When you think about it, COBRA's really gotten the shaft in the air defense department in the past five years in 3 3/4" land. While the Joes got Night Attack Choppers (in green and desert deco), small mini-copters, mini-jets, and flat out full size fighter planes, COBRA mostly got cast offs and undersized short range fighters. The Night Adder was cool and everything, but just didn't look very threatening going up against something like the Thunderwing. I think Hasbro would tell you that the cost and shelf space required for a large scale COBRA vehicle just wasn't feasible...after all, the good guys sell better, right?

Well, thanks to a smaller scale, we finally have an imposing, downright powerful looking COBRA fighter. First pictures made this thing look like a mini-jet (as the name would also suggest) but now that I've got one in hand, there is nothing mini about this jet. This thing is a full on, heavy duty air-fighter, capable of holding its own against any Joe aircraft to throw down against it.


Like every other Sigma 6 toy out there, and the 2.5" stuff in particular, the packaging is a work of art, with brilliant brushed metal deco, vibrant colors, terrific computerized imagery and a great layout of what the actual toy inside looks like, too. Like the VAMP, no mission manual to be had inside this box, just the regular old instructions, although there are no label directions, mostly because there are no labels. All the decos are pre-applied here.

The Toy

Like the VAMP, there is some assembly required with the Firebat, though not much. There are the two canopies to put on, the wings, the tailfins and other minor items that need to be plugged into the main body of the plane. There seems to be some discrepency about how to do the wings, though. The wings plug into ratchet joints at each side of the plane. Those ratchet joints are also connected to rotating mechanisms inside the body. Those mechanisms also rotate the thrusters in the main wing area. The Firebat can be in "hover mode" or "flight mode" to simulate VTOL take off and landing. If you look at the box art, the wings are swept back in flight mode, and the rotating mechanisms show the metallic round deco on top of the wings:

So it would seem to make sense to me that the "hover mode" is with the wings swept forward and thrusters showing upwards to simulate vertical take-off:

But, on the other hand, perhaps the opposite is correct, because you'd think for "hover mode" the thrusters should be pointing DOWN, right? In which case, the thrusters would be pointing up with the wings swept BACK. The Firebat actually contradicts itself, too, because the boxart clearly shows the plain metal surface with the wings swept back, however, the instructions actually tell you to install the swept back wings when the thrusters are facing up. So, who knows really?

Whatever the "correct" way to do it is, it's an awesome feature regardless. An awesome feature in an absolutely fantasticly designed and executed COBRA full range fighter jet. You don't necessarily get the feel for just how large this plane is from looking at pictures, but trust me, it is big. I'd say it's anywhere from ten to twelve inches long, and in fact, it pretty much dwarfs the VAMP which is a decently sized vehicle itself. This seems to be the MO for COBRA vehicles versus Joes, because the Mantis Mech is the same way when compared to the Dune Runner.

Everything about this jet just screams "COBRA" as well. The long, angular cockpit slopes back to nicely armored fuselage and slopes back into twin thrusters which are pretty nicely designed themselves. From tip to tail, this plane looks incredible, and could have easily existed as one of the best planes back in the classic days. The Firebat seems to borrow a lot of design elements from a classic Exo-Squad plane, too...and suddenly with all of the Mechs as well as this very nicely designed plane you start to wonder if the current Hasbro design team were fans of that classic toyline and awesome television series. I certainly hope so, it was revolutionary in both toy design and animated properties.

Regardless of where Hasbro got their inspiration, I'm excited to see it, and I am extremely impressed with the look and playability of the COBRA Firebat. The long, sleek shape of the plane, the intricate design elements built in all make for a very cool looking aircraft. It's big, fast-looking, and imposing, three things that a COBRA aircraft has not had in a long, long while. The swept wings, the almost futuristic looking angular tailfins and thrusters, and even down to the flip down landing gear/skids, everything on this assault aircraft has been meticulously designed and crafted. I cannot wait to see it in use in the animated series.

The main "play feature" of the Firebat involves splitting into separate parts. The front becomes a "scout craft" while the rear section is an unmanned drone. The mechanism works pretty well and fits snugly, yet still pulls free relatively easily, but in the end, I don't see much point to the whole thing. I was pretty impressed that the scout craft does balance pretty well on it's lone landing skid, but ultimately, I think I will rarely use this feature (unless I just use the front section as an "escape pod" should the plane get hit by enemy fire).

Another play feature involves a large removable missile pod that fits on the bottom of the plane. This pod has a unique spring loaded mechanism that allows you to load a couple missiles at once, then fire them off using a side-to-side trigger. Large and unwieldy, the missile system is almost the total antithesis for the rest of the plane, and doesn't mesh with it very well. I'm not a big fan of it, though it does look like an extra thruster engine, so I might use it as a long range/high speed emergency turbine more than a missile system, and for that purpose it could have it's use. Perhaps the Firebat can go into high altitude/low orbit, and this extra booster gives it the power it needs to get there. It could serve a purpose, just not really as a missile launcher, I don't think. It does connect by those familiar ratchet joints, though, so if you don't like it, you can take it off and slap any number of other weapons on underneath. Or you can leave it bare, which does give the Firebat a very fast, very sleek appearence.

You'll find plenty of fun to be had with this excellent COBRA aircraft, no matter what your preference in scale, I think. It's a lot of fun and looks very, very cool.

The figures that come with the Firebat are really not too bad, honestly. First of all, we get the COBRA Pilot (who, yes, is just called "COBRA Pilot" apparently) and is a pretty nice basic figure. He seems to have a lot in common with the COBRA Troopers in the Sigma 6 cartoon, though his uniform is slightly different in color, and he has a more elaborate helmet/airhose system in place. The figure maintains basic articulation with swivel joints at the shoulders and hips...but he also has a swivel forearm on his right arm! It helps him to grasp the yolk in the Firebat cockpit and is a great addition, I think. I like the colors, and I like the overall design...I do wish we could get a figure like this in 8" form, but for now, this is pretty cool.

The Sky B.A.T. isn't bad, but is nothing amazing. He's more of the "statue" type than the actual action figure type, and while he does have swivel shoulder joints they seem mostly useless considering the pose he's frozen into. The motion and the jet base are kind of neat, but ultimately the mini-figure itself doesn't serve a whole lot of purpose. He does look all right on display, though I'm not sure what his function is in relation to the Firebat.

3 3/4" Compatibility

While this jet is large enough that it looks like it could serve as a medium sized strike plane for the larger figures, unfortunately, the cockpit just isn't build to accomodate the larger size. I really wish it could, because this is an awesome plane, but I don't see it happening, at least not straight out of the box.

However, all may not be 100% lost. If you compare the size of the figure and the size of the cockpit itself, it almost looks like there could be some customization potential there. The seat takes up a lot of space in this small compartment, if you cut out the seat, could it happen? Well, I haven't tried it yet, but if you compare them, you can see that the possibility just MIGHT be there:

It would mean probably removing all of the seat and surrounding kibble within the cockpit, and I'm not sure if you could design any kind of seat at all to take its place, but it looks like it could be possible with enough modification. I've only got one Firebat now, so I'm not taking one for the team yet, but I encourage someone to give it a whirl and let me know the results so I can pass that information along. It looks like it would probably be pretty cramped in there, but it just might work, with enough elbow grease and Dremel use.


Well, color me impressed with what I've seen of the 2.5" line so far. I've had one I wasn't wild about (the Dune Runner) but everything else has been very cool, and the Firebat is probably the best set yet. Aerodynamic, yet armor plated...fast, yet strong...great colors, great look, servicable (and optional) play features, and a neat little pilot figure? All are included with this plane and all are done well.

So far COBRA's got quite the edge, but whatever the snakes have in vehicle size, the Joes will most likely make up in numbers. Right now, I think the Mantis Mech and Firebat are the only COBRA vehicles, so everything out there that's left goes with the Sigma 6 team. Still, give COBRA an army of Firebats, and they can hold their own against anyone.

So far, my Sigma 6 heart still belongs to the 8" stuff, and I really prefer characterization over kick butt vehicles, but man, these ARE some kick butt vehicles, and fun to play with, too. I have absolutely nothing to complain about from what I've seen thus far. Keep up the great work, Hasbro, from what I've seen of Series Two (not to mention the Dragonhawk!) things only look like they get BETTER from here!














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