1991 GI Joe BAT Review

Today we’re continuing Childhood Favorites Month with a look at the single figure who made up the backbone of my Cobra army as a kid– the 1991 BAT v2. 

As with the other three figures I’m featuring this month, this one means a lot to me. I’ll try to be objective, but nostalgia has a strong hold over me when it comes to this black and neon android. 

Also note that I’ve included some fairly old photos in this review. Any time you see a BAT without a chest sticker, that’s an old photo. I wanted to include them both because they are amusing and because I want you to see what a 1991 BAT normally looks like– their lenticular chest stickers have almost all fallen off by now. 

Let’s run through the usual childhood stories, the review, and the comparisons. Join me after the break. 

1991 GI Joe BAT, The Royal Army of Cobra

1991 GI Joe BAT

As a kid, I always seemed to have more GI Joe figures than Cobra figures. I have always been partial to the good guys in almost every franchise (miss me with that ‘The Empire Did Nothing Wrong’ shit), but the good guys do need bad guys to fight. Plus, when you have an enemy faction as interesting as Cobra is, you want as many of those figures as you can possibly get. 

I just didn’t have many. 

My memory is not infallible, but before 1991 I only remember having a few Cobra troop types– I had an Annihilator (I didn’t understand the concept of Iron Grenadiers back then), a HEAT Viper, a Techno Viper, a Night Creeper, and a Range Viper. Of those, the Night Creeper and Techno Viper stayed at my dad’s house, which I never really went to. And of the three remaining figures, I really only loved the Range Viper. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

That’s why 1991 was a godsend. I didn’t get too many more Cobra troop types that year, but I absolutely loved the ones I got. 

In 1991, I received a Desert Scorpion, an Incinerator, a Sonic Fighters Lamprey (which stayed at my dad’s house), a Sonic Fighters Viper (which was lost that same year), a Sludge Viper, and a BAT. 

So, that basically left me with the BAT, the Desert Scorpion, and the Sludge Viper. The Incinerator didn’t last more than a year and I’m not sure what happened to it. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

The Desert Scorpion was pretty environmentally specific, which I realized even as a kid. And I was paying more attention to file cards in 1991, and him being the “lowest of the low” as far as Cobra troops went meant I didn’t see as much value in him. 

So, my Cobra forces were basically made up of BATs and Sludge Vipers until the following years. Granted, I only had one BAT and one Sludge Viper, because there was no way my mom was going to willingly buy me two of the same figure. But I had imagination, which is almost as good as army building. 

Similar to Tik-Tok in Ozma of Oz and the movie Return to Oz, who is a one-robot Royal Army of Oz, my BAT functioned as the one-robot Royal Army of Cobra. Except while Tik-Tok is just one stout lil’ fantasy robot, my BAT figure represented the entire Cobra army. When one went down, another one took its place. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

Sludge Vipers were tougher enemies than BATs, and the Joes usually had to wade through several waves of 1991 GI Joe BATs to get to a couple Sludge Vipers. I liked the idea of robot enemies for GI Joe, both because I saw it on the Sunbow cartoon VHS tapes I rented and because it lessened the level of real violence. I didn’t like the idea of GI Joe agents killing scores of human opponents. 

Eventually, BATs were supplemented by Headhunters, Crimson Guard Commanders, Toxo Zombies, Headhunter Stormtroopers, and TARGATs. But even through the remaining years of the original ARAH GI Joe toy line, the BAT remained the most important member of my Cobra army. They were the perfect cannon fodder and they looked cool as hell. 

When you mention “Cobra,” this BAT is still one of the first things that pops into my mind. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

I know a lot of GI Joe fans don’t love the idea of robot enemies. It lessens the “realism” of the brand and there are practical concerns. A robot army, especially in terms of the 80s and 90s, is much more expensive to produce and maintain than a human army. BATs are also portrayed as dangerous to both friend and foe, which makes them a bit impractical, even though it’s a great bit of world building. Plus, the concept of semi-autonomous androids probably seemed just too “science fiction” for many GI Joe fans. 

But I’m a fan of GI Joe because of its science fiction elements, and not in spite of them. So having robot troopers make up the bulk of Cobra’s army really worked for me as a kid. I still enjoy the concept of BATs to this day. And, as a general observation, a BAT figure almost always ends up being the best toy in every single GI Joe toy line. Kre-o, 25th Anniversary, Sigma 6– you name it. Every BAT is great. 

You’ll see my childhood BAT in many of these photos. He survived the house fire with his gun attachment intact. I’ve since refurbished him a bit, and I’m glad he’s still with me. So, whenever you see a 1991 GI Joe BAT with a gun arm attachment, know that’s the one that’s been with me since 1991. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

The BAT v2 isn’t very popular among people older than me. Even if they do like BATs as a concept, they easily prefer the 1986 original. I never had a chance to own one of those as a kid, and have only obtained some over the last few years. That toy is undeniably fantastic, but I have no nostalgia for it. 

So, to me, the 1991 BAT is the Cobra BAT. 

But, as we proceed to the review, I’ll try to objectively explore how he holds up to the original Battle Android Trooper. 

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

1991 GI Joe BAT Review

1991 GI Joe BAT

The Battle Android Trooper version 2 was released in 1991, using all original parts. 1991 was the first year some GI Joe figures started including spring-loaded missile launchers, and the BAT’s packaging had a “Weapon Really Shoots!” callout. 

The 1991 GI Joe BAT is cast primarily in black plastic and features both neon orange and neon green paint applications. Only three colors are used, but it’s a striking look. I think this figure is the exact reason why black and neon green are my favorite color combination. There are lots of cool little robotic details featured throughout the sculpt, and this looks like a full-blown android. Unlike the 86 version, this figure is not inexplicably wearing pants. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

I am also in love with the head sculpt. Mike T famously used this figure as a pilot, but I can’t see it as anything other than a robot due to how the head is shaped. Even as a kid, I didn’t think you could fit a human head in there. I adore a good t-shaped visor (Boba Fett, Crusader: No Remorse, Vile from Mega Man X, etc) and the neon orange “face” against the all-black head looks striking and evil in equal measure. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

The torso sculpt’s raised elements like the chest plate, the collar, and the orange detail that goes over the android’s shoulders are all fantastic. I also love the details on the glove cuffs and the boots. The 91 BAT looks like a streamlined, 90s-futuristic robotic killing machine. And that’s exactly what he should look like. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

We’ll get to the accessories and the interchangeable hands in a moment, but first I want to address the chest sticker. When he was new, the 1991 GI Joe BAT came with a lenticular hologram sticker that covered his chest plate. When you moved the figure around, the mechanisms in his chest seemed to activate and come alive. When I was a kid, I would shift the figure around for minutes at a time and just observe the chest hologram. You can see how the original hologram looks over at 3DJoes

Over time, though, the glue that holds the sticker on inevitably dissolves and the hologram falls off of the figure. Most specimens you see no longer have their stickers. You can see what the typical used v2 BAT looks like in several of my photos. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

I’ve since replaced the stickers with a sheet of decals from ToyHax. They aren’t lenticular hologram stickers, but they do use a holofoil material that reflects the light nicely and just looks fantastic. If your BATs are missing stickers, I think ToyHax is the way to go. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

The sticker sheet includes enough chest holograms for four BATs, along with some additional Cobra logos and holofoil decals for the BAT’s face visor. These are high quality stickers and they’re super easy to apply. Even I can do it. 

Now, onto accessories. What’s a BAT without arm attachments?

The 1991 GI Joe BAT comes with a neon orange hand, a neon orange gun attachment, a black missile launcher attachment, a neon green missile, and a black figure stand. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

Before we get into detail, I will mention that the 1991 BAT’s accessories are not compatible with the 1986 BAT. The reverse is also true. 

The hand attachment is self explanatory. It exactly mirrors the non-removable left hand. It attaches solidly to the arm peg and can rotate, giving the BAT an extra point of articulation. 

The gun arm, called a “grenade launcher” on the packaging, also attaches solidly and can be positioned however you want. I generally attach it with the “wire” section pointing down. We’ll go into the whole “grenade launcher” thing a little bit later in the review.

1991 GI Joe BAT

The final attachment is the BAT’s spring-loaded missile launcher. It doesn’t attach to the arm peg as well as the other two accessories, but it is much heavier than they are. I generally like to pose it in an “under arm” configuration, but you can also attach it so it functions like a standard, over-the-shoulder bazooka, too. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

The missile launcher itself is great. It’s realistically sized and the neon green missile doesn’t poke too far out when it’s loaded. It’s completely believable, unlike some launchers from 1993 and 1994. It’s also more than a missile launcher! The launcher can attach to the figure’s back as a backpack, and it also includes two pegs to hold whichever arm accessories you’re not using at the time. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

It’s not as fancy or compact as the 1986 BAT’s backpack, but it does show that Hasbro was still putting some thought and care into their figures in 1991. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

I also really like all of the details on the launcher. For my money, the BAT v2’s launcher is one of the best in the toy line, rivaled only by Red Star, Eel v2, Sci-Fi v2, Mercer v2, Sci-Fi v4, and the 1994 Star Brigade Duke. 

It’s a great accessory that was tailor made just for this figure. 

The hand attachment is obviously quite useful. With it, the figure can borrow other weapons and be outfitted however you want it to be. With the added articulation, you might even be able to get some good rifle holding poses out of it. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

The “grenade launcher” is my favorite attachment, and the only one I didn’t lose during childhood. I was very vigilant about keeping the accessory, as I felt the BAT was useless without it. I don’t see it as a grenade launcher at all, though. A grenade launcher only has a couple of shots and there’s no extra ammo stored anywhere on the figure. Also, having a grenade launcher and a missile launcher is a little redundant. You have maybe 3-4 shots and then you’re done. Dropping an expensive android onto the battlefield that’s useless after four shots does not make any sense to me. Even as a kid, I was not into the concept.

Instead, I used the grenade launcher attachment as a laser blaster. The Sunbow cartoon, my main source of GI Joe media as a kid, was all about lasers– so I was, too. Using the BAT’s gun attachment as a laser meant they had as many shots as they needed to thwart, terrorize, and pin down the GI Joe team. I can never see this arm attachment as anything but a laser gun. 

The 1991 GI Joe BAT was a followup to 1986’s Battle Android Trooper. The 91 version has some continuity with the first figure and upholds its legacy nicely, but there are a ton of differences. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

The 86 BAT had more arm attachments and more intricate sculpting. It feels like a “deluxe” figure in a way that few other GI Joe toys do. It’s a perfect action figure. In some ways, the BAT v2 can’t compete with it and I understand why someone who had a version 1 BAT as a kid might turn their nose up at the second version. 

But I think that if you take the BAT v2 as its own figure, it’s a worthy update and nearly a perfect action figure on its own. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

It was probably also cheaper to make, which is why Hasbro reused it a few times in the Repaint Era. Here it is with the BAT v2 (its actual name) and the Inferno BAT, both released in a box set in 2003. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

The updated figures are both quite good, but the vanilla BAT loses a few points for not using bright silver for the face and chest details. It’s a good homage to the original BAT, but those color changes would have really elevated it. The Inferno BAT is a really cool figure that’s unlike anything else Hasbro has ever done. Why this set wasn’t more popular with collectors at the time, I will never know. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

The 1991 BAT’s legs were also used for Street Fighter 2’s Zangief in 1993. That will never not be hilarious to me.

I’ve pretty much already described how I see the BAT working in the world of GI Joe and how the figure folds into a collection. These are android troopers, plain and simple. They’re not smart or cunning, but you can turn them loose on an enemy force and watch the battlefield dissolve into total chaos and devastation. I always kind of liked that a BAT might shoot a fellow Cobra unit, as well– it adds some more drama into any given scenario. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

I also appreciate that Hasbro released the BAT commander, Overkill, the following year. That figure’s neon green and black matched up well with his android troopers. And, if you had both Overkill and his BATs on the battlefield at once, the BATs were smarter and less prone to friendly fire incidents. That’s how I played it out as a kid, anyway. And how I still see it now. 

I don’t think BATs can really replace your standard Vipers and Cobra Troopers. They’d just be too expensive. Instead, I see them as a “special occasion” kind of trooper Cobra deploys when they need an overwhelming force. GI Joe can have a little BAT, as a treat. 

Of course, I also love using BATs in photo scenarios, too. You can murder them in a billion different ways and it still barely qualifies as violence. 80s cartoon executives and network censors were smart in that one way. 

1991 GI Joe BAT

This black and neon robotic idiot is one of my favorite GI Joe figures of all time. It looks great, has cool accessories, played a big part in my childhood, and provides the best kind of disposable cannon fodder for Cobra. 

I fell in love with it on day one, and my childhood BAT is still an important part of my collection. How often does that happen?

1991 GI Joe BAT

Overall: The 1991 GI Joe BAT is an amazing figure. It may not measure up to the 1986 BAT in some ways, but it’s a worthy update that holds its own and does its own thing. The accessories are cool and well-thought-out. It has one of the best missile launchers in the entire ARAH toy line. It has a stunning design. And, to top it all off, it has the perfect color scheme. Highly Recommended

Closing Thoughts on the 1991 GI Joe BAT

1991 GI Joe BAT

There’s a construction crew working in the alley behind my house right now. They also have three of the four streets surrounding my home closed off. They’re using heavy equipment and vibrating the ever-living hell out of my living room. At some point this morning, one of their power shovels or front end loaders severed my internet connection. 

My internet company will not send a technician out until next Friday. I work from home at the moment and an internet connection is very important to my job. 

I’m setting up with a new internet service provider in the morning. If you see this post before then, I guess my mobile hot spot was good enough to upload the images. If not, you’ll be seeing it on Friday after my new connection is set up.

I’m not even mad at the construction crew. They’re doing a sewer replacement project, which the city badly needs. I’m mad at my (former) internet provider for telling me to get fucked when I need to do my job. 

Oh well, at least I have plastic robot dolls to soothe my soul. 

Anyway, what do you think of the 91 BAT? Do you like the 86 original more? How do BATs work in your collection or in your GI Joe world? Let me know in the comments!

19 thoughts on “1991 GI Joe BAT Review

  1. Brad Bellinger

    I’m 44 1/2 years old so the 86 bat is my childhood bat … but I do enjoy and appreciate hearing your perspective and passion for the era of G.I. Joe that meant something to you growing-up✌🏻 You got a very professional writing style that make these posts very easy reads … I agree that this version of a spring loaded missile launcher actually seems to make sense for the character and it’s a good point about overkill tying into the color as well the following year. I learned a few things and I was entertained. Nicely done👍🏻

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Also, having a grenade launcher and a missile launcher is a little redundant.” I could be wrong, but I don’t think it would be. Grenade launchers that size would primarily be anti-infantry, whereas the missile launcher would be used against tanks/helicopters.

    Of course, I always used that arm as a laser too, but thinking about it as a grenade launcher makes this BAT seem more intimidating, and I’m having fun contemplating that for a bit. One could assume that BAT’s aren’t good marksmen, so a grenade launcher could help them if they only had to shoot in the general direction of a target. As well, additional ammo could be hidden somewhere, like the backpack or a hollow compartment in the BAT’s thighs.

    I used to not like this figure any, because I thought the orange and green color combo was just too much. Didn’t mind the neon per se, but the colors put together came across to me as tacky. Of course, then I warmed up to the neon right around the time that prices on everything went up. I hope 90’s toys being popular is more of a fad, because I liked it better when this stuff was cheap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hah! I knew someone would call me out on the redundancy thing. You’re right, of course. But I meant that having your only two weapons be heavy, explodey-type things with very limited ammo seems redundant. Or maybe just impractical. But you’re right that a grenade launcher absolutely could be very practical for a BAT. I wonder how many kids actually used it as a grenade launcher, especially because the file card calls them “walking machine guns.”

      I liked it better when stuff was cheap, too. And there are still a few 90s pieces I’d like to get. I don’t imagine things will get much better anytime soon, though.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!


  3. I was never a fan of the 1986 BAT. I just couldn’t understand why people fawned over that mold and character so much. But, as soon as I saw the 1991, I was hooked. I even bought a carded one back in 1998 or so from Derryl DePriest when he was still a collector and was liquidating his 3 3/4 stuff.

    At first, I used him a pilot in the Firebat. But, as I got more, they remain the only real BAT that I use. I see them as swarming, unintelligent robots. But, they are relentless and that is valuable in a lot of situations.

    These are not only overly expensive these days, they’re kind of hard to find. You used to see them (and all the other ’91 army builders) in lots. And, they were usually complete and in decent condition. Now, you can’t find them unless the sticker is missing or the crotch is busted. I’d love a few more. But, that’s proving tougher and tougher to do.

    Had Red Laser survived, he was going to release an ’86 BAT in 1991 colors. I’d have bought a few of those just for the great color combo. It’s too bad that one didn’t come to be. It would have been amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mike!

      I’m kind of surprised you don’t like the 86 BAT. When I got my first one, I was really surprised at how good the sculpting is and how cool the accessories are. It’s just really fun to play with.

      I wasn’t aware broken crotches were common with the 91s. At least there are some options for replacing the sticker, though.

      I would have loved to see that from Red Laser! I feel like I’m swimming in factory custom BATs already (I have at least 6 of them, and I especially like the ‘Overkill’ ones even though the green isn’t bright enough), but I feel like the 86 done up in 91 colors would be an absolute favorite. It’s a shame for another reason, too– factory custom makers seem to be embarrassed to really homage anything from the 90s. That Overkill BAT is a good example, as it really tones down the neon green to a dull green. And even though TBM made those bright Python Patrol Eels, he refrained from doing a version that homages the 1992 Eel. If he’d done those, I would have happily bought four of them.


  4. Sergio Sánchez

    INCREDIBLE. I have two of this guys since 1991 and NEVER know they can storage his arm and gun in the missile launcher. Thanks¡ I have a lot of fun with your posts¡
    Grettings from México

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sam Smith

    Another awesome review. Apologies in advance for the following thought-explosion:

    My buddy and I shared custody of one 86 Bat and one 91 Bat. I have to admit that once we got the 91 Bat, the 86 Bat rarely came out of the toy box during playtime. I’m not sure why. We loved the Sunbow cartoon, and even as kids thought the DiC cartoon looked janky af. But alas, it was the neon 90s and Hasbro knew how to spoon-feed pop culture into our child-brains. Neon Zubaz pants in elementary school? Check. Hyper color t-shirts? Check. Killer robots in neon green and orange? Double check.

    As I grew into my 20s and 30s — like many — I grew to dislike the 91 Bat because of its neon colors. I loved the sculpt though. So, in 2003, when Hasbro released the 91 Bat in 86 Bat colors, I swooned. In my opinion, the 03 Bat is the apex usage of this sculpt. Nowadays, the price on both the 86 and 91 Bats are prohibitive. However, its still relatively easy to army build the 03 Bats. Even the red translucent Bat is dope!

    Nowadays, as I grow *even* older (gulp), nostalgia for the neon 90s has hit me hard. My childlike appreciation of the 91 Bat’s black/neon color combination has resurfaced. It just…pops! I like the color-combo so much that, each year for the last few years, I’ve dressed my beer league softball teams in garish neon colors. Neon green and neon orange are in heavy rotation. I want our softball opponents to see us coming from a mile away and associate neon colors with the feeling of inevitable doom. Turns out, this was not my idea. Hasbro incepted me decades before Christopher Nolan made the idea of inception cool. Cobra is the OG in the neon-dread department. Props to the king.

    Now, as far as playtime scenarios go, my buddy and I always displayed the Bats as frontline troopers. We read the filecard. No Cobra would knowingly stand in front of a robot that could not tell friend from foe. Bats were the futuristic sci-fi equivalent of that phrase found on claymore mines: “front, towards enemy.”

    Finally, I agree with you that the 91 Bat looks more like a robot than the 86 Bat. We all probably know the reason why. The 86 Bat was originally designed to be a cyborg, not an android. It became an android at the last minute. That’s why the 86 card art features flesh colored arms. That’s why the 86 Bat is wearing a black jumpsuit. (It had fleshy bits to cover up.) That’s why the 86 Bat’s head is so large. (It was intended to have a human head, or most of one, inside of it.) The 86 Bat might as well have been a colab between Cyberdyne Systems and Mars Industries. By contrast, the 91 Bat is an actual android: It has a small head and no pants; neon spray-paint on a black metal body.

    P.S. Zangief = proof that even androids can’t skip leg day 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment, Sam! And thanks for your patience.

      I do really like both 03 BATs, but I think using more silver on the non-Inferno version would make it much better. I’m glad to own both of those figures, but the 91 still takes it for me.

      Now we both have irrefutable proof that Nolan stole all of his ideas from Cobra. Okay, maybe Interstellar came from the Lunartix aliens. But close enough!

      Comparing a 91 BAT to a claymore mine is very apt. I like it! You definitely don’t want to walk in front of a BAT (as shown in photos here) or really even be within a mile radius of one.

      I didn’t know 86 BAT was supposed to be a cyborg originally. That makes so much more sense. I’m glad it’s a full on android, though, as Cobra had plenty of other Vipers so enhanced by tech they were basically cyborgs. So we’re not hurting for either robots or cyborgs in GI Joe.


  6. HA, I never knew that was supposed to be a grenade launcher! Yeah that is a blaster, no question.

    I shoulda went in with you on this, ’cause this figure is just as important to me – though I never owned it until I was older! It was a regular part of the battles between my friend and I, and I was always Cobra, so the B.A.T. was mine! Technically. He kinda fell prey to my standard issue, though: I LOVED THE FIGURE. It was a bright robot with a gun arm. I used it for everything, but it was rarely used how they were supposed to be used – I wanted it to be important! It eventually ended up captured by the Joes so we could use it as a spy (this allowed me to be a part of the Joe part of the story as well as the Cobra part). Naturally, my 90s Mindbender was the guy who made it, but somehow he never caught on that it had been reprogrammed.

    The B.A.T. was lost along with my friend’s entire collection when he moved. They forgot a few boxes, and the people who moved in assumed the leftovers were trash – ya know, why ask anyone about it? – and they tossed it all out. I didn’t get my hands on the mold until the DTC set (I LOVE THAT SET SO MUCH), and then didn’t actually get the classic v2 B.A.T. until a little later, from a comic shop, right before 90s Joes shot up in price (he was like, less than ten bucks, and perfect).

    I really love the DTC onee, but yeah, the old neon one always stands out to me more. As for the battle between V1 and V2…it’s tough to say. Nostalgia wins out in V2’s favor, but I’m not gonna act like V1 isn’t amazing. I would have loved it too! The V2 one just has so much going for it: smoother design, missile launcher that attaches to the arm, a bigger, badder arm cannon, carries over the lenticular chest, and of course…COLOR! I also love the info I learned about it later, as an adult: the filecard basically says these are DUMBER and more dangerous! Like, the design is clearly sleeker, but somehow these are even more like walking shooting machines than the last ones!

    I love it. I love how I used it, I love how it’s supposed to be used, and I love how it really does look like an “upgrade” to the original while only looking like an upgrade, visually. Just an amazing figure and design.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ERIC! Thank you for your patience. As I told you elsewhere, I absolutely love this comment, so thank you.

      I love the idea of the BAT being turned into a spy. I did something similar with my Toxo-Zombie as a kid. He ended up being a sympathetic character that ultimately helped the Joes defeat Cobra using inside information.

      V1 is such a cool toy and I would have loved it as a kid. It might have even been my favorite toy back then. Now, I have to appreciate it as an adult and it is a perfect action figure in every way. It’s just pure joy. But V2 still remains my favorite and I cannot convince myself otherwise, evidence be damned.


  7. generalliederkranz

    Love to see this! I was also too young for the 86 BAT, but this one was great. I loved the extra point of articulation from the detachable hand. To me the orange attachment is a grenade launcher, but I have always preferred to give BATs–whether 86 or 91–guns. (I’ve never been a big fan of lasers in GI Joe.) Not just the file cards but especially the comics always showed them with guns. I arm mine with accessory pack weapons or spare black guns from the 2000s.

    I know what you mean about BATs and violence. By the time I was 12 or so, I had a few used 86 BATs from flea markets, most of them in bad condition. I had way too much fun blasting them, dismembering them, and having them crawl forward for more punishment. Like you say, this only works with BATs. I imagined they were immune to everything smaller than a 40mm grenade launcher (I think that idea came from issue #131 or so of the comics, when the 91 BATs attack Pit III). So I could play out scenarios where the BATs attacked and the Joes would scramble to hit them with Gung Ho’s or Leatherneck’s grenade launcher, but then the different body parts would keep fighting until they were all smashed or blown up. That was fun a few times. But I don’t recall doing this with the 91 BATs, probably because it came after I went into my GRITTY REALISM phase, when I was down on my childhood 90s figures for a few years. (In retrospect it’s interesting that even during that phase, I never rejected the BATs from my universe. I’ve never found them too much of a stretch into sci-fi.)

    As an adult I’ve had no trouble justifying the neon colors for BATs–if they’re as much of a friendly fire risk as the file cards say, wouldn’t you want to make sure the other Cobras always know where they are? And, they probably aren’t smart enough to take advantage of cover anyway so camo won’t be too useful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sam Smith

      You make a great point about the neon colors. It’s a desgin feature, not a design flaw! They are battle-dressed in hazard colors, like you see on construction sites! LOLOL

      – The Joes would see the neon colors and direct their fire in that direction, which would allow lesser neon Cobras to maneuver more safely. The neon is how Cobras would communicate to the Bats (in a nonverbal way): “yo, cover me.”

      – And, in the thick of battle, Cobras would be able to see the neon colors through the dust and smoke, and thus know where to stay clear.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks for stopping by, GL! And thanks for being patient with me.

      I like the idea of giving BATs regular guns, too, and I often do so. I really like both the Annihilator SMG and the Voltar SMG with the 91 BAT mold. The 92 Destro gun is also a decent pick for them, just because that gun is so abundant.

      I need to re-read that comic issue, because I remember it being very cool but I don’t recall any concrete details. I’m due for a Marvel re-read soon anyway. As kids we would sometimes argue about which weapons could hurt a BAT (or BAAT) and which weapons could not. That was sometimes fun, but sometimes I just wanted my figures to be able to defeat the enemy with the stuff they actually had, haha. But it sounds like you did that better than I would have, and had better logic behind it.

      I absolutely agree with your last point. Camouflage does not matter AT ALL for a BAT. Even though the Modern Era Jungle and Arctic BATs do look very cool.


  8. animatedtako

    I didn’t get to experience this mold until the mail away pack so I missed out on the awesome missile launcher, so I also had no idea it was also a backpack and held the attachments!

    Yeah I never really bought the idea of the arm attachment being a grenade launcher, mostly because I can’t really make out how to reload the thing, unless it’s just a muzzle loader, but that seems a little too fumbly for BATs, and like you said they’re not carrying any ammo. I treated it as energy weapon too but more like firing ball-shaped plasma balls. It simply pulled from the same power source as the BAT itself, just firing until it either ran out of juice and collapsed, or overheated and exploded. And that’s how I used the Inferno BAT, as a variant that turned that side effect into a feature.

    I think the v2 BATs being more nimble, but dumber just makes sense to me. It’s got a smaller head so that means a smaller brain right? It’s doesn’t need all that control software to use claw hands and drills and stuff because this version is just a walking gun. It also has the indication of musculature, so I figure it’s less mechanical gears and joints and more synthetic muscle. I don’t really think they have to compete for the title, because I think they both have their own use cases for Cobra.

    It took a long time for me to have any BAT version. I got two of that bat/inferno bat set around the same time I lucked upon a vintage v1 at an antique mall, so I kind of ended up with a BAT army over night. I’m sure I must’ve gotten the first newsculpt BAT around the same time and it was one I didn’t have a problem mixing with ARAH sculpts. But, I didn’t wait that long to “enjoy” BATs, they were such a part of G.I.Joe experience that I knew from media that I would just pretend they had been used in battles to kick things off and had just all blown up before I started playing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the comment! I’m glad my silly photos of the rocket launcher imparted some actually useful information to a couple people. That makes me feel accomplished!

      It seems like it would HAVE to be a muzzle loader, which an even-dumber BAT could definitely not handle. I like your idea of the gun running off of the BAT’s internal power source– and that you made it into the second-coolest DOOM weapon, too.

      That’s a good way to differentiate the BATs. I figure they can work side-by-side like Vipers and Cobra Troopers. At the very least, they have different weapons and attachments.

      That first New Sculpt BAT is an excellent figure and I also have no problems mixing it with ARAH stuff. I love every single thing about that toy– I’m even fond of its weird SMG.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sora

    Wow, it’s really cool to see a written toy blog again, I thought everyone had jumped ship to YouTube. Your photos are great, and your writing is comfy and descriptive. This is good stuff, keep it up! Oh yeah, and the BAT V2 was my favorite too. The neon on black was captivating, and very on-trend for the 90s.


  10. starburst

    I am in the minority who is indifferent to the ‘86 BAT. Its head is too big and its torso is too thin. The chicken legs work on him way better than on the multitude of Vipers precisely because its torso was so thin.

    I had two of them, one yellow and one orange, until I was in university and sold my childhood collection. Therefore I remember the ‘86 BAT both as a toy and as a collectible figure, but I simply never loved it.

    I do remember enjoying the ‘91 BAT, though. Neon aside, the mould was great and the accessories suit him perfectly. It was a different, interesting take on the old figure. This new BAT was of my favourite figures of that era.

    I only knew about the BAT v2 years later, when I had no intention of collecting again. But I was glad to see a mould that I enjoyed as a kid in a better colour scheme.

    Today, I would choose the 2003 BAT v2, probably with the accessories from the original BAT (or from the newer versions, if they are compatible.) And I would probably use a Vapour head in one of them as their leader (I always thought that Vapour was a better Overkill.)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s