Major Bludd (2005)

I’ve covered Hasbro’s noble attempt at online only sales or DTC in my Med Alert entry, so I won’t go throuh the details of that ambitious but unsuccessful program again. That’s not to give the line’s figures short shrift, as there were some real gems in it.

Major Bludd was one of the major Joe characters that didn’t get a new version during the 2000’s series regular releases, and so this version was highly anticipated by collectors. It’s a highly successful remake that doesn’t simply rehash what’s come before, but adds several cool new wrinkles to a classic Joe personality.

The bulk of the figure reuses existing parts, a formmula that was standard for the DTC offerings. The torso and legs came from Blackout, and the arms from the initial new sculpt version of Firefly. What really makes the figure work is the strategic use of new parts to make something old new again. In this case, the newly created pieces are small but incredibly effective. The head is the focal point, and for a character like Bludd, it’s important to get it right. Hasbro did a fine job if representing the ruthless mercenary. The sculpt truly does him justice, and trumps all previous versions by giving us the first Major Bludd with a removable helmet. The red scarf is another element that adds something new design wise to the figure. It’s a great add on that also serves to diferentiate the mold from its previous release. The Major’s trademark armored right arm is not represented on this figure, fueling the debate as to whether it is supposed to be truly robotic or simply armored. Finally, the adddition of a new rifle tops it all off. A note about the rifle; it has two pegs at the top. Several of the DTC weapons had either pegs or holes on them. The story goes that the next intended series after Valor vs. Venom (to be titled Robot Rebellion) was to incorporate a modular accessory system in which weapons could be attached to one another.

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