B.A.T. (Kre-O) 2013
The end of the year is quickly approaching which means my top 13 action figures of 2013 list will be posted soon. I already have a multitude of contenders picked out which I need to whittle down over the next few days. Of course I must leave a few slots open until the last minute just in case I get some epic action figures for Christmas (fingers crossed). When the list gets posted I want to be able to provide links to reviews for each specific toy. In order for that to work I must have reviews posted for all of the potential nominees.
It’s a no-brainer that at least one Kre-O figure will make my year end list. Kre-O was probably my fastest growing collection in 2013. I went from having none of them to having dozens of figures as well as a wide array of vehicles and play sets. The Transformer figures are pretty neat but I absolutely love the G.I. Joe Kre-Os. I’m a big fan of modern Joes figures but many collectors are not. Modern figures are often criticized for being poorly constructed, poorly articulated, and hard to find. Some people long for the glory days of the 80s when Joe figures were everywhere and when they were clearly toys meant to be played with as opposed to display pieces for collectors. Well if you’re one of those people then you have got to pick up some Kre-Os.
The G.I. Joe Kre-Os harken back to the 80s toys in a way that the modern style Joe figures don’t. As an adult collector I’m fine with the new figures being primarily display pieces but there’s no denying that there’s a “fun” factor missing. That’s not the case with Kre-Os; they ooze fun.
Not only are they super cute but the buildable nature of them force an old collectors like me to actually play with their toys, at least long enough to assemble the damn things. A figure like the BAT I’m reviewing here today only takes a matter of seconds to build but some of the larger sets can take hours.
The B.A.T., or Battle Android Trooper, was available in wave 2 of the blind pack singles. I’m not a huge fan of this blind packaging trend. Thankfully there are identifying numbers hidden on the Kre-O blind packs so those of us in the know are able to track down the specific figures we want without wasting a bunch of money on doubles. However many of the characters available in the blind packs are army builder type troopers like the BAT so ending up with a few doubles wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Given the interchangeability of these toys I suppose getting doubles of even name characters could be seen as an opportunity for some easy customizing.
This past year has given us a diverse selection of Kre-O Joe characters from many different eras of the toy line. Most of the toys were inspired by the 80s Real American Hero era but there were also new-sculpt characters, members of the 1960s Adventure Team, and even foreign characters such as the 2013 Joe Con exclusive Cobra Mortal.
It won’t be easy for me to pick a favorite Kre-O for my “best of” list but the BAT is a definite contender so I thought I’d better throw up a review of him in case he makes the final list. I’ve been a big fan of the BAT since the character was first released in 1986. I’ve liked all of the various incarnations of the BAT over the years (there have been many) but there’s no beating the original. The loose fitting black outfit, blank metal faceplate, yellow boots, interchangeable hands, and exposed inner-workings chest just made for a great looking figure. I have previously sung the praises of the modern BAT figure which captured the classic look so well. The Kre-O BAT isn’t as detailed as the modern figure but what it lacks in detail it makes up for in charm.
Like all Kre-O figures the BAT has a standard Lego-man style body. All of the figures are pretty much identical except for their paint job and accessories. The designers have been doing a stellar job of replicating the original figures using nothing but paint apps. This little guy retains all of the elements that made the original BAT so cool without any sculpted detail. The black, silver, and yellow still look great together. The colors in the chest add some extra flair. BAT has a backpack where his extra hands can be stored. He has a chainsaw and a flamethrower hand plus a translucent flame accessory. I would’ve taken some pictures of him with his alternate weapon hands attached but I had a hell of a time trying to pop his regular hands out of their sockets.
I highly recommend this figure. I recommend this whole Kre-O line for that matter. I had a ton of fun building my play sets and it’s nice to have these additional figures to populate them. The price is right and they don’t take up much room to display. 8 out of 10.