Cobra BAT II v3.2 (2004)
Hasbro went absolutely BAT excrement crazy during the 2000s relaunch series. This one mold saw seven different releases in various colour schemes, and the later bike short wearing bot was available four times. Even the 1991 mold was brought back into service. I suppose the reason for getting so many out as Cobra troops speaks to their suitability as easily and cleanly disposed of enemies. No need to worry about upset parents when the bad guys don’t bleed, and aren’t even alive in the first place. However, I have to wonder how the world will view our attitudes toward automata in the future, especially after sentient robots have conquered the Earth. You know it’s gonna happen.
The initial new sculpt BAT was one of my favorite BAT molds, ranking high even in comparison to the 80s and 90s figures. This particular release, part of a Valor vs Venom two pack, was my favorite repaint of the updated model. The paint scheme is a bigger nod to the 1986 BAT than any other, and the familiar paint job serves to highlight the similarities to the older bot. The face plate has just enough impersonal, cold menace to strike terror into his enemies. Though he’s uniformed, he has more exposed robotic elements (including a removable chest plate) than his classic counterpart, further adding to this robotic threat. The 3.2’s height is also impressive, and he towers over most other figures of the time.
Finally, the weapon attachments really stand out from previous offerings. Though the old arm components certainly give that vintage warm fuzzy feeling, the new elements build upon what has com before, an add their own fun and impressive improvements. What’s not to love about a sword arm? Though there’s no plain hand, the presence of heavy weapon attachments makes up for the shortcoming. Besides, he can wield a machine gun in his good hand any time.