Growing up, I always loved the Cobra B.A.T. and though I missed out on the original version, the 1991 version quickly became one of my most used Cobra troopers. I’m sure part of that was the cartoon’s influence, but I just thought robots were cool and the interchangeable hand weapons really spoke to my kid brain. While I didn’t think about it at the time, B.A.T.s were also a perfect way to tie the G.I. Joes and Transformers together. I think the only reason I didn’t put that together is because Transformers were more KansasBrother’s realm (I just thought the transformation stuff was a little more complicated than I preferred) and a lot of the cool ones (like the Constructicons) weren’t in a scale that worked well with Joes. When the Transformers Collectors’ Club decided to make a few figures that united the Joe and Transformers universe, the Stealth B.A.T. was something that made perfect sense. While it didn’t show up in the Transformers cartoon, it’s something that definitely fits with the idea and is something I can see Old Snake developing.
The Stealth B.A.T. is a repainted Transformers Prime Soundwave. That was a wise move on the Transformers Collectors Club’s part for a couple reasons. First of all, it’s just a great figure. I don’t follow the Transformers brand all that closely, but I read a couple other action figure review sites and I remember thinking Prime Soundwave was pretty cool when he was reviewed there a few years ago. The design of the robot mode is rather tall and lanky. It does share a bit of design similarities with the movie-inspired “shardformers” but it’s still a bit more substantial. Stealth B.A.T. has joints as the ankles, knees, shoulders and elbows. While that’s not a lot, he’s still a lot more mobile than vintage Transformers (another thing I think that I held against Transformers as a kid). Secondly, Soundwave’s head already looked surprisingly like a B.A.T. head, so that piece of design work is perfect for the Stealth B.A.T. and the red, light-piped face works very well to replicate the cartoon B.A.T.’s red faceplate. The design is also very sleek, and I think that’s a good look for something that’s designed to be a stealthy operative. Because the Stealth B.A.T. is based on Soundwave, he also gets an added robot partner. Laserbeak is stored in his chest. When it’s in the Stealth B.A.T.’s chest, it just looks like some additional angular armor, but it can be pulled out and can perch in the hole in either “wrist.” I’m not sure which end is the front of the B.A.T. Drone. The longer end looks a little like a head, but the wings are then oriented in a way that looks backwards to me. Regardless, I like the little drone here and I think it’s a nice touch for the Stealth B.A.T. to have its own deployable drone as well.
To use the Transformers parlance, the Stealth B.A.T.’s altmode is a predator drone and I think that’s a great choice. I liked it for Soundwave and honestly, because of the disposable and remote-controlled nature of the B.A.T., I think it works even better here. The conversation from robot to drone is very simple and intuitive, which is something I appreciate. I like not having to look up the instructions whenever I want to transform the figure. The drone mode is nice and sleek and looks quite realistic. The best part of the Old Snake and Stealth B.A.T. set is that there are two Stealth B.A.T.s in the set, which means I can have one in robot mode all the time and the other in drone mode. The drone is relatively in scale with actual Joe figures, which is a plus and I really think a B.A.T. turning into a drone is a brilliant idea.
To help finish off the B.A.T. look, the Stealth B.A.T.’s color scheme is lifted from the original 1986 version. The base of the figure is black with yellow detailing. The yellow is more prevalent on the robot mode, and that makes sense. The less yellow on a stealthy drone, the harder it’s going to be to see. The front of the drone has a red faceplate on it like the B.A.T.’s face and I think that’s a nice touch. Rounding out the look, the drone has the very cool Cobra/Decepticon mash up logo that DDP designed back in the day as promo art for their first G.I. Joe/Transformers crossover comic series. I’ve loved this logo since I first saw it and while I wish it were done in purple like a standard Decepticon logo, it actually looks surprisingly good in B.A.T. yellow. When the figure is in robot mode, there’s a lot more yellow and it falls in fairly standard B.A.T. placement. The Stealth B.A.T. has yellow feet like the vintage B.A.T.’s boots and yellow stripes on the chest like the yellow chest straps. There’s also a little bit of silver on the chest and on the crest of his head. The silver pops nicely against the black and it’s cleanly applied. The black and yellow look is a striking combination and it works well on the Stealth B.A.T. and I’m glad the Transformers Collectors Club decided to ape the vintage figure’s color scheme on this figure. The B.A.T. drone adds a little splash of color to the figure, adding in just a touch of green to the armor. The Stealth B.A.T. is a great looking figure and the paint team did an excellent job with it.
I honestly didn’t think I’d add the Old Snake and Stealth B.A.T. set to my collection. Yes, it was cool, but it was also something that wasn’t at all necessary to my collection. However, sales are kind of funny sometimes and the sale on this set was just too good to pass up. I really do like the Stealth B.A.T.s and I’m glad I have a pair of them so one can stay in robot mode while the other is in vehicle mode. While putting two of them in the set raised the price point a bit, it is nice that I don’t have to choose which mode to display the Stealth B.A.T. in since they’re both so good. While I don’t think I’ll need to jump in any harder on the Transformers/Joe crossovers (unless I could find a good price on the Shockwave HISS SDCC set), this one set is a nice little addition that adds a bit of variety to my collection.