50th Anniversary BAT
Growing up, I always wanted the original B.A.T. figure. It came out just a little before my time in the Joe brand, but it was still shown on the cardbacks of some of the earlier figures I managed to find. However, for whatever reason, the original B.A.T. eluded me. I had the 1991 version and I really do like that figure, but it’s still a little hard to beat the classic B.A.T. design.
However, considering how many times the B.A.T. has shown up in the modern line, I’m getting a bit tired of the design. The B.A.T. was kind of the cost of doing business to get the S.A.W. Viper and female Cobra Officer in the cool Cobra Legion set. It’s by no means a bad figure, but we’ve definitely been here and done that several times before.
The 50th Anniversary B.A.T. uses the same parts as other previous B.A.T. releases. That means it’s a pretty faithful modern recreation of the vintage B.A.T. design. I do like the fact that both arms are swappable, though it would be nice if there were a place to store all the attachments. Hasbro included the damaged chest plate and this time around, its fit is just loose enough that I could actually swap them out. I like the damaged chest plate, but it is a little odd that Hasbro didn’t bother including the damaged head as well. I like the battle damaged head and I think if you’re going to include the damaged chest, you should have the damaged head as an option as well. I’m honestly having trouble remembering the last time we saw this piece and that’s a shame because it’s a really good piece. In addition to the battle damaged chest plate, the B.A.T. comes with all three B.A.T. weapon arms and a pistol to fill the holster on his left leg. None of this is stuff we haven’t seen before, but it’s still nice that all the B.A.T. attachments are still included.
Where this version of the B.A.T. differs from its brethren is in its color scheme. Considering how versatile the B.A.T. could be, it’s always surprised me that it took Hasbro until the Pursuit of Cobra line to realize that they could make a B.A.T. more interesting just by decking it out with environment specific camouflage. While I wasn’t terribly impressed with the Jungle B.A.T. (and never saw it at retail), putting the B.A.T. in urban camouflage was a great call. The base of the figure is light gray with black and silver camouflage splotches throughout. However, there is a spot just under the B.A.T.’s chest window that got missed by the camouflage tampo and while it’s not super noticeable, it is surprising that part of the figure got completely missed by the tampo team. Also, the shoulder armor is left unpainted, and I find myself missing that detail quite a bit. The B.A.T.’s head is black with some silver weathering on it and a red face plate. This is the first time I’ve ever gotten a B.A.T. with a red face plate and I have to admit that it is a fairly striking look. The arms are silver with a pretty heavy black wash on them. I understand why Hasbro keeps putting a wash on the B.A.T. arms, but I’m getting a little tired of this overly thick wash on them. It honestly kind of overwhelms the details it’s supposed to accentuate.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like the urban camouflage B.A.T., but it just doesn’t wow me like it should. I think the paint problems are the biggest detractor here. It’s still a good looking figure, but it looks a bit unfinished or slightly like a knockoff. Hasbro products shouldn’t look like bootlegs. I’m all for decking out the B.A.T. in environment specific camouflage when it’s done well, but there are just enough problems here that it does make it kind of a weak figure.