BAT Rocket Pack (Force of Battle 2000)
I’m already on record here with my love of the old Cobra Rocket Pack and my love of B.A.T.s. For a souvenir set this year, the GIJCC decided to mix my peanut butter and chocolate and create the B.A.T. Rocket Pack. The fact that this souvenir was still available after Joe Con was a bit part of what motivated me to snag this set a little earlier than I had planned. KansasBrother and I both liked the Marauder Snowmobile set, but we thought the B.A.T. Rocket Pack was incredible, so I figured it was smarter for me to get the sets now while the souvenirs we liked were still available than wait to see if the main set drops more in price but not be able to snag the souvenirs we liked.
I got my first Cobra Rocket Pack back during the Rise of Cobra line when it was released as a Target exclusive. Ever since my first experience with this little vehicle, I’ve been hooked. The overall design is really simple, with two large jet engines mounted to something just wide enough for the pilot to strap into with a huge cannon battery on top and a pair of missiles on the side. The control yoke is simple but effective, and I still think this is a great design. While I did raise issues about operator safety when I looked at the Rise of Cobra version, the fact that Cobra Commander has started strapping B.A.T.s into the Rocket Pack eliminates that issue. After all, B.A.T.s are robots, so who cares if their legs get a little crispy by the Rocket Pack engine backwash. Even more interesting is that the B.A.T. v1.8 filecard mentions that Cobra Commander has also had this version of the B.A.T.s programmed to essentially make them kamikazes when they’re using the B.A.T. Rocket Pack. That’s kind of a twisted touch, but considering real world terrorist organizations use suicide operatives all the time, why not use your disposable troopers in that role, too? The Rocket Pack’s design is great, and the B.A.T. works very well with it.
Where this version of the Rocket Pack differs from the other releases is in its color scheme. Since it’s specifically called the B.A.T. Rocket Pack, the GIJCC made sure its color scheme was identical to the B.A.T.s in the main set. It’s a solid color scheme, but I think it was a slightly missed opportunity not to give it the same colors as the B.A.T. Squad Leader instead. That way, the B.A.T. Squad Leader would have had its own vehicle to set it apart from the rest of the B.A.T.s in addition to its color scheme. However, the B.A.T. v1.8 color scheme looks great on the B.A.T. Rocket Pack. The base of the B.A.T. Rocket Pack is black. The bright green is used on the control yoke and the cannons. However, the bright green parts do look rather plastic-y and I always find that to be a bit of a problem. Orange is used on the missiles and on the tech details on the tops of the engines. The best detail, though, is the tampoed B.A.T.-inspired Cobra sigil on each engine. It’s a neat design, and whoever designed this logo should be commended. I really wish the Joe Con shirts with this logo that were left were in my size, because I would love to rock a shirt with this Cobra sigil variation on it. The B.A.T. Rocket Pack’s paint work is incredibly simple, but it’s also extremely effective and is a sharp-looking piece.
Despite my love of the B.A.T. and the Cobra Rocket Pack, I don’t think I would have ever thought to pair them together. However, doing so is an absolutely brilliant idea. The B.A.T.s have always been on the cutting edge of Cobra technology and the Cobra Rocket Pack is definitely something that could exist in the real world, but the way it’s designed, it would be hazardous to its operator. Having it operated by a robot essentially turns the Cobra Rocket Pack into a giant, crazily-well armed drone. I could definitely see Cobra Commander wreaking havoc with a small squad of B.A.T. Rocket Packs and I can also see Battle Force 2000 being the only Joe group that could stand a chance at taking them down because of the technology being brought to bear.