2003 Major Bludd (Python Patrol)

2003 Major Bludd (Python Patrol)

So in total, there’s been at least three very distinct color schemes that have represented the Python Patrol. The original vintage palette, a palette closer to the vintage vehicles from a 2003 6-pack, and a similar scheme to that, but with large amounts of gray used for New Sculpt figures. Truth be told, all three variants of the Python Patrol team colors are pretty good. Of the 2003 Pythons, I think this Major Bludd might be my favorite.

There’s a few curious things going on with this Major Bludd, namely that he’s newly made from ‘91 Zap’s body, and not an existing release like most of the Python Patrol. It’s a perfect body to use for a Major Bludd, given that details such as the shells on his chest or armor on his legs fits pretty well with the character’s original aesthetic. It’s also a rare example of Hasbro using a mold in a genuinely creative and new way, something they rarely did in the 2000‘s.

I like the colors used on this set, which includes this Major Bludd. My favorite Python Patrol colors would have to be the originals, but these are a pretty good alternative, plus they look visually interesting. The figure is mainly black with a red diamond pattern across the black areas, and some more bright red and gold for details. Despite being 2000‘s figures, these Pythons look in place with the vintage Python Patrol vehicles, because the colors are so similar. Heck, I’d go as far as to say that these Python Patrol colors are better than the originals, but those figures I prefer just for being eye-catching and fun looking.

The parts here aren’t very good, but not for the usual reasons, surprisingly enough. This figure opted to retain a few of the original parts from ‘91 Zap, his bazooka and hand-cannon, but they don’t work very well here. That’s mainly because you don’t get the muzzle for the bazooka, and the cannon is meant for Zap’s backpack, which you don’t get. Normally Hasbro would screw vintage sculpts during the 2000‘s by not including the original parts, although with this release, they gave you that: only half of them!

Despite my love for Python Patrol, it’s honestly almost a shame that this figure came out in this sub-team. I say that because the truth is, I think this might be one of the best Major Bludd toys besides Chinese Major Bludd. If we could’ve gotten him in normal colors in some way, I think this would be a go-to Bludd for many collectors. As it stands, the figure is very nice, but easy to ignore since his identity is lost among a sea of Python Patrol releases.

These figures aren’t too common, but surprisingly, aren’t too expensive either. Python Patrol Major Bludd’s seem to trend around $10, complete or incomplete. It’s likely because a lot of people bought this set for army-building, creating a surplus of unneeded Bludds. On that end, it was pretty lousy of Hasbro to put Major Bludd in an otherwise perfect set for army-building. On the other hand, it’s probably the nicest figure from the set, so in ways I’m glad they took a risk on it.

Major Bludd Python Patrol GI Joe Cobra Hasbro Vintage 2003

Major Bludd Python Patrol GI Joe Cobra Hasbro Vintage 2003

Major Bludd Python Patrol GI Joe Cobra Hasbro Vintage 2003

2003 Major Bludd (Python Patrol) Links:

Forgotten Figures




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3 Responses to 2003 Major Bludd (Python Patrol)

  1. Mike T. says:

    This is a figure who’s aged far better that most of his contemporaries. It’s odd how the new Python Patrol has come to be very accepted among collectors while the Tiger Force and Night Force are rarely integrated with their vintage counterparts. I guess matching the vehicles played a big part.

    Collectors punished Hasbro for taking chances. Figs like this Bludd are exactly how updates of classic characters should have been approached. But, we chastised them for this Bludd while buying up all the 1983 Snake Eyes and 1984 Duke derivatives that Hasbro could make. Now, we’re left with rare instances like this Bludd where the figure lives on and tons of anonymous repaints that have been left on the scrap heap of Joe history. Collectors are our own worst enemies in so many ways….

  2. A-Man says:

    From grenades everywhere to shells on chest. It was an improvement, not my ideal Bludd, but not sure he exists anyway. Mixing parts was a good idea. (And I guess they sent Bludd V2 to India before they made this set). I kinda wish Battle Corps Bludd had returned in its entirety later on, too, even if that v neck is a bad look. And Super Sonic Zap as well. His weapons, well…there was already a HEAT-Viper in the set, so did he need a rocket launcher but then he has the shells on his chest. To bad Zap’s double barreled weapon didn’t reappear.

    1 to 5 character to army builder ration wasn’t bad (especially compared to the later Urban Strike and Ninja Clan sets), and back when 6 packs were $20. Some people used cast heads to turn extra Bludds into troops…Viper heads…not the most creative choice, but not bad.

    I think the original Python Patrol is better for a few reasons:
    1. The gold paint syndrome on 2003 figures. It still rubs off too easily, used lots on ebay attest to that.
    The gold is sort of a cheat. I mean to match the vehicles, it should be yellow. Would that have been well received…maybe not. That yellowish color on your Alley Vipers doesn’t look bad.
    2. The base color is black, and black is an ideal villain color but got to be very overused. IG base color: black. Headhunters base color: Black. IRON ARMY, Crimson Shadow Guard, and so on. Yes, the python pattern offsets it, but still.

    If the fan club (or Hasbro) had been more interesting, they could have redone this set in SKULL SQUAD COLORS, make that instead of the Shadow Guard set, and put one single CG Shadow Guard in the Night Watch set (kick out a trooper, I guess). Now I’m just day dreaming…

  3. R.T.G. says:

    I like this figure, and it’s probably the only 2003 Python Patrol repaint that had any staying power.

    It’s also one of the few decent Frankenstein figures Hasbro did, in the repaint era. It didn’t do the basic “Take an overused head and put it on an overused body”, like that Big Ben/TBC Hawk combo, nor was it as corrosive to the line as things like the Tiger Force Big Brawler, which iced the viability of Salvo, Outback and Low Light.

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