|Code Name: MAJOR BLUDD|
I never really noticed Major Bludd as a kid, though I was vaguely aware of his existence. Looking back, it's not hard to see why - Bludd was the one of the first Cobra figures (apart from the Commander, of course) to be a bit different and step away from the Cobra minion mould, but was swiftly swamped by the better-remembered likes of Destro, Zartan, Storm Shadow and the Baroness. This profile was pretty much replicated in the cartoon, where he functioned as Cobra's field commander in the first mini-series, but appearances after that were a rarity. Bludd faired a bit better in the various comics, however.
There were three different versions of Bludd made for the 25th Anniversary line, and I went for the cartoon-influenced DVD Battles version on the grounds it was dirt cheap. This was then replaced by an example from the Extreme Conditions set, which follows the original toy's colour scheme without being quite so reliant on using parts of Zartan. The olive/black colour scheme does at least give him a bit of visual flash, though the design has the same basic problem as Flash and Tripwire, among others. The chest plate is split by the mid-torso joint and looks silly when the chest is moved, also leaving a visible gash when it's not.
It's not Bludd's only problem either. His bionic arm doesn't have an elbow joint, while for some reason the knees won't go back more than 90°. And while it's nice that his rocket pistol has been rendered with removable projectiles, the way the spare rockets just will not stay in their housings on the backpack is severely frustrating (I've actually just glued the middle one in place). It's also a bit of a shame his helmet can't be removed.
Major Bludd should have a bunch of dog tags from past victims around his neck but these just don't work in toy form, refusing to lay flat and making it look like he's wearing a Mr. T-style necklace, so I leave them off. I do like the optional desert facecloth, though. Ultimately, Bludd is a bit mediocre. A few corners seem to have been cut relative to the rest of the range and he falls a bit flat. Truth be told though, I'd rather they cut corners on him than Storm Shadow or Firefly.