INFERNO B.A.T. v.2 (2016)
My fourth FSS 4.0 package from the G.I. Joe Collectors Club arrived in the mail this past Friday and it was a complete surprise. Well, maybe not a COMPLETE surprise seeing as a new package from the Club arrives every few weeks which is the whole point of their subscription service but it was a surprise in that the contents had not been spoiled for me in advance. This is my fourth year subscribing to the FSS and thus far I’ve received 22 of these packages and this is the first time that no one revealed the identities of the figures online before I received mine. I’m not complaining about the spoiling, it’s the nature of the beast in the internet age. Living in Canada, I happen to be an “international” buyer so naturally my shipments arrive later than those shipped to US residents. This is why I was so surprised to find a delivery notification tag in my mailbox because I hadn’t heard even a murmur about the latest figures online. I picked up my package from the post office and tore it open like a kid on Christmas in hopes that it would contain either Billy or Sneak Peek; the figures I’ve most been looking forward to. To my slight dismay I discovered the Inferno B.A.T. and Bullhorn. Not to say that they’re bad figures but I was really hoping for the other guys. At least now I know the upcoming final two shipments will be good ones.
Here’s a quick recap on Cobra’s Battle Android Trooper. The original toy was released in 1986 and soon afterwards BATS were a mainstay of the comics and cartoons as well. Having robot bad guys allowed the Joes to look like competent soldiers who could actually shoot their enemies for a change while still keeping the show kid-friendly. I was a big fan of the BATs from the get-go. The design was really cool and what kid doesn’t love a robot with interchangeable weapon hands.
A second version of the BAT was released in 1991. It was similar in design to v.1 BAT but slightly less interesting in my opinion. The BAT was redesigned a few times during the new-sculpt years of 2002-2006 with varying degrees of success. One of the later new-sculpt models, released in 2003, was called the Inferno Bat. It was a v.2 BAT sculpted in translucent orange plastic. According to the file card, the orange colour was a result of their internal processing units being designed to generate great amounts of heat to allow the Inferno BAT to send out bursts of heat and fire. It was kind of a silly idea but it looked pretty cool. I probably would have liked the Inferno BAT a lot more had Hasbro used the original ’86 Bat mold instead of the ’91 mold which I never had an affinity for.
When the modern-era of G.I. Joe figures launched in 2007 many of the character designs and figure construction choices were questionable. A lot of those early ME figures really have not stood the test of time. However, the 2008 BAT was one of the best modern-era figures released during the 25th anniversary line and it remains one of the best ME figures to date. The sculptors managed to capture all the greatness of the original 1986 figure but they updated it so that the BAT was leaner, meaner, and more detailed. The new BAT was so cool that I was tempted to army build it (buy the same figure multiple times to have a whole squad of them) but I didn’t have to because Hasbro re-released it multiple times in various color variations. Therefore, I was able to build a small army of them without having to buy the exact same toy over and over again. Hasbro’s retail variations have included the Arctic BAT and the Jungle BAT and even the Collector’s Club previously released their own version in the first FSS with the Nano-BAT. A modern-era Inferno BAT wasn’t exactly a figure I was clamoring for but it’s one I was happy to add to my collection to expand my BAT battalion.
I thought I knew exactly what I’d be getting with this figure, the 2008 BAT figure in a new colour because that’s what every BAT re-release has been for the past 8 years but that’s not quite what I got. For the most part this figure is the same as the others but for some reason the Club opted to give the Inferno BAT Storm Shadows’s ninja legs; the same ones they used on the Arctic Night Creeper a couple of shipments ago. I don’t understand why they did that. The legs aren’t bad but the feet are quite small which results in shallow peg holes. Combine shallow holes with rocker joints on the ankles and you get a figure that’s difficult to keep standing. I hate it when figures can’t stand up. It didn’t bother me as a kid when all my toys were in a box or being played with but as an adult who likes to display his collectibles unstable toys are the bane of my existence. If one goes down it takes all its neighbors with him and then you have chaos. Stability aside, what about consistency? All my BATS, whether they’re Arctic or Jungle or whatever, wear very distinctive boots so why is this guy wearing socks? Why didn’t the Club just use the regular BAT legs like they used on their Nano-BAT? Is that too much to ask?
It probably sounds like I’m nerd-raging but I’m really not; I’m a little bit nerd-annoyed if anything. The Storm Shadow legs actually fit proportionately and they’re painted in such a way that they don’t look like sock feet . Besides, if the Club hadn’t changed something they’d probably be getting grief for being cheap and unoriginal. All-in-all it’s a nice looking figure. The translucent plastic is neat but its not as effective here as it was on the recently reviewed Undead Warrior.
The accessories are pretty standard for a BAT. He has two removable hands that can be swapped out for weapons: a gun, a flamethrower, and a claw. He also has the standard BAT backpack which can be used to store some of the unused items. What cool add-on that we haven’t seen with a modern-era BAT before is the sword hand. I like it and I’ll be displaying him with it on my shelf. 8 out of 10.