Kre-O Battle-Damaged BAT and Techno-Viper
I don’t know why, but I’ve always been a little fascinated by battle damaged figures. I always wished Hasbro had dabbled in battle damage, especially since they had the B.A.T., which they could damage without making parents uncomfortable since it was a robot. I got my wish with the Defense of Cobra Island set and I was very pleased with it. Imagine my surprise when a Battle Damaged B.A.T. was announced for the Kre-O line. Considering it is a recent addition to Joe figure canon, it was somewhat unexpected. Even better, at around the same time, a Kre-O Techno-Viper was also added to the ranks. I think that was a great call since I like the idea of a Techno-Viper fixing up a battle damaged B.A.T., that’s why I paired them together for this Kre-O Field Report. They’re two great figures and it makes sense to pair them together.
There’s already a Kre-O B.A.T., so the Kre-O team had to come up with something to make it different enough that it’s a worthwhile addition, and they really did some great things here. The tampo work is mostly similar to the first Kre-O B.A.T., but the chest plate and head are damaged just like its 25th Anniversary counterpart. I’m of two minds about how well the chest damage works. The crack lines on the glass are great, but I kind of wish they were done in something other than black. I think it just blends in too much with the base figure to really stand out. I know doing the damage lines in white wouldn’t necessarily have made as much sense, but I think it would have looked a little better overall that way. Though I have misgivings about the chest damage, the damage on the head is very well done. The robotic eye peering out from behind the damaged face plate looks great and it really adds some character to this robot. It also shows how much punishment a B.A.T. can take in the field and still be able to function. I think one of the things that I always liked about the B.A.T. when I played with it is that, as robots, they were supposed to be unstoppable. Yes, they were disposable soldiers, but in the cartoon, they were just so weak that it was almost silly. The Battle Damaged B.A.T. also gets a lot of different accessories. First of all, he’s got a pistol. This is a nod to the Battle Damaged B.A.T. from the Defense of Cobra Island set as well, since its primary weapon was a cartoon laser pistol. Apparently, Kre-O also got the memo that the hands on the Wave 2 B.A.T. were too tight because this time, instead of having two hands, the left arm doesn’t actually have a hand. Instead, you can slip a canister piece over it and plug the drill attachment, the missing classic attachment from the first Kre-O B.A.T. Even better, the other attachments from the first Kre-O B.A.T. fit the canister perfectly so there’s finally a B.A.T. can use all those attachments. The Battle Damaged B.A.T. also has a new backpack and it’s a great piece. When the B.A.T.s were first introduced in the comics, Dr. Mindbender had equipped them with canister backpacks that held creeper spores. While the Kre-O Battle Damaged B.A.T. doesn’t have the creeper vines like the 25th Anniversary version did, it does get a backpack that’s styled after the creeper vine carrier pack from the comics. This is a great change and it really helps the Battle Damaged B.A.T. stand out from his undamaged counterpart.
Of course, someone in Cobra has to be responsible for fixing up damaged B.A.T.s and the Techno-Viper is a perfect candidate for that job. I never thought I would love a little purple Kreon as much as I love the Techno-Viper, but he’s a really great small-scale representation of a classic Cobra trooper. The light purple bodysuit looks great and the dark blue chest and helmet bring it a bit closer to the classic model than colors on the 30th Anniversary version did. The paint work is excellent and strangely, while I didn’t think the Crimson Guard’s helmet transferred all that well to the flat, curved surface of a Kre-O head, I think the Techno-Viper’s head works very well in this format. The classic Techno-Viper was defined by his accessories and the Kre-O folks found some really great stand-ins for his kit in this form. Techno-Viper’s primary tool is a large Transformers Kre-O laser rifle. It may be a laser rifle in that universe, but it stands in for the Techno-Viper’s funky welding rifle very well. On the back, the Techno-Viper also carries two additional tools. In the place of his techno-hammer, he’s got an axe. While at first I wasn’t sure of it, looking at it, it really does remind me a lot of the funky hammer the Techno-Viper has. Kre-O Techno-Viper’s other tool is the clawed probe that Kre-O Dr. Mindbender came with. It works well for either the Techno-Viper’s power wrench or the cutting tool. While it would be nice if he had three tools like the classic figure, space limitations meant he could only carry two, and the two they picked stand in for the three that the original had quite well.
Once again, a little creative pairing of Kre-O figures leads to some nice play possibilities. Since Waves 4 and 5 came out so close together, I have trouble remember which waves these each belong to, but they work well together. It’s nice to see a little synergy across the Kre-O brand. The first couple waves of minifigures were kind of off in their own little world. However, the later waves tied together a little more and I think that works better as a brand. I know getting Zartan in Wave 4 has tempted me to find Zarana and Torch since I wasn’t really interested in those figures initially. I haven’t because I’m still not super into either of those particular Dreadnoks, but the temptation to have some Dreadnoks for Zartan to hang around with was definitely there. While it’s a little insidious, I do like it when a good figure from later in the line inspires me to look at something earlier that I passed on with a little more interest. It’s just such a shame Kre-O is hard to find anywhere anymore, so I can’t really do it. Tangent aside, putting the Techno-Viper and Battle Damaged B.A.T. in waves released closed to each other works well for the same reason. I think had I not had the Techno-Viper, I might not have necessarily wanted the Battle Damaged B.A.T., but when you add in the idea of a Techno-Viper being there to fix up a B.A.T., it doesn’t seem like an unnecessary variant added to my collection and seems more like a cool pairing that works well together and looks good on display.