1983 Major Bludd

1983 Major Bludd

Major Bludd isn’t the most iconic Cobra from the early line, and when compared with the likes of Destro, Firefly, Storm Shadow and Zartan, it’s fair to say he isn’t the most popular either. Personally however, I’ve always been a big fan of the character and I think he has a lot of strong qualities not seen in later Cobras.

When I got into collecting vintage figures in the late 2000‘s, Major Bludd was one I sought with priority. I did already have a few decent versions of the character by way of the Sonic Fighters and Battle Corps figures, but those designs are quite a lot different than the V1. It also helped that at the time, Major Bludd’s were not very costly compared to other similarly old figures, so he was easy to acquire on a modest budget.

Major Bludd was also the favorite character of my friend and GI Joe photography legend, Cradea2. He died of cancer around this time eight years ago, and it changed the way I look at Major Bludd after that. Suddenly there was a lot of sentimentality surrounding the character, and often times using him brought up feelings that made me melancholic at the very least. So despite that I’ve always liked Major Bludd quite a bit, I’ve ended up not using him as often because of that.

V1 Major Bludd is an early example of Hasbro experimenting with the construction on ARAH figures. His right arm has no articulation beyond the shoulder, and is that way to represent a protective sleeve he wears while using his rocket pistol. It’s interesting for sure, and makes him a tad more memorable too. It isn’t however, a good justification for his lack of articulation. If you dislike this enough, swapping his arm for V1 Thunder’s is a good alternative, as you can see in this photo from Scarrviper.

Major Bludd’s most charming aspect is his detailed sculpt. There’s a lot of the typical and good sci-fi aesthetics like his chest-pad and mechanical/armored arm, but they are just a few of the details that stand out so much on this figure. His necklace of dog tags is one of those darker details you saw a lot early in the line, similar to the Cobra Trooper’s piano wire. His left arm features a unique emblem, and a sculpted patch that adds to his overall interestingness.

For parts, he included a rocket pistol, and a backpack full of sculpted missiles. It’s his trademark to a certain extent, but it’s also where the figure falls a little flat in my opinion. Ultimately, besides his right arm’s lack of articulation, the figure has no interesting gimmicks, and these parts are very simple. They aren’t without their appeal, but for a mercenary who personally writes about using an Uzi, I prefer to arm him with a traditional gun much more.

Surprisingly, Major Bludd’s will sometimes cost a lot of money, but they aren’t actually worth too much. If you shop around, auctions will typically run around $11, though sometimes mint examples will go for less than that. Most of the figures that are this old will go for a little more, so for such a fine and memorable Cobra, I see no reason that a collection should be without one.

GI Joe ARAH Major Blood Cobra mercenary Cobra Troopers Cobra Commander GI Joe ARAH Major Blood Cobra mercenary Cobra Troopers Cobra Commander GI Joe ARAH Major Blood Cobra mercenary Cobra Troopers Cobra Commander

1983 Major Bludd Links:

Major Bludd diorama by Cradea2

Attica Gazette

Yo Joe

3D Joes

Forgotten Figures

Joe A Day

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3 Responses to 1983 Major Bludd

  1. Mike T. says:

    He’s still my favorite original Cobra character. But, for some reason, he has aged out of many of my photos and I don’t find myself using the later versions of the character as much. The arm definitely limits his posability. I’ll have to try the Thunder arm trick on one to see if that brings him additional use.

  2. A-Man says:

    Bludd was my 3rd or 4th enemy figure after Cobra Officer, mail-in Cobra Commander. I got him at the same time as a swivel arm Cobra trooper. He was second in command until I got the Twins and Destro in 1985. (Second in command of a group consisting of 4 guys and SNAKE armor!)

    Mine’s o-ring eventually broke and he sat that way until we learned how to repair such things. Then he was offered by mail-in, but I never ordered one! I was too interesting in getting other things, I guess.

    Yes, the arm and the rocket pistol were both limiting. That he endures with them is a credit to his charm, I guess.

  3. R.T.G. says:

    I think the goofy arm being part of Major Bludd’s charm is a pretty solid statement, A-Man!

    Bludd’s figure is actually really well sculpted, and his face scars and age really show through. Love the picture, of him rallying the troops, by the way!

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