G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)
We’ve had something of a hiatus from G.I. Joe reviews around these parts, mostly because there hasn’t actually been all that much to review, surprisingly. We’ve got a lot just now hitting and also on the horizon, but since I reviewed Zartan back in May, there’s only actually been one true addition to Classified Series, and, surprising very few people, it was an exclusive. This time around, it’s another member of the Cobra forces, Major Bludd. First added to the line in 1983, Major Bludd gave the Cobra side some variety in ranks, as one of the first actual face characters for them, as well as one of the very few to truly fit into the overall Cobra ranking structure, unlike Destro, who was more an outside contractor. Bludd is often a character that gets no respect, and you know what? That’s appropriate. He hasn’t earned it. No respect for Sebastian. I shan’t allow it.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Major Bludd is figure 27 in the G.I. Joe: Classified Series line-up, and is part of the Target-exclusive “Cobra Island” sub-line of figures. Unlike other Target-exclusives from this line, Major Bludd is the only new figure from his round, as he initially shipped with restocks of Firefly and the Viper. His initial stock disappeared as quickly as anything else in the line, but there was a pretty decent push for solid restock cases, which made him *slightly* more available for about a week or so. That was kinda nice. The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation. Major Bludd’s design is generally a pretty straight forward updating of his original V1 design, with that little bit of the Classified sci-fi upgrading to help fill in some of the gaps from making it too bland at the larger scale. Structurally, the core of Major Bludd’s build is shared with the Cobra Trooper. It’s a pretty sensible choice, since he’s kind of the highest ranking grunt, and has classically had some design elements in common with them. He gets a new head, right arm, torso overlay, belt, and boots in an effort to change him up. Ultimately, it ends up working pretty well. Bludd’s original head was a little nondescript, but this one is very descript. He’s grizzled and angry. His eyepatch is no longer just a standard patch, but is now this more armored, squared off looking thing, which appears to be mounted to his eye in some fashion. The face is scarred beneath the patch, and the expression on the face is definitely not a pleasant one. The helmet is, for the second time on a Major Bludd, a removable piece. It sits securely in place, which is nice, and it adds a slightly more severe shape to the design than the original. Perhaps the star piece of the new sculpt is the right arm. Bludd’s V1 figure had an arm that lacked the usual articulation, but which sported vaguely cybernetic details, which weren’t mentioned in his bio, and were ultimately left off of all updates until 25th. This time, he leans hard into those details, with an all-new appendage that is clearly a robotic replacement. It’s a very cool design, which immediately reads as different from the rest of him. It’s very cool. Quite frankly, it’s too cool for Major Bludd. He doesn’t deserve it. But he gets it anyway. Oh well. Bludd’s paint work is largely very brown. True to the character, but not terribly exciting. The face gets some very strong detailing, though, so that’s cool. Bludd gets a decent enough accessory selection, which includes the previously mentioned removable helmet, as well as a necklace of dogtags (a detail lifted from the V1 figure), an update on the V1 rocket launcher, two rockets, an update on the V1 backpack, and a very large revolver. Despite not being V1-homaged, the revolver is probably my favorite piece. But, again, it’s probably too cool for Bludd.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’m not the world’s biggest Bludd fan by any stretch, and I certainly wasn’t jumping up and down for this figure. Originally, he was brought up to some retailers as a standard release, at which point I would have just gotten him the usual way. But, then he was suddenly a Target exclusive, and orders were being cancelled, and he was harder to get. And that’s a lot of work for Bludd. And is he really worth that? I certainly didn’t think so.
FYI, there’s gonna be some Post-Jess talk here.
Three days after Jess’s passing, I was staying with my friends Tim and Jill, and I woke up one morning with a sudden urge to go to a Target. No idea why. I’ve pretty much entirely given up hunting these days, but I was feeling it for some reason. Tim, Cheyenne, and Christian obliged, and off we went for a quick little trip. The toy aisle was predictably barren, but I again felt an urge, this time to walk over to the “collectibles” section, which was a total mess. I happened to pick up one of the NECA figures, and spotted the corner of a Classified box behind it, which turned out to be this guy. I wasn’t actively searching for him in the slightest, but there he was, so I bought him. Like the Disney+ Legends, he helped me navigate that first week without Jess, even if in a small way. And, if I’m entirely honest, I almost feel like finding him was somehow her looking out for me. I know it’s cheesy and hokey, and probably a very reductive way of looking at it all, but it makes my days a little brighter to think that some part of her is still out there, even if it’s only in my own mind.