Major Bludd (2003 Python Patrol)
Python Patrol needed someone major in their group. Major Bludd may not be the prototypical leader type, but at least he’s a named Cobra from the upper echelons of the organization. I imagine Cobra Commander was paying him a princely sum to head up a sub-team, along with most likely some extra cash thrown in to dress up in such gaudy duds.
The Toys R Us Python Patrol set deviated from the original color scheme, following more closely the vehicle decorations of the time. I find the set to be more cohesive, and think the black, red and gold work well together. The red suits Bludd, and brings to mind his later new sculpt era DTC figure with its signature crimson scarf.
The figure’s base comes from two great 1990s molds: the Sonic Fighters Zap and Battle Corps Bludd. Both are among my favorites from the later ARAH releases. Zap’s body lends itself well to the Major, thanks to the armor elements. The weapon complement also originated with Zap, and the missile launcher is a formidable step up from Bludd’s rocket pistol. Of course, it wouldn’t be 2000s Joe without an odd weapon choice, so we also get Zap’s backpack machine gun. This thing just looks weird in his hands.
I have a solution to that odd weapon–if it fits in the hole, you could stick it in one of the many reused 1991 Low-Light backpacks from 2002.
This was a pretty good set. But, it didn’t fare too well at retail and TRU reduced their orders by 5,000 sets for future 6 pack offerings.
I’m glad we got all the figs in the set. But, wish we’d seen them all again at some point. If even one of the Firefly figures had been replaced by a repaint of this Bludd, we’d all be better for it.
I liked the more creative color schemes of the original Python Patrol figures, but this was still a great set giving a lot of troop builders and maybe the best set of weapons for any of the TRU multi-packs of the early 2000s. Saw-Viper’s color scheme was a bit worse, and I never quite liked the thing, smooth look for a machine gunner, so I switched around some heads, that Zap body looks great for Saw-Viper.
Yeah. What were they thinking when they decided to give those Python Patrol S.A.W. Viper figures that awful bright looking red color? It just doesn’t fit in with the other figures colors. And yes, I always thought that that figure was designed looking too slim.
To me, it’s the combination and preponderance of the bright red and the gold. Those were minor/accent colors on the other figures and it worked fine, but making them both the colors that cover most of the figure was the problem.
To me, either Scrap-Iron, or Croc Master, actual Cobra employees, would have been much better choices than this mercenary, Major Bludd. Anyway, I would have preferred if they had used the head, the torso, the lower arms, and the much better looking boots, of the 1991 version, mixed with some other figure’s waist, upper arms, and upper legs. Although, the lower arms from the 91 Zap actually look o.k. Actually, all of the parts on the 91 Zap that were colored in silver(except for the missiles on his chest) should have been painted in black instead, and that figure would have looked much better. Strange that that was the first ever version of a Zap figure that was designed with a mustache. But, they still got Zap’s skin color wrong, again(the Sunbow cartoons had drawn his skin tone right). They have always been getting that wrong on every Zap figure that they have ever made, as far as I know. Lately, I have been having this thought, that it would have been really a great idea if the Hasbro folks had repainted all of the 89 Python Patrol figures in these 2003 colors, and sold them together in a set, just like this set from 2003, as a Toys R Us exclusive. Or maybe, as a Walmart exclusive, or whatever. And even if they did not have some of those original figures body parts molds, I’m pretty sure that they would have done an excellent job improvising. Although, I’ve got this feeling that tells me that most likely, the 84 Copperhead molds might have been the only ones from that 89 Python Patrol subset that they most likely lost. That would explain why they designed another Copperhead figure in 2007, and then they repainted that figure in 2009, in colors that match the ones from the 2003 figures colors better than the 89 version.
I never liked the studded helmet and eye patch on the Battle Corps Bludd. The Super Sonic Fighters head sculpt will probably always be my favorite for Major Bludd.
On the subject of Python Patrol leadership, would Copperhead count as a Cobra employee or as a mercenary? I know he works for them to pay off his gambling debts, but does he count as being a Cobra member or just a gun-for-hire?
I liked the colors more at the time. Now I wish they’d stuck with the 1989 colors. Black red and gold are so default villain colors that it reduces the unit’s uniqueness. And gold and even recent gold paint ops are prone to rubbing off. On Bludd here the amount of gold is just right, where as on others from the set, it’s too much.
The parts on this Bludd work but it’s not my ideal Bludd. He’s too anti-tank mode here, but the launcher the chest shells do hearken back to Bludd V1. And there was a HEAT-VIPER in the set, so his weapon seem redundant.