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Author Topic: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)  (Read 11406 times)

napseeker

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The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« on: July 30, 2010, 03:43:23 AM »

The big AT-AT hasn't hit Canada just yet, but it is now trickling into various spots all over the USA. Being among those lucky enough to get an early look at this plastic wonder, I will say that Hasbro has really hit another homerun with their big vehicle line. The AT-AT was the most logical choice after the BMF to "big-ify" and the new, lower pricepoint makes army building her (it?) a much easier consideration for those wanting to fully recreate the Battle of Hoth with multiple walkers (I'm looking at you, Richd! :) )

If you've been on any of the US collector sites for the past month, then you've probably already seen the dozens and dozens of photos of the AT-AT taken from pretty much every angle. So I won't allot too much time repeating what so many others have already done but I will slowly populate this thread over the next few weeks with some new pics that hopefully show how much enjoyment you can get from this vehicle-playset.

First, a quick recap of the main features of the big AT-AT:

- 24 inches tall, about 28 inches long, and 12 inches wide
- fits 6 figures in the cockpit and 14 figures in the rest of the body
- LED lights for the cannons and computer display
- multiple sounds including voice and weapon/walking effects (these are newly recorded voices)
- each side of the AT-AT torso opens up and features a repelling line to lower snowtroopers to the ground
- side cannons fire projectiles
- white speeder bike included (using the Saga speeder bike mold)
- body can be opened up from either side
- includes AT-AT driver (mold is from the Saga2 AT-AT driver not the TLC version and is painted slightly  differently from the original Saga2 release)
- a zip line can be dropped from the underside belly to lift Luke upward where he can insert an explosive into  the AT-AT compartment (the hatch which opens up into the trench that is inside the AT-AT)


Assembly of the big AT-AT is quick and straightforward - there are three main sections to connect together in order to form the AT-AT: the head/neck, the torso/troop carrier compartment, and the legs. Hasbro has stated that once you plug in the legs, you can still remove them from the torso with a good strong yank. Now while this may be true, I decided to use a dremel to actually shave down the pegs on the legs of my AT-AT before plugging them in. Shaving off about half the peg's original width still lets the leg plug into the slot rigidly enough that it won't fall out if you lift up the toy, but makes removing the leg very easy with just a minor bit of pulling. I suspect that if you don't shave the peg down, the amount of strength required to take the leg out again would be quite considerable and I wouldn't want to risk damaging the rest of the leg exerting that much force.



To ensure that you are installing the legs into the correct slot, take a look at the "shoulder" of the leg where there is a "C" shape cut into the circular area. I've read that when correctly installed, this "C"  should face away from the center of the body. The photo below (with the Titanium and ActionFleet AT-ATs posed on top) gives an example of this:




Once assembled, you really have to reserve a moment to just take in this beast. I think I was actually hypnotized for several minutes by the sheer impressiveness of the completed toy. Just as with the BMF, you see photos posted online by other folks who have bought it and you think you know how big it is and how detailed the sculpting is... but only once it is right there in front of you in person do you really appreciate the amount of work that went into this puppy.




When the first photos of the BAT-AT leaked, my initial reaction was "That's it? It's not big enough!!!"  I'd even go so far as to say that my disappointment at the size moved me from the "buy for sure" camp into the "maybe I'll wait for the next version, the even bigger big AT-AT" camp. Well that opinion has definitely changed. I'd say that the size is big enough to satisfy virtually all SW collectors except maybe for those who insist on a totally accurately scaled walker ...which we know isn't going to happen. This one is definitely "big enough" - it doesn't need to be made much bigger than this. I think Hasbro made a great compromise at making it big enough to warrant replacing your old PotF2 AT-AT, while undoubtedly heeding retailer demands that it not exceed the $100 pricepoint.

I'm sure another reason why the AT-AT can be offered for $100 is that it's mostly hollow. This also means that for such a big toy, it's surprisingly light to pick up and carry. This is probably a good thing since the AT-AT can't really be rolled to whereever in the house your child might want to play with it (as could be done with the AT-TE), so it has to be light enough that an adult doesn't have to be called in to carry it from place to place. Note that some fans were disappointed that the feet too, are hollow:



One complaint about the BMF was that the interior space wasn't used to maximum effect considering the large  exterior. The BAT-AT squeezes as much use out of its insides as humanly possible; the main body has 3 levels  (if you want to consider the trough as a level of its own, although Hasbro actually doesn't and only bills the interior as having two levels).



As stated earlier, you can fit about 14 figures in this section (note from the photo above that the foldout side panels themselves have pegs for standing the figures onto). Hasbro has installed a few computer panels and stations so that your snowtroopers won't just be standing idle back there and can be put to work until the time comes to deploy to the ground. There's a ladder which attaches to the rear wall and leads down into the trough BUT as others have reported, it is very difficult to attach (I gave up after 5 minutes of fumbling around with it, the ladder is now part of one of my diorama displays instead) - you'll likely end up using glue if you really want this ladder to stay in place.

The rear of the body has room for a speeder bike, and more figures. Note also that on each side is a small panel which can be lifted open to use as a gunport:

   

The cockpit is equally dense, in fact I wish Hasbro had made it a bit spacier here since right in the middle of the cockpit is a large computer display which blocks off the driver seating from the doorway. The kid in me says "well it's cool to have a console with flashy lights and a tactical screen" but the adult in me felt that it ruined the realism of the cockpit (how do those AT-AT drivers get to their seats when there's a huge console that blocks their way?). I was disappointed that you couldn't thus easily recreate the scene from TESB with Veers standing right behind the drivers (and at the same time, right in front of the doorway) as he gives orders to fire on the Rebel generator.




The tactical screen can actually detach from the console, but the console itself is fixed to the floor. Note that the screen has the periscope thru which Veers looked out but the periscopes are non-movable and don't swing down as they do in the film. Finally I was really surprised that Hasbro didn't include a small holographic Vader that would plug in somewhere. No doubt these were all compromises to keep costs down, but one hopes that if an upgraded Veers is ever released, he will come with the mini-holo Vader as an accessory and that Hasbro's designers will have the foresight to make it compatible with the BAT-AT cockpit.



To move the head up/down and side-to-side, there is an embedded T-bar just behind the neck which pops out and  is maneuvered by hand. This is a great idea and far better than having to put your hand inside the body to control the head. Up/down movement is definitely easier to do than side-to-side (although you can also just  grab the head and gently move it directly too).

I'm not a fan of the kid-friendly firing missiles on the side cannons. I really hate these features and wish Hasbro had included a set of realistic side cannons (some owners are already resorting to putting the side cannons from the PotF2 AT-AT onto the head as replacements). Once again, to keep costs down presumably, realistic cannons were left out although Galactic Hunter's previous Q&A made a nice attempt to sway Hasbro into finding other sneakier ways to release realistic cannons such as in a future Hoth battlepack - sadly to no avail.

I didn't have any batteries handy, so I've yet to try out any of the firing sounds and Imperial voices but word has it that the voices are all newly recorded and not extracted from the film. As a result, some voices don't sound very authentic but kids probably won't care or even notice. New voices also include that of clones. Blasphemy you say? This was asked about in the last Q&A:

Quote
1) The new AT-AT is awesome and there aren¹t enough superlatives to describe just how good it is­ great job!   Couple of issues though a) how can you take the legs off for storage and b) why did you decide to add additional voices from the Clone Wars to such an iconic vehicle which has yet to appear in the Clone Wars when you could have included more original dialogue from Empire?

Answer: We are so glad that you like the AT-AT. It was great to have the opportunity to re-imagine this iconic vehicle as the "ultimate" toy .

The legs *will* come of but you have to give them a really good pull; it's probably easiest if you turn it on its back and pull straight up. We designed it the way it is to make sure that the legs were very secure as they have to support quite a beast of a load.

As for the voices, other than Veers, there is not a lot of quality AT-AT specific dialog. So, we scoured lots of various Star Wars entertainment to come up with good dialog and sound fx. We had quite a long list of options but there were three criteria  that we wanted to ensure we nailed: fun open-ended and aggressive play that tells a story; clean-sounding dialog; and a consistent sound. We wanted to have Veers, Vader, cockpit chatter in the head and commander/officer phrases as well as standard Imperial Troopers in the main body.  Since theoretically the Clones are in the Classic Trilogy, we felt that the animated dilog could be considered even though there is no AT-AT in the Clone Wars series.

If you leave the electronics turned on and don't press the buttons for a few seconds, the AT-AT will just randomly play some sounds (as I'm told by the instructions).

While it's fantastic that Hasbro managed to locate their lost tooling for the Saga Speeder Bike, and that we get a unique white-colored bike included with this vehicle, the use of rubbery plastic is definitely going to bother some collectors. Expect a bit of drooping for the front-end of the bike if you leave it parked upright over a long period of time. I'm really disappointed that this wasn't corrected as Hasbro was made aware of this issue ages ago.

 
     

I didn't have time to play around with the zipline which is supposed to haul Luke up to the belly hatch, but here's a shot of the hatch opened up and ready to receive a big old thermal detonator up its ...uhm, belly:



All-in-all, I'm seeing many folks who have bought the AT-AT in the US calling it the best toy ever made, a thing of beauty, a work of art, etc. It's really the ultimate toy for anyone who is a fan of TESB. When you consider that we are getting two battlepacks later this year offering the new big AT-ST, a new bigger radar dish turret, and the much-desired Hoth turret, the fact that the new Snowspeeder is already on the shelves right now... you have everything you need to build up a massive Hoth battlefield at long last (with the BAT-AT as the centerpiece).  This has turned out to be an incredible year for Hoth! If only that mysterious retailer had picked up the new TaunTaun and rumors of the Wedge Snowspeeder had proven true, there'd almost be nothing left for Hasbro to release in future years when it comes to this frozen little planet.




And finally, when Megan Fox posts about the big AT-AT on her Facebook page, you know Hasbro has a winner on  its hands!
http://www.facebook.com/MeganFox#!/photo.php?pid=5092000&id=26748225422

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napseeker

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Re: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2010, 03:43:57 AM »

(Reserved, more pics to come later)

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brianakarobin

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Re: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2010, 03:33:06 PM »

Just picked this up in the US.  Can't wait to put it together!

Wedge1021

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Re: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2010, 02:06:40 PM »

Mine just arrived in the mail today from the US, and all I can say is HOLY ****!!! This thing is huge! I knew it would be big, but it's sheer enormity didn't sink in until I actually saw it right in front of me. I feel like a kid again... only when I was a kid we never had money for toys like this!

Only one complaint, echoing what napseeker said about the speeder bike: it is a bit flimsy. It is mostly made of that rubbery, bendy plastic - the front "nose" section in particular is bent down a bit. Definitely not as good as the standalone speeder bike from the TLC in that respect. I might try to see if I can stiffen up the droopy bit with some wire or something fastened to the underside.

Overall, I would recommend this to any fan of the OT. I don't collect many vehicles due to the higher price tags, but this one is worth every cent, especially if you can grab it on sale!
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JediPatrick

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Re: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2010, 02:29:54 PM »

I'll provide my own review of the beasts later, but would like to hear back from those of you who actually found and opened this AT-AT.

So, apart from the altered electronics which removes the voice recordings from the Canadian version of the toy, how do you guys find this product? How much would you rate it on a scale of 10 and relative to the other Large Vehicles released so far (Millenium Falcon, AT-TE, Turbo Tank)?

For me, I would give ratings as follows:

- AT-AT:  10 out of 10 (-1 point due to missing electronic voices)

- Millenium Falcon: 10 out of 10

- AT-TE: 8 out of 10 (would have been cool to have middle section articulated)

- Turbo Tank: 7 out of 10 (the toy is very static, a big rectangle on rollers, but it does sport very cool play features and can carry a lot of troopers and their Jedi Generals)
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Re: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2010, 12:27:25 PM »

Oh bloody hell, if I had known the Canadian ones didn't have the voices I would have bought it in the US. ><
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sinkie

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Re: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 02:15:09 PM »

Man I love this thing!

My only "problem" is that my kids also love it too much!!! I barely had the legs on when they were nudging me out of the way to start to discover all its features. I was scolding them, telling them to be careful until I could figure out what did what and what went where but it was like the sheer size of the thing and its awesomeness made them deaf to my pleas!

I think I'm going to have to get another one eventually for daddy...

(HOORAY FOR ME!!!!)

I just want to be able set it up and pose figures in it etc but my son especially wants to jam it full of his figures, then pour them all out again, press some buttons, lower them up and down the various ropes and then fire off the missiles and start all over again.

Unless my kids are an exception I think Hasbro has made something that should be a fantastic hit with kids! I wonder when these things will start showing up in the Clone Wars cartoon so they can push it on that angle as well???

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Re: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2010, 03:31:23 PM »

I think I'm going to have to get another one eventually for daddy...

(HOORAY FOR ME!!!!)

Great story, that's the kind of praise I think Hasbro wants to hear - knowing that the kids love it as much as the collectors do!  Now you can buy the vintage-boxed one and the kids will decry that their AT-AT doesn't have "cool voices" like yours does!  Or are you going to be nice and give them the second one that has the working phrases... :rollfloorlaffsmiley:

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brianakarobin

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Re: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2010, 11:47:43 AM »

I just want to be able set it up and pose figures in it etc but my son especially wants to jam it full of his figures, then pour them all out again, press some buttons, lower them up and down the various ropes and then fire off the missiles and start all over again.
It's almost like you had a video camera in my house watching what took place when I put mine together!  That's awesome.

Darth Chadus

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Re: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2010, 12:31:16 PM »

I just want to be able set it up and pose figures in it etc but my son especially wants to jam it full of his figures, then pour them all out again, press some buttons, lower them up and down the various ropes and then fire off the missiles and start all over again.
It's almost like you had a video camera in my house watching what took place when I put mine together!  That's awesome.

Wow dejavu!!! Same here both my boys were trying to set it up with me,  I was start to panic a little worried about parts going astray.  My wife had a good chuckle.    Once I finally got it set up,  of course the yanking on the levers,  pressing the buttons over and over again, stepping it on my new snowspeeder, constantly taking the speederbike in and out, etc etc.  All I wanted to do was bring it down to my den and set up a wicked hoth display.  Oh well all is good the kids love it.  I still haven't set up the display yet because they haven't yet got their fill of it!!
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sinkie

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Re: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2010, 01:42:22 PM »

I just want to be able set it up and pose figures in it etc but my son especially wants to jam it full of his figures, then pour them all out again, press some buttons, lower them up and down the various ropes and then fire off the missiles and start all over again.
It's almost like you had a video camera in my house watching what took place when I put mine together!  That's awesome.

Wow dejavu!!! Same here both my boys were trying to set it up with me,  I was start to panic a little worried about parts going astray.  My wife had a good chuckle.    Once I finally got it set up,  of course the yanking on the levers,  pressing the buttons over and over again, stepping it on my new snowspeeder, constantly taking the speederbike in and out, etc etc.  All I wanted to do was bring it down to my den and set up a wicked hoth display.  Oh well all is good the kids love it.  I still haven't set up the display yet because they haven't yet got their fill of it!!

I think we should all try to get our kids hooked on vintage playsets (especially the Death Star Palitoy one, "reprinted" from scans of course!!!) and let Hasbro know what the kids are into these days!!! ;)

NorthernSolo

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Re: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 01:12:31 AM »

On that note - I point out my post about making the mold from the GI JOE Pit into a Death Star playset. But I digress.

 The AT-AT is almost on par with the Falcon. Hasbro loses points on changing the sound chip - but it is a beast beyond proportions. Seeing as how it's the only really BIG vehicle to come out this year (I overlook the Slave I pack since I will be waiting for a retooled/repainted ESB version - I have no interest in CW stuff beyond the odd clone)

Anyhoo. Pleased with the purchase - would highly recommend to any fan of the OT. The fact that Chewie (my dog for those who don't know) will still wander up and have this "I don't know what this thing is - but it's bigger than me!" look every time is priceless. :)`

I think it intimidates him!! :)
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brianakarobin

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Re: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 07:21:44 AM »

I just want to be able set it up and pose figures in it etc but my son especially wants to jam it full of his figures, then pour them all out again, press some buttons, lower them up and down the various ropes and then fire off the missiles and start all over again.
It's almost like you had a video camera in my house watching what took place when I put mine together!  That's awesome.

Wow dejavu!!! Same here both my boys were trying to set it up with me,  I was start to panic a little worried about parts going astray.  My wife had a good chuckle.    Once I finally got it set up,  of course the yanking on the levers,  pressing the buttons over and over again, stepping it on my new snowspeeder, constantly taking the speederbike in and out, etc etc.  All I wanted to do was bring it down to my den and set up a wicked hoth display.  Oh well all is good the kids love it.  I still haven't set up the display yet because they haven't yet got their fill of it!!
Yeah, the battles my kids had were pretty cool.  They even had the Rancor in on the battle, climbing all over the AT-AT!

NorthernSolo

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Re: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2010, 01:07:44 PM »

How do you unattach the head section after putting it on?? :~/~:
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Re: The BIG AT-AT (BAT-AT)
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2010, 01:20:30 PM »

It's a huge friggin' pain! There are two pressure pins that are only accessible if you remove the bottom of the AT-AT. Anyone who wants to remove the head later on should use thin cardboard (think business card thin) to wrap around the post that locks into the hole... it still has enough pressure to hold it firmly but you can pop the head off easier later on.
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