1989 COBRA Devastator

The 1989 Battlefield Robots are things I don’t remember seeing anywhere online, even when they were available from Funskool. Hell, Yo Joe! still uses catalog images for their pages in the archives. They look to be the late 80s equivalent of the PAC/RATS or Battlefield Accessories- The lowest price point vehicles available. There were two for the G.I. Joe team; The Radar Rat and the Tri-Blaster, as well as two for COBRA; The Hovercraft and the Devastator.

Why they’re called “Battlefield Robots” I have no idea, they all have a place for an operator, so it’s not like the PAC/RAT. Seems like a marketing ploy that wasn’t really thought out or finalized, but was copyrighted so might as well use it!


I picked up a Devastator at an antique mall, for $6. It’s antenna and two missiles were broken, but it was $6 and I’ve never seen one in person. For what it is, it’s actually not too bad. It’s a tad out there design-wise, but it’s still better than some of the stuff you’d be seeing in the 1990s. It also happens to have relevant COBRA colouring, the grey isn’t a perfect match for the SNAKE or CLAW, it’s still close, and an actual COBRA color. The crimson parts are nice too, since Crimson is a COBRA color, and since 1983 COBRA’s armaments have tended to be “LOTS OF RED MISSILES”.

While it’s a decently colored vehicle, it does have some pretty iffy design flaws. The seat is done so in a way that the figure’s feet just kind of hang there underneath. It’s straight up some Bedrock shit. Usually I can forgive things like that for practicablity, but you can’t even keep the legs upwards to hide it. Though a neat thing, is Hasbro decided to make both COBRA Battlefield Robots share parts, they did the same for the G.I. Joe ones as well.  Goes to show there was still some ingenuity left even by 1989.

If you find a Devastator cheap, get it. I wouldn’t go out of my way to get one, but it’s a relatively small vehicle with a decent design, surprisingly classic colours, and it’s different enough to break-up the sameness a lot of COBRA vehicles tend to have.


Devastator 2


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5 Responses to 1989 COBRA Devastator

  1. I’ve never seen one of these either. And I had no idea it was a “battlefield robot.” Whenever I saw it on YoJoe or whatever, I just sort of chalked it up to being in the same vein as the Swamp Smasher or Arctic Blast– that certain brand of wackiness only the late 80s delivered. Hell, before I read this I thought the Devastator was the Adder.

    I’m glad you did a review of something very few people really know about that isn’t a foreign exclusive. That doesn’t happen often!

    Did you end up getting that Hydro-Viper?

  2. A-Man says:

    Even I don’t know what the Battlefield Robot designation meant. They were as I recall, $4 price point and seemingly a step down in terms of scale at least, from prior offerings that that price (Adder and RPV). In 1990 that price point would be gone entirely, I don’t know what that means behind the scenes.

    The problem with them is that softer plastic gets brittle with age, so antenna tabs break, and the gun/controller tabs, too. This leave you with a vehicle you no longer use. I know, I had all four of them. The first to go were the Radar Rat’s radar tabs, leaving it NOT radar rat. Then the antennas on the others, eventually one of the Devastator’s gun/control tab snapped. I didn’t bother to glue it, even if it was the best of the four.

    Funny thing, the Devastator was featured in OPERATION DRAGONFIRE and they were bigger, like HISS 2 scale, but still one man vehicles.

    I think the Funskool ones were some awful yellow color, which might be a reason why you don’t see them.

    • A-Man says:

      After looking around .all the Funskool Battlefield Robots were this urine inspired yellow color instead of the light grey. Also, it’s interesting all their art work was changed for Funskool, Devastator was shown operated by Annihilator, who was never released in India! The Cobra hovercraft was operated by someone who vaguely looks like Dodger and the Radar Rat has black-Rock’n Roll’s only appearance outside 1997 Star & Stripes variant sets. What’s more intriguing is that Funskool added a “BATTLEFIELD ROBOT” logo to all their packages.

      In Brazil, the Alley-Viper was changed to their Voltar. So it’s like the Devastator wants to be an Iron Grenadier release.

      All this crap I write, maybe I should get a blog.

  3. @DJV: Thanks for the kind words! Also, I did get that Hydro-Viper!

    @A-Man: You do need a blog! It’s 2018, everyone’s doing it again. I looked at the Funskool box art, and it’s really weird “turn a catalog photograph into a painting” style art.

  4. mwnekoman says:

    Great idea for a post! I’ve always wanted this vehicle and the hover craft, but they’re surprisingly hard to find.

    With that said, A-Man’s right about these being super brittle. I also have a broken Radar Rat I’ve tried multiple times to fix, but most of my glues don’t seem to adhere well to the plastic. I might try some epoxy someday, but that would look ugly if it goes less than well.

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