also came packaged with a large laser rifle and a weird neck restraint or something. Like the 21st version of the BAT that came in the Defense of Cobra Island 7-pack this figure includes an alternate battle damaged head and chest plate. The battle damaged head actually looks pretty awesome but I’ll be using the “clean” head as my default.
The reason that this figure is a Nano-BAT instead of a regular BAT is because he’s been infused with Nanomite technology according to the file card. The Nanomites cause the infused androids to emit an eerie green glow. The green glow effect is simulated by sculpting the head, arms and weapons in translucent green plastic which allows light to shine through. If the Nanomite concept sounds familiar it’s because it was a key plot point in the 2009 live action flick, The Rise of Cobra. The movie line included green Nano-Vipers and figures came with green “nano-infused” weapons. Apparently the Nano-BAT was intended to come out in the movie line but the line ended before Hasbro had a chance to release it. Fans got wind of this cancelled figure and prototypes became a hot commodity on the internet. This is what prompted the club to release their own version of the abandoned concept.
When the Collector’s Club first unveiled their FSS figures this one, along with Quarrel, were the most underwhelming. I really like the BAT design and I’m always happy to add variations to my ranks but not at $30 a pop if I can avoid it. This figure really seemed unnecessary and I felt it was taking up a slot that could have been used for a much better figure. When Nano-BAT and Quarrel arrived in the mail last month I was quite surprised at how much I ended up liking them both. The gray and green look really good together and the translucent head and arms give it a very cool look, distinct from my many other BATS. I’ve actually come to think that this Nano-BAT figure is kind of awesome and well worth the $30. 8 out of 10.