To paraphrase Homer J. Simpson: "Mmmmm..... troop builders..." Normally a two pack of two Cobra troops would make me happier than a pudding salesman outside of a Weight Watchers convention. However, not all troop builders are created equally. In fact, some are just downright sad. This two pack, for me, is a case of the glass being both half empty and half full. Why is that? Read on, if you dare.
Maybe I’m a bit thick but, unless Hasbro was going for “Ultron in biker shorts”, I really don’t understand this design. It’s such a radical departure from previous BAT designs that, when grouped together, this guy is the sore thumb. Actually, I should say he’s the repaint of the sore thumb. Previously released in Valor vs. Venom Wave 2, the BAT returns albeit with a metallic paint job. It is that very color scheme that saves this figure from being discarded entirely from my collection. Gone are the purple biker shorts and black jacket that previously adorned the robot warrior. Now we have a very ‘earth tone android’ that slightly redeems this otherwise silly design. Slender skeletal ankles replace the standard legs; this appears to be a trade off for replacing the robotic arms of the previous design with more human-like arms. While I normally don’t mind the robotic look, it’s the slender nature of the ankles that really throw this design off. Add in the fact that it looks like he’s wearing penny loafers (seriously, check it out!) and you’ve got an Ultron knock-off that will barely be allowed within restraining order distance of my Joe collection. Unfortunately I’d love to get a few more Snow Wolf figures so I’m stuck with the BAT for now.
As with the previous release of this sculpt, both hands are removable and the figure comes with several attachments that can be used to outfit the BAT. Unfortunately, he does not come with any sort of backpack storage for these arm attachments. Combined with the fact that the arm attachments don’t stay attached as well as those found on BAT v 3.2 and you have a robot that really represents a step backwards by Hasbro. In all likelihood, I’ll be getting rid of this figure at the first opportunity.
If you’ve been with the relaunch of GIJoe for a while, you’ve already met Snow Wolf (aka Snow Serpent V5 and V6). Part of the Takara-sculpted wave of Joes, Snow Wolf/Serpent has some of the more anime-esque proportions that dominated that wave. As he’s already been covered in two previous Breakdowns, there’s not a lot more to say about him. He’s missing his snowshoes and his “wolf” but he’s otherwise intact from previous waves. Fans who missed out on the Snow Serpent vs. Blowtorch 2-pack or the Polar Blast snowmobile can pick him up in this wave. The only difference in this figure and the one that came packaged with the snowmobile is that Snow Wolf sports a solid Cobra sigil on the right sleeve while the Snow Serpent figure had an outlined sigil. That’s it… nothing to see here… move along.
So, what happened? We started out with an Ultron knock-off and a previously-released Snow Serpent now called "Snow Wolf". I'll be blunt-- the BAT is junk and precious little can convince me that this penny loafer wearing Ultron knock off is worth keeping. The Snow Serpent is a great figure; true, he was just released with the Polar Blast snowmobile but he was insanely hard to find in GvC wave 5. So, this pack leaves me with a glass half empty/ half full scenario. I'm happy to get more Snow Wolves but I'm going to be saddled with far too many of these fugly BATS. In the end, I'm glad this two pack is short-packed as I'd hate to see those wretched robots every time I hit the store. If you like this design of a Battle Android Trooper, then grab this set for the better paint job. If you're a fan of the Snow Wolves, grab them and chuck the BATS right out the window. I know that's what I'll be doing!