Some figures have received updated sculpts since the “get go” of the 2000 relaunch. Destro, Cobra Commander, the Baroness, Zartan, Mindbender, and even the twins have all had an updated look. Yet, there is one relatively faithful Cobra soldier who has been only briefly glimpsed in a TRU 6-pack and yet he’s been around practically since the beginning. Sure, his poetry is bad but it’s not THAT bad as to warrant this type of exclusion. However, every dog has its day and today is that day for Major Sebastian Bludd!
Like many DTC figures, Major Bludd is a figure that was built by “frankensteining” previously used parts to make a new figure. As such, his sculpt is going to look extremely familiar to a lot of Joe fans. Most of the good Major’s body comes from the Cobra sniper Blackout (torso, waist, belt, and legs) while the arms come from the GIJoe vs. Cobra Firefly figure (v6). However the helmet, head, and scarf are all new pieces and make this figure distinctive from the parts sources. The color scheme used is an homage to the first incarnation of Sebastian Bludd with the torso and upper body molded in a dark brown while the pants are a lighter brownish tone. The highlight on the pants, boots, and gloves are done in gold. True to his mercenary nature, Bludd sports only two small Cobra sigils—one on his scarf and one on his helmet. I think that I’m actually more impressed with the scarf than I am the helmet as it accomplishes two important tasks. First off, it helps to distract attention away from the fact that this figure uses the same torso as Blackout. Now, this similarity isn’t out of the real of possibility; they’re both serving in the same military and you can expect some standardization of gear among the troops. Secondly, the scarf shows just how effective a simple accessory can be. It’s loaded with detail that simulates real fabric and it is relatively form fitting over the molded detail of the Blackout chest, hanging as a real piece of cloth would. True, it’s only natural looking if Bludd is standing but it is also easily removed. It also adds desperately needed color to a very bland earth-tone color scheme. Overall, I think it works very well with this particular figure.
The good Major’s head sculpt is also entirely new although it does remind me quite a bit of Steeler’s from Comic Pack #5. The head is classic Sebastian—right down to the long handlebar moustache and eye patch. The facial expression is cold and distant which would make sense for such a world-weary mercenary. No time to get “involved” with the situation; after all, he’s not getting paid for emotions—those are extra! Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the likeness of one of my favorite early Cobra characters. However, there is one point of concern that I do have with this figure. In Spy Troops, Hasbro briefly toyed with 4” figures and produced many figures that effectively towered over their 3.75” counterparts. With Valor vs. Venom, the figures went back to the classic scale with a few exceptions where the extra height was part of the character. This continued over to DTC with Major Barrage being the obvious exception. It was part of his character and the height differential worked for him. In reusing older parts, however, Hasbro has produced a Major Bludd that is nearly a head taller than some of the other GvC figures. I’ve had Sebastian sitting on my desk standing next to my VvV Scarlett and she looks more like his daughter than an enemy combatant. When the helmet is added to his head, the effect is even more pronounced and Major Bludd ends up slightly taller than Venomous Maximus. Now, I have NEVER seen Sebastian Bludd as being a very large man and this new version sticks out in my mind much like the Spy Troops version of Tunnel Rat did. Ironically enough, the legs used for either the Footloose or Barrel Roll figures in this wave would have looked just as good on this figure and would have brought his height down to a more manageable size. So, which I do love the overall look and design of this figure, his towering stature just doesn’t work for me.
It’s good to have Cobra’s resident mercenary bard back in action again. Despite possessing height that would qualify him for center on the Cobra scrimmage team, I like this figure. He’s so tantalizingly close to perfect that it hurts and with some parts swapping I’m sure I can tailor him to my preference. (While typing this I realized that I’ll just use some Wild Bill legs from my parts bin to fix him up just right.) Yet, it is good to see a classic early Cobra affiliate get a long-overdue update. So, while his stature remains an issue I can still recommend this figure to any fan of new-sculpt Joes!