Review & pics by: Fred Meyer
G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Arctic Threat Arctic B.A.T.
I’ll be blunt-- I was and still am a fan of the 25th Anniversary Battle Android Trooper. When it was released in 2008, the 25th BAT was a perfect update to the original figure design. When compared to the rest of the 25th line, the figure was larger and bulkier than its compatriots-- which is exactly what I would expect of a robotic trooper. Plus, the generation 3 sculpting took the detail of the original and dialed it up to “11”. In other words, it was everything that fans wanted from a modern update to the classic 80’s design. The good news is that almost everything that fans loved about that 2008 figure is present in this 50th Anniversary Arctic BAT. Read on, and find out one Joe fan's opinion!
The biggest change in this figure is found in the color scheme. Following the example of the Pursuit of Cobra Jungle BAT the Arctic BAT once again takes the base Battle Android Trooper and gives it an environment-appropriate color scheme. In this case, the overall uniform color is white over which has been added a digital camouflage pattern in various shades of gray. The entire ensemble is topped off with silver paint applications on both the head(s) and boots. It’s nice to note that Hasbro has continued to give the exposed mechanical arms of the BAT’s a black paint wash which really brings out the detailing in the sculpt. There’s a bit of a color clash going on between the dark washed arms and the shiny “Starlight Express” boots but honestly it’s not enough of a difference to bring the figure down.
One detail I do find odd is that the figure’s next is completely unpainted in this version. There’s a lot of nicely sculpted mechanical details there but it would seem that budgetary cuts have struck once again. I’ve also noticed that, like much of the 50th Anniversary line, the plastic feels noticeably lighter and softer. Normally this is more of an aesthetic different and doesn’t actually affect the usability of the figure but this time it does present a problem. The Arctic BAT’s hands are designed to be removeable, popping on and off small plastic posts easily. The right hand on my Arctic BAT, however, refuses to budge more than just a little. Normally a bit of extra pressure would free it up right away but with the softer plastic I’m not willing to risk it. As such, you’ll notice that this BAT is using his right hand in every picture.
When it comes to gear, the BAT wisely borrows the damaged head of the Hall of Heroes release and the damaged chestplate of the Defense of Cobra Island version. I’ll be honest-- I’m surprised that Hasbro included these when omitting them would have saved further tooling $$$. (Sadly, this is what the line has come down to-- saving tooling dollars by cutting plastic quality, accessories, and paint apps. Happy 50th Anniversary!) Still, for those fans who are still troop-building Generation 3 ARAH Joes, this offers some nice variability in display options. The chestplate on mine is fused but I’ve had the damaged head on and off a few times with no issues.
At the end of the day, is this figure worth picking up? In my opinion, the Arctic BAT is the reason that fans are going to be buying this set. (Possibly even buying multiples.) The base figure is one of the best pieces from the 25th Anniversary line and the digital snow camouflage and alternate color scheme really makes the entire design just POP! Sure, some folks might complain that this is another easy repaint from Hasbro but I’d counter that it is a repaint that actually makes sense. As the file card indicates these are troopers that Cobra can deploy anywhere-- who won’t complain about the cold or miss a scheduled rotation on guard duty. With the additional included firepower, this Arctic BAT is going to take Cobra’s cold weather forces to a whole new level of lethality! Of course, that's just one Joe fan's opinion.
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