Transformers Bludgeon
Transformers Bludgeon
Transformers Bludgeon
Transformers Bludgeon

The tail end of movie lines seems to be the place for random. First time around it was Fracture, Big Daddy and company, this time it's Bludgeon. The original Bludgeon cultivated a hardcore following from his appearances in the later Marvel comics, and more recently the name was reactivated for a rather bland recolour of the forgettable Wreckage, bundled with Whirl.

A more fitting version followed some time later in the shape of an all-new Voyager figure. This was used in the CGI Cyber Missions shorts shown on Hasbro's website to pimp out the late range stuff. Despite this Bludgeon feels a little bit like a rogue Universe figure - indeed, recent upcoming toys seem to be blending Movieverse elements into other lines, so he could be a sign of things to come.


Much like the original Bludgeon, this version has a tank as an alternate mode. It's specifically a Mitsubishi Type 90, and thus a little small compared to some other vehicles in the line. However, at the same time it can probably pass for a light tank unless you're an expert thanks to the totally generic shape. Bludgeon is predominantly olive green, though orange from the robot mode is showing to a detrimental effect.

The same can be said of the light grey rubber parts - the missile packs on the outsides of the turret, the machine gun mounted on top and the gun barrel, and two parts just in front of the turret. It doesn't help that the rubber is, well, rubbery. The main gun droops slightly from its' length and the turret-mounted machine gun was bent in the package and has shown no signs of recovery. There's some nice detail and the rubber tracks but overall the mode could have done with a little bit more work.


On paper Bludgeon has an excellent transformation - the way the tank parts largely move aside is nicely done. They still feel like part of the process rather than just kibble hanging off the figure. The big problem, though, is the rail with the head mounted on is just terrifying to move. When converting him back to tank mode an uncomfortable amount of force is necessary, especially when you're new to the figure and haven't yet worked out what the best parts to grip are (the legs just about edge it for reference). However, just standing there in robot mode Bludgeon looks rather good, a nice blend of the traditional design and the movie aesthetic. The design manages to include elements of the original's shell and the inner robot, and the overall impression is of a Pretender turned inside out. The result is marvellous without looking too strained - making the skull face look more robotic as a nice touch, as are the careful use of tank-like parts for armour plating. That said, the arms are a little gawky with their extra section.

The toy does begin to falter if you try much with it, though. There are a lot of points of articulation but they're limited by the vehicle mode parts, especially on the hips and arms. Meanwhile, the tank turret on his back also causes some balance problems. And n an old Takara staple, the orange paint used on the shiny chest parts doesn't match the orange plastic or (more bizarrely) the orange paint used on the shins. The shiny stuff, also present on the head, looks like it'll chip very, very easily too - not good when you have to have the head in just the right place for transformation. What Bludgeon does have, though, is possibly the coolest weapons storage in Transformers history. The tank's main gun can be pulled out to form a large samurai sword, which is good, even if you have to be careful not to bend it when putting it back. Better than that is that the turret on Bludgeon's back cracks open beautifully, and a great little mechanism reveals a dagger. Both bladed weapons can also be stowed in two small holes on his left hip.


Despite some serious durability issues and the flawed alt mode, it's hard not to be very impressed by Bludgeon. Unlike Nightbeat this isn't Hasbro simply trying to cash in on a cult character, it's a cult character somehow ending up with a large well-designed new mould. The robot form displays superbly, tipping its' hat to the original without being bound by it, and the toy looks just as good alongside both Movie-verse and Universe releases. It'll please fans of both and is highly recommended.