COBRA B.A.T. v.22 (2012)
So in my last post I said that I was going to step away from G.I. Joe reviews for a while because I had done so many of them lately. Well that was before todays news. The 2013 San Diego Comic Con exclusive Joe figures were revealed today. I’ve been excited about/dreading this announcement for a while now. Toy collecting is quickly becoming a rich mans hobby. Between the Joe Con boxed set and the Club’s figure subscription service I’ve already blown through way more money this year than I should have on these little plastic bastards. Not to mention all of the stuff that I buy at retail or online. I was really, really hoping that the San Diego reveal would be a let down, something I wouldn’t care to own, but I knew it was a long shot. For the past two years the SDCC exclusives have been amazing, and I’m not even talking about the exclusive carded figures like 2011’s Zarana or 2012’s Jinx. In fact, there may still be a 2013 carded figure yet to be revealed. All that’s been revealed so far is the vehicle box set. In 2011 Hasbro merged their G.I. Joe and Transformers properties for the first time to give us a Sky Striker jet with a Starscream deco. It was such a simple and obvious combination but I flipped when I saw it. The set also included a Cobra Commander with a Megatron handgun. It was awesome and I shelled out my cash, expecting it to be a one time deal.
Well the next year they revealed what I felt was an even cooler set. It was my favorite Cobra vehicle, the HISS tank, deco’ed to look like the Decepticon Shockwave. The set also included a new Destro with a Soundwave tape deck backpack complete with cassettes, AND this new Cobra B.A.T. (battle android trooper). This BAT was made using a mold we had seen plenty of times before which you can read about here or here. I don’t want to rehash my thoughts on the figure’s construction but I will say it’s one of the best figures from the 25th anniversary series. What made this figure special was the color scheme. Instead of a typical black uniform, the version 22 BAT is wearing neon green and purple. I’ll be honest and say that they’re not the most flattering of colors. The Nano-Bat was able to pull off lime green much better than this guy. What is great about these loud colors is that they link him to the Constructicons.
The Constructicons were a faction of the Decepticons who all transformed into construction vehicles and could merge together to create the giant combiner, Devastator. I would’ve been content with just the purple HISS tank but added bonuses like this really made the set shine. I rated the whole set as my #2 pick for action figure of the year on my 2012 year-end list. This figure specifically I would give a 7. The reason that the score isn’t higher is because there’s a few quick things they could have fixed about this figure which I feel would have improved it greatly. The swappable purple appendages don’t match up with the rest of the arm. I don’t know how the figure would have looked with completely purple arms and a purple head but I think that it might have been a better choice and helped to make this figure stand out even more amongst my army of BATS. I also think they should have picked a different color for the faceplate. I don’t think that the red matches the rest of the figure at all. Had this figure been sold separately I don’t know if I would have bought it (I probably would have) but considering it was really more of an add-on to the HISS tank I’d say it’s pretty sweet.
Now let’s move onto the newly revealed 2013 set, the reason for this post. Hasbro has said that this Joe/Transformer mash-up is to be the last in the trilogy. Since the first two years gave us a Decepticon plane, and land vehicle, Hasbro’s opted to even things out this year by including two Autobot vehicles in the set. I’ll start with the least exciting bit. A G.I. Joe Vamp jeep is included in the set and features stickers to make it resemble the Autobot Hound in his jeep mode. I like the character of Hound and I understand the choice but it hardly has me excited. I already have plenty of green Vamps and there’s nothing overly iconic about Hound’s look to differentiate him from the other jeeps in my collection. The other vehicle though is a bit of a show stopper. It’s another Sky Striker, only this time it’s deco’ed to look like the Autobot Jetfire. It’s amazing and would look absolutely killer displayed next to my Starscream Sky Striker. The added boosters are wicked. I think I would have to display my Rick Hunter figure in this bad boy. Next up is a Snake Eyes with an Autobot logo on his sleeve. Meh. Then there’s a mini Blaster with tape decks. Neat but whatever. Then there’s the best Baroness figure that I’ve ever seen with the Decepticon Ravage on a leash. A statue of this scene was released a few years ago and I thought it was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen but I passed on it because I didn’t want to start collecting statues. Seeing it recreated as an action figure is just plain awesome. Lastly is a G.I.Joe figure of the Decepticon pretender Bludgeon. F**king awesome. For years I’ve been hoping for a great Bludgeon figure, I just never expected to get him as a Joe. As cool as this Jet Fire is I think I would’ve passed on this set because of the hefty price tag and because the Hound is kind of dull. But Baroness and Bludgeon have convinced me that this is a must buy. Ho hum.