• ”Break, Rip, Tear, Destroy,..Cobra B.A.T.s, We Enemy of G.I. Joe”-”Please command us Dr,. Mindbender”.

  • The B.A.T. and the Viper were the most eye-catching figures from 1986. Of course, for me, I came too late for the Cobra generic trooper so the Viper was the first Cobra rank & file generic I could get. Of course, they looked so cool. Black, silver with the cool lenticular chest, and the hand weapon swap (though Trapjaw from He-Man had something like that IIRC).

    The card art does showcase the figure and its key feature well- being a robot (the head is all the same color, unlike the figure, but really gives a sense this thing is lifeless) and swapping out its hand component for different weapons, one a flamethrower (great for card art, but requiring an imagination in practice), one a menacing claw.

    I just realized… why do B.A.T.s have clothes? Does Destro have a clothing division of M.A.R.S. and required sale of uniforms with vehicles & weapons?

    And I also realised the power of bad packaging, bad art hurting some figures, like Sneak Peek and another figure I’m drawing a blank on at the moment.

    And congratulations on having a MLB World Series champion team! The Royals play with a very distinctive style (grinding out at-bats, aggressive baserunning as opposed to lots of home runs. Solid pitching is a hallmark of other World Series champs though). You could never count them out til the game was over.

    • I’d like to add, I just realized Roboto from He-Man had the swappable arm components. The lenticular chest seems like a substitute for Roboto’s transparent torso with colored turning gears. Difference is he was a hero and one-of-a-kind, not a generic like the B.A.T.s. Roboto was from 1985 (B.A.T.s black, silver, gold color scheme also made them look more evil as opposed to transparent, blue, red).

    • BATS wore clothes for the reasons humans do, to protect their body from the elements (in their case, gears and moving parts). You might think, why not armored casings? Because that would increase their weight and production costs, as mentioned on BAT V3 file card.

  • What ever happened to the “android” part of their mythos???? The card art clearly shows human flesh elbows…

    • I’m not so sure on the flesh elbows. I think they are meant to be yellow to match the boots. The filecard, comics and cartoon all made it very clear that they were robots.

      But, I think we have the cartoon and cartoon alone to thank for BATS. Death was to be avoided at all costs. So, they created robot bad guys the Joes could blow up. Viola! War is whitewashed.

      Back in ’86, I didn’t get the appeal of the BAT. I overheard kids in the toy aisles singing their praises. But, I never saw it. There were so many other ’86 figures that were cooler. (Including the Viper.) It might have been the robot angle playing off of Transformers popularity. But, the BAT was one of the last ’86 figures I acquired. And, even then, it was my brother who got him, not me. My opinion of the figure has improved with time. But, back then, this wasn’t the “it” figure it is today.

      • Yeah. She-Ra had that in the cartoon with the Horde Troopers, who were clearly portrayed as robots yet oddly showed human-like qualities, like fear, talking down about their superiors behind their backs, loafing off and lamenting their assigned tasks. That made them easy to scrap without concern. That’s just part of the nature of children’s television though sometimes they could be very lax (syndication was over networks, Fox was early on and each series got more restricted, from Batman having the most leeway, X-Men having less, Spider-Man having even less, down to Beast Machines having the most restrictions of the bunch). He-Man, outside of guest villains, used all identifiable characters as enemy forces and most generic forces were lifeforms just beaten up, not killed or blasted away. Outside of the movie, Transformers only seemed to get away with it with the Sweeps (who were also cloned off-screen) and Beast Wars had a small cast which should’ve been killed several times over but were salvageable even from scrap thanks to advanced recovery chambers, while Beast Machines had sparkless Vehicon hordes to fill the destructible enemy troops role.

        GI Joe didn’t use the BATs too often though. I think they just wanted to have some robots in the picture because robots are cool, especially after 1984-85 with the arrival of Transformers & Go-Bots onto the scene (Short Circuit came out in May 1986, by which time BATs were on shelves). They had 65 episodes to that point with flesh & blood generic troops and had a new upgrade for them, Vipers. Notice how every plane shot down had the Cobras bail out in parachutes though, another sign of the restrictions on cartoons.

  • Oh, and on the Royals, that was a fun World Series. It’s awesome when a team has the confidence to do things against the numbers and see them work time and time again. I wasn’t a fan of the Royals going into the postseason (Really, I liked every team in playoffs more than them with the exception of the Mets. I can’t stand the Mets. I’ll never forgive them for robbing Dave Henderson of his great moment in ’86.) but watching them play was fun and I’m a convert. I’ll be looking forward to reading Joe Posnanski’s take on the title sometime today.

  • I love the filecard’s implication that Cobra troops complain about chow and get sick-time. Like, I’m picturing some random Viper telling Cobra Commander his PTO balance is off, then getting shot in the face or something.

    Love BATS. Just the concept of robotic soldiers seems so Cobra – sacrificing adaptability & skill for obedience & volume. The interchangeable hands added such a cool level of playability. And they worked really well solo or as troop builders. If you just had one, it could be a super-powerful robot. If you had several, they were great cannon fodder.

  • I remember seeing a design sketch of the Battle Android Troopers that was more along the lines of a cyborg soldier, so the flesh elbows might be a carryover from that idea. This is one of my favorite cardarts; I remember seeing the BAT on the pegs and immediately grabbing one. Didn’t even cross my mind that it wasn’t “real world GIJoe”. I always give Cobra a pass on fantastic technology anyway.

  • You guys talking about Baseball?

    Oh and on the subject of the chest sticker, can anyone else see the 1/72 aircraft parts?

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