BTR-Ticles: Headquarters Attack
The Headquarters Attack saw a limited release as part of the second series of Built to Rule in 2004. In addition to being the largest G.I. Joe Built to Rule set, it was also the only BTR set to include two figures and the only set to include a piece with a battery-powered feature.
The primary mode of the Headquarters Attack is a military fortress comprised of three two-story building modules, and a small aircraft, the Cobra Firebat. The three building modules include a brig with an anti-aircraft missile turret above, an anti-armor missile emplacement with an armored command/communications center above, and a vehicle bay with a battery-powered searchlight turret above. The Headquarters Attack carries on the tradition of G.I. Joe playsets such as the 1983 Headquarters Command Center and the 1992 G.I. Joe Headquarters. The Firebat shares the name of Cobra’s compact VTOL fighter jet from 1986. Weapons included with the Headquarters Attack include two of the BTR bomb/torpedo/missile bricks in yellow, the large, 6-missile rotary launcher in black and red with red missiles, a 3-missile launcher in black with red missiles, the series 2 small finger-activated missile launcher in black and dark grey with a yellow missile, and two of the standard BTR miniguns in black with black mounts. The dark green searchlight, powered by 3 AAA batteries, features one button that turns on and off a working searchlight, and a second button that activates a machine gun sound and a missile launch sound.
The Headquarters Attack includes two figures: Snake-Eyes, the Joe team’s covert mission specialist, and Cobra aircraft pilot A.V.A.C. The BTR Snake-Eyes figure is based on the 2004 Valor vs. Venom figure of the character and features O-ring construction. A.V.A.C. (Air Viper, Advanced Class) is based on the original 1986 version of the character, and is constructed with a combination of new parts, such as the head and torso, and reused parts from the BTR Shadow Viper figure included with the Night Prowler.
The Headquarters Attack’s secondary mode (unnamed, like all series 2 sets) is a structure comprised of two connected buildings. The first is a three-story tower with a first floor medical/brainwave scanner facility, a second story missile launcher room, and a third story command and communications room. The second, two-story building houses a first floor searchlight bay and a rooftop aircraft launcher. With the removal of the door and other parts bearing the G.I. Joe logo for this mode, it’s strongly implied that this is a Cobra base, which serves as a good equalizer in the BTR line, which features relatively few Cobra sets. Notable parts from the Headquarters Attack include the flexible plastic sheet brig wall, the dark green searchlight, the instrument panels in aqua, the pipe bricks in aqua, the three-missile launcher in black, the brig wall retainers in dark green, the open wall panel in olive green, the tower bases in dark grey, and the radar antenna in transparent grey.
The Cobra aircraft is a variation on the Firebat from the set’s primary mode.
The Cobra base has plenty of room to house all 7 Cobra BTR figures.
Cobra Commander, triumphant.
It’s possible to use the parts from the Headquarters Attack to build a version of the 1985 Transportable Tactical Battle Platform.
The parts from the set can also be used to construct a lab for the evil experiments of notorious Cobra scientists like Dr. Venom, Dr. Lewis, or Dr. Mindbender.
The design includes a moveable brainwave scanner that can swivel and tilt into place.
Snake-Eyes prepares to defeat the brainwave scanner one more time.
The set can be used to build a wide variety of structures, like this elevated base, insuring that any time Cobra strikes, the G.I. Joe team will be there to stop them.
(Editorial Note: This is the last of 19 BTR-Ticles covering the G.I. Joe Built to Rule action figure/construction sets produced by Hasbro from 2003-2005. The 20th and final BTR-Ticle will include a look at how G.I. Joe is impacted by other attempts to bring action figures and construction toys together, including a brief look at the BTR Tonka and Transformers lines.)