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Major Bludd

GI Joe Classified Series
by yo go re

What, no poetry?

The rush Major Bludd gets from the chaos he causes in battle is second only to the excitement he gets from collecting his pay. One of the best prepared Cobra mercenaries, he is proficient with every form of infantry weapon and uses advanced tactics and psychological warfare to win at all cost. He has no belief system beyond landing the largest payday, and no deed is too despicable if it boosts his bankroll.

Yeah, him and every other Australian. Major Bludd is another Target-exclusive "Cobra Island" figure, like Baroness, but this one was easier to get - if you take "easier" to mean "he was randomly in stock on Target's website for nearly 10 whole minutes in the middle of the night." But hey, at least we can tell you that their "pick up in store" option works seamlessly: this is the third time I've used it, at three different locations, and every time it's been an easy, reliable process. Now if only they'd order enough of their exclusives that everyone who wants one could get it...

Major Bludd was always a dangerous-looking character, thanks to his military helmet and his eyepatch, features that are still here today. Of course, on this figure the helmet is removeable, allowing us to see his shaved-side haircut, and his eyepatch is some sort of high-tech pad that just seems to attach to his face rather than being held on by a strap. He's haggard and scarred, and really looks like someone you would have reason to be afraid of, even with that little streak of gray in his hair. And look at that sneer!

Sebastian's classic uniform has updated to the Classified style very well. He definitely looks like he belongs with Cobra, because most of his molds are reused from the (also Target-exclusive) Cobra Trooper. Not that you'll know, of course, because A) that figure is so rare it might as well have never been released (or rereleased) and 2) Major Bludd is brown instead of blue. There are sculpted panels on his shirt and pants, and though the armor on his gloves and knees is the same, his boots are new and he wears a different style of breastplate, and a different belt/holster combo that has some sort of silver canisters around the waist. And then there's the arm.

The classic Major Bludd was an odd figure, because even before the Joes introduced swivel biceps, they at least had elbows; vintage Bludd had a right arm that was solid from the shoulder down. It appeared to be metal, and had just two fingers and a thumb. There was never any real explanation for it, even whether it was fully mechanical or simply armored; it was just his weird arm. The new version is unquestionably a prosthetic - it's too thin to have a flesh and blood arm inside it. The shapes mimic anatomy, but are decidedly angular. It does have the normal number of fingers, now, suggesting that the Ninja Turtle hand on the old one was just a limitation of the technology at the time, not a purposeful choice. There's a big pad on the shoulder, and we'd bet you anything that big white M logo stands for Mars Industries.

With his helmet on, Major Bludd stands almost 6⅜" tall; without, 6¼". The official site says he's 6'2", so that's close. The Joe Classified figures have good articulation, moving at the head, neck, waist, and hips (balljoints), neck, pecs, elbows, hips, and knees (hinges), biceps, thighs, and shins (swivels), and shoulders, wrists, and ankles (swivel/hinges). Honestly, the fact that the robot arm moves at all is a good step forward, but the way the rest of the toy works is just a terrific example of why Hasbro is the best on the market today.

His accessories are great as well. There's the removable helmet, as mentioned previously, plus his trophy dogtags (we can assume he took them from people he killed, because one man wouldn't need to wear that many any under other circumstances). The holster on his leg holds a big, honkin', square revolver, making it clear that those things on his belt are spare cylinders, already loaded and ready for a fight. Awesome! Then he's got a backpack that holds two rockets, plus an update of the rocket gun the 1983 toy carried. The two guns can be held in either hand, and the rockets can plug onto the end of the retro one. A peg on the side of that gun lets it attach to the side of the backpack, too. Good stuff! For those keeping track at home, his stats are Mercenary 4, Launcher 2, Tactics 3, and Sabotage 3. That all tracks.

Major Bludd was first revealed by Chinese sellers, before his pending release had even been announced. Heck, some people even found him in actual stores before Hasbro got around to announcing him. I was wildly lucky to see him listed in-stock on Target's site, but we'll reiterate: little one-off "drops" where the toys sell out in minutes are not sufficient, guys; yes, the pandemic screwed up every step of the supply chain and we're still feeling the effects of that delay, but Hasbro, Target, ya need to do better. You need to make sure everyone who wants your product at least has a chance at it. Because figures like Major Bludd may be excellent, but that doesn't mean anything if they're just sitting in a scalper's storage unit waiting to accumulate value.

-- 07/09/21

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