“Tonight on Fox—see footage of some of the most outrageous robotic mishaps! Watch in awe as an automated assembly line riveter goes awry… with stunning consequences! Gaze in shock and terror as Twikki gets revenge on Dr. Theopolis for all his years of bond servitude! You won’t believe your eyes at R2-D2 finally tires of C3PO’s constant effeminate whining! Tonight on ‘When Robots Attack’—only on FOX!” While the name “BAT Attack” may conjure up images from an hour of programming from a network desperate for viewers, nothing could be further from the truth. Another remnant from the discarded (and oft-denied) “Robot Rebellion” theme, the BAT Attack is another troop builder set from the creative minds in Pawtucket. Yet is this set warranted after the previous BAT 6-pack that was released several years ago? Absolutely and you can read on to find out why.
If you own the Wave 7 Overkill, then this figure will look very familiar. A repaint of that figure, the BAT Attack version seems to represent an armor upgrade to previous version. The primary paint application is silver while the joints and various pieces of undercarriage are still painted in the same copper/brown color giving the appearance of new alloys over the old frame. Aside from the cosmetic differences, the figure is unchanged. Now, normally I’d say that the choice of silver and gray hues would be ideal for any type of automaton but in this case, it just doesn’t work as well as the previous color scheme. This is probably one of the few times since the relaunch of the line that I actually prefer the original release to a repaint—simply because the darker colors better suited this mold. The gray/silver scheme isn’t bad but it makes the figure look more like, well, a toy. I don’t see the colors as metallic but rather as colored plastic and it destroys much of the illusion of realism for me. However, the figure isn’t a total waste because of this. As with the Wave 7 release, Overkill is modular which means that all of his parts can be combined with other compatible BAT units—such as the BAT v5 included in this set. So, while I’m not a fan of this figure as my definitive Overkill, I’ve got a nice pile of extra arms that can be used for either diorama props or as upgrades to the other BATs and that’s okay with me. Overkill does come with one new accessory—an alternate arm that features a missile launcher. The missile does not fire nor does the arm feature an articulation other than at the shoulder so it will go into the same parts pile as the other pieces.
I love this BAT. Plain and simple, this mold has been my favorite of all of Hasbro’s attempts at upgrading the BAT design since the relaunch. Tall, menacing, and decidedly robotic it has a menacing ominous appearance that would give any Joe pause. Whereas previous BAT molds had a very human-looking appearance, this model casts a more robotic shadow. From the more streamlined visor to the Terminator-esque arms, this how I’ve always envisioned my Cobra automatons and I’ve been happily troop-building this mold in all of its incarnations. In the case of this set, the BAT v3 is a straight repaint of the BATs that were released in the Spy Troops series and also with the BAT APC that was exclusive to Toys R Us. The only difference is that this BAT now has a much darker color scheme with the exception of the neon green that is the unifying factor among all of the BAT units in this set. Normally, I’m not a fan of neon but I like this design enough that the green doesn’t bother me. In many ways, it serves to differentiate the “Overkill BATs” from the other BATs in my Cobra army—showing that Overkill is pursuing his own agenda by subverting existing robot units as well as developing his own. This is a fantastic troop and one that I’m happy to own multiples of.
I’ve reviewed this BAT before and my opinion hasn’t changed. Whereas other models of Cobra’s automaton troops are menacing mechanoids that seem designed to be devastating ground troops, this model resembles nothing so much as Marvel Comic’s Avengers’ villain Ultron in biker shorts and penny loafers. Honestly, it’s a design that I despise so much that I simply can’t be objective about it. From the weak ankles to the hands that pop off at anything more than a casual glance this is one of my all-time least favorite GIJoe figures. Okay, I’ll admit that the darker color scheme makes it only marginally more tolerable but I reviewed it in Valor vs. Venom Wave 3 and I my opinion still holds true. If I could remove this piece from the set and replace it with either the v3 or the v5 model I’d be much happier. This is a figure that I’ll be getting rid of at my earliest convenience.
Overkill received a decidedly more robotic upgrade in Valor vs. Venom Wave 7 and now his troops have come along for the ride. This latest incarnation of the BAT troops abandons any pretense of humanity and is a fully robotic creation that reminds me more of the Terminator endo-skeletons than other BAT released to date. Based on a similar chassis to the most recent Overkill, this robot is almost skeletal in appearance—possessing a waist that most supermodels would kill for. The arms are substantial but most-decidedly robotic as are the legs. The body features the same “snap apart” construction as the BAT commander Overkill and can be broken down into lower legs and waist, torso, arms and head components. The arms break down even further with the forearms detaching to accommodate either the utilitarian hands or the forearm weapons mounts. It is important to note that this set comes with 3 sets of hands (one for each BAT v5) but only two full sets of the forearm weapons. The end result is that two of the v5’s can be dual-wielding their weapons while the third will have to carry a more human-designed weapon. It would have been nice to have all of the v5’s equipped equally but I’m not complaining as the variability of the hands/weapons allows me to mix-n-match the troops.
It is worth noting that this is the first BAT that I can remember that does not feature some sort of visor across its face. Rather, the v5 has two circular optical sensors that provide its only human-like characteristic. Otherwise, this model features a completely robotic head—complete with pistons on the neck. It is a design that totally mechanical in nature and one that I could be happier with. The only oddity about the design is found in the green cylinders that are attached the BAT’s elbows. Apparently these contain Overkill’s revised “venom” (as stated on the card) and are part of the BAT’s power systems. These containers, however, are not removable and do somewhat interfere with the ability to position the unit in any type of close quarters. The new models also sport a backpack unit that is painted in the same neon green that apparently contains more of this “venom”. The backpacks have two holes on each side that will allow them to attach to weapons like Spirit’s sniper rifle as well as many of the weapons that have been shown in the forthcoming DTC Wave 3. While I wish these containers had more of an explanation, I can easily come up with something to rationalize their appearance in my Joe collection. So while these containers are a bit odd, they do not in any way take away from my enjoyment of this set.
In the end, do I recommend this set? Absolutely! Overkill fans have the opportunity to pick up the BAT commander in a brand new paint scheme or can simply use him for spare parts on their v5’s. The v3’s are a welcome addition to any BAT collection and only come packed one-per-set so Joe fans who dislike this model won’t be loaded down with unwanted units. The v4 DOES have a better paint scheme but still suffers from all of the design problems inherent to this model. Thankfully, being one-per-set, I’ll be able to trade them off rather quickly. The real gem of the set, however, is the v5, which is a stunning new robotic creation and is packed at 3-per-set allowing Joe fans to troop build them with relative ease. So, while the Robot Rebellion theme didn’t happen “officially” this set will allow Joe fans and collectors everywhere to enact their own. This set is a VAST improvement over the lackluster Night Watch set and one that many Joe fans are going to be buying in bulk!