1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps) Review

Today we’re actually looking at a GI Joe action figure from the 1990s, which is becoming something of a rarity around here. I know it’s what you all want and expect from me, though, so let’s get back on track. Shall we?

Today we’re looking at 1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps), a figure I’ve had since it was released in the mid 90s. We’re looking at my childhood figure, in fact!

He’s holding up pretty well after all these years, and I have a few guesses as to why that is.

Grab your mustache combs and rhyming dictionaries, because it’s time to look at Cobra’s best (and worst) mercenary poet.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps), A Bit Player at Best

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

Major Bludd has never really been a big deal to me. I neither love him nor hate him, and that goes back to childhood. I found him somewhat amusing in the old Sunbow cartoon, but he didn’t inspire any feelings of awe or fear in me. When my friend across the street got the 1991 Super Sonic Fighters version, I liked the figure, but my feelings remained pretty much unchanged.

I’ve never hated the concept of an Australian mercenary with an eyepatch, and I even thought his penchant for poetry was a fun addition. But he just seemed like another cowardly mercenary to me– not a real threat to GI Joe the way someone like Destro or Overkill was.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

In either late 1993 or maybe Christmas of 94 (I have no way of confirming it), I got this Major Bludd, 94 Metal-Head, Ice Cream Soldier, and a few various Action Soldiers and Sailors.

I was happy to get new GI Joe toys, but neither Metal-Head nor Major Bludd left a huge impression on me. At that time, I was losing a bit of interest in GI Joe and was focusing more on Star Trek and Lego. Still, all of the 1994 figures I had god a fair amount of use from me in the next few years.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

I mostly used Major Bludd as the aforementioned cowardly mercenary. He might lead a sneak attack or set up an ambush on GI Joe, but he was never successful. He was always a minor obstacle at best. And, of course, I often teamed him up with Metal-Head, who I found a bit more charming (especially after witnessing his unhinged personality in the DIC cartoon).

It was nice to have a few more individual Cobra operatives to go with my BAT, Sludge Viper, HEAT Viper, and various Headhunters. I appreciated that, as it allowed for more variety in storytelling and play scenarios.

But Major Bludd really only served one purpose for me– a minor threat who would always have the mustache punched clean off of his face by Flint, Heavy Duty, or Tunnel Rat. He was constantly both spitting rhymes and spitting teeth.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

Despite my apathy towards the character, I’ve had this figure ever since I received him in 93 or 94. He survived a house fire and has been with me for most of my life. He’s only suffered minimal wear, has tight joints, and I’ve never had to replace his o-ring.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps) definitely saw some use, but he was spared from the heavy wear that figures like Storm Shadow and Shockwave got from be included in nearly every adventure.

So let’s take a look at this childhood figure of mine through adult eyes. I’ll try to be as objective as possible.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps) Review

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps) was likely released in late 1993 and was available throughout 94, the last real year of A Real American Hero.

The figure’s head, arms, and torso were all new sculpts. The waist and legs were reused from the Eco Warriors Toxo-Viper, released in 1991.

Here’s the carded figure (which I got from an estate sale last year):

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

This figure came from a locally-owned “department store” named King’s, and they charged a little bit more than your various Walmarts or Targets did.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

You’ll notice that this carded example still uses the 1993-style Battle Corps card style. I’ve always loved the “laser” background for these cards– they’re eye-catching and fun to look at. I like most of the 1990s cardbacks, but these are particularly special to me.

The figure was later released on a more 1994-style card, which you can see over at YoJoe.com. I find those to be the least attractive of any GI Joe cardbacks, but it’s not a big deal to me since I’m not a MOC collector.

I didn’t open this figure. Instead, we’re looking at my childhood 1994 Major Bludd and this carded example is going to a friend in the near future.

Anyway, here’s the figure:

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

Battle Corps Major Bludd is mostly cast in black, purple, and red plastic. There are hints of silver and flesh-tone in there, too. The color combination itself is very nice.

Once you look past the colors, though, you’ll notice that 94 Bludd is quite the odd fellow. He has a low collar, a superhero-like pair of armored trunks (or just a really heavy-duty codpiece), and none of the sculpted-on weapons that most GI Joe figures are known for. The upper body also has an asymmetrical design, which was never very common for GI Joe. It does make him look a bit more interesting, though.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

The head sculpt is probably the coolest part of the figure. The paint and sculpt are great, and the spiked silver plate makes him really stand out. I also love the red eyepatch. I saw Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in theaters with my grandpa years before this figure was released, and this 1994Major Bludd always made me think of General Chang‘s eyepatch, which seemed like it was screwed right into his face. That’s hardcore. The sculptors probably intended for it to be a spiked eyepatch that was just part of the helmet, but my childhood mind always went the General Chang route. It was grisly in a fun and cool way.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

The strap around the chest and silver shoulderpad are cool little details, and so are the little silver bits and bobs on his chest.

Other than those, though, there’s not much else to talk about. The color distribution is good, but Bludd isn’t wearing any cool weapons or gizmos to daydream about. He looks like he’s dressed for a supervillain aerobics class or for a night at Destro’s BDSM Disco.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

The silver shin guards are pretty nice, but I think this figure would look a lot better if the feet were painted black. Instead, it looks like he’s wearing a onesie instead of boots. I’m not a huge fan of the red waist, either, but the combined package is silly and whimsical– which I’m not opposed to at all.

The figure has one other remarkable detail, though, and it’s unique among ARAH-era GI Joe figures. If you bend his right arm, you’ll find he’s concealing a hidden spike and/or blade, which is almost completely hidden when the toy’s arm is straight.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

This way my favorite part of the figure as a kid. It just made sense for a sneaky, cowardly mercenary to have something like that hidden on his person. It didn’t really look like a knife or blade to me as a kid, so I often used it as a hidden laser blaster. Or, sometimes, it was just a spike. Either way, it’s still my favorite part of the figure. The screwed-on eyepatch comes in a close second.

Here he is with the other two ARAH versions of Major Bludd:

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

Now, it’s time for the accessories. Most of which I don’t have. But here’s a screenshot from YoJoe:

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps) comes with the same weapons tree many, many other Cobra figures in 93 and 94 were equipped with, cast in red plastic. He includes a submachine gun (from 92 Destro), a large rifle (from 1990 Rock Viper), a knife (from 88 Shockwave), a battle stand, two missiles, and a black missile launcher.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

These weapons aren’t interesting, but they’re mostly fine. The Destro SMG is a pretty all-purpose weapon (a few of my friends have told me they see it as Cobra Standard Issue), even if I mostly associate it with Destro himself. The Rock Viper gun can be a sniper rifle, assault rifle, or laser rifle. It’s a bit clunky, but it looks pretty cool so I don’t mind it. The knife is a good choice, too. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but it all works well enough.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

I’ve always loved this particular missile launcher, though. It clips to the figure’s arm and resembles a high-tech arm cannon as much as it does a rocket launcher. I would use it most often with 94 Metal-Head, but it would occasionally see use for Star Brigade figures like Countdown and Gears, too.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

It’s not a realistic weapon, but it is a fun one.

Beyond aesthetics (which is a subjective thing), only real problems this figure has come in the form of paint wear. The flesh tone paint on the hands is especially prone to wear from weapons use (as you can see with this figure– I’m pretty sure I scraped off some paint during this review) and silver paint is always prone to rubbing off and fading.

Other than that, I was surprised how cooperative and easy to work with this figure was, especially after looking at the 2023 Scarlett last week. He’s a joy to pose and all of his features and articulation work just as expected.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

Now onto how I see Major Bludd as a character and how I see this figure working in the context of that character.

To me, Major Bludd is still a cowardly mercenary. He is sneaky and effective, and he’s usually worth the price you pay for him. He has a good track record for success, and he’s a pleasant enough guy that you don’t mind working with him. Despite how fun he is to drink with and how much he’s accomplished on the battlefield, though, he is always looking out for number one.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

He will run away, surrender, or betray  you if it means he gets to recite bad poetry another day. He’s an effective strategist and can lead a team of vipers as well as anyone, but his loyalty lies with himself. And that’s kind of the problem for me, as I’ve always thought Cobra was comprised of too many selfish mercenaries and not enough people who are loyal to the Cobra cause. In real world terms, that absolutely makes sense. But, to me, it gets repetitive and boring when everyone on the Cobra side is a mercenary who’s loyal only to money.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

As for this figure itself, it’s hard to say where it fits in. Major Bludd has always been eccentric, so you can just chalk it up to that. The 1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps) figure isn’t too far removed from weirdos like Destro and Zartan, and he’s still more practical than Raptor, Night Creeper Leader, or Road Pig. But why would a mercenary like Bludd go from his early 80s look, to strapping himself with grenades and a jetpack, to zipping his collar down low and wearing red underoos?

I picture this as being Major Bludd after he’s gone on a sabbatical to “find himself.” He spends time in Berlin dance clubs, attending fancy dinners where poached endangered animals are served, visiting art galleries, and rubbing elbows with other scummy rich people.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

This is a Major Bludd who wants to spend and enjoy his hard-earned blood money. He sees himself as a man of culture, and this is his way of expressing that. Of course, the outfit is as bad as his poetry, but most people are too afraid to tell him that. He’s not carrying any guns or grenades on his body (as you can’t get into a fancy gala if you’re strapped), but you’d better watch out for that elbow spike if his oysters aren’t fresh enough or sweet enough. And keep the champagne coming!

So, yeah. This Battle Corps Major Bludd is an oddball figure. The colors are good and the design is interesting, but he really isn’t anything special. I love the head sculpt and elbow spike, and I appreciate him for what he is. I like him more now than I did as a kid, but I’d hardly call him one of the better figures in the ARAH line. He just is what he is. You’ll know if you like him just by looking at him.

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

Overall: This is a pretty fun figure with a cool little secret weapon. It’s weird in many ways and bland/uninspired in others. But it’s still a colorful, fully-functioning GI Joe figure. I wouldn’t go out of your way to buy a 94 Major Bludd unless you absolutely love the character, but it’s still Mildly Recommended.

Additional Resources:

Closing Thoughts on 1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps)

I actually had more fun than I anticipated with this review. Taking the photos was a pleasant experience and the actual writing came to me easily. That’s a good sign, as I’ve been struggling with this for a while. And, after last week’s Scarlett review, this mid-ass figure was a huge breath of fresh air.

Funny how that works.

What do you think of 94 Major Bludd? What’s your favorite version of the Major? Let me know in the comments!

7 thoughts on “1994 GI Joe Major Bludd (Battle Corps) Review

  1. This one took me by surprise! I was already familar with the head sculpt from the 2000’s Python Patrol pack, but what really got me to buy this was finding out about that arm spike! Such an awesome idea!

    Beyond that, yeah, the costume is a departure for what had previously been pretty standard “battle gear” type uniforms. I REALLY like your take on it, though! Once you described him as seeming – to himself – cultured, I immediately imagined him at some party holding a champagne glass, and it all fell into place. This is this idiot’s idea of “fancy!” Really great idea there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I started tracking down the remnants of the Joe line at retail in 1995, this Bludd was one figure I never found. I came across a couple of Metal Heads. But, never this Bludd. Being a childhood favorite character, I really wanted to find one. But, it was tough to find any Cobras back then and I only ever saw Metal Head and the Viper at retail.

    I didn’t own this figure for a long time. In 1999, I got a resin prototype of this guy included with a 1995 unreleased figure I bought. I discovered the arm knife and there was no reference to it actually being included on the production figure at the time. So, I thought it was a feature that didn’t make it to the actual release.

    The big thing, though, was the eyepatch. On the resin figure, the patch looked like it had a skull on it. I thought that was neat. But, once I finally got one of the figures, I found the skull was my imagination and the knife was included.

    But, since I never found him at retail, I have a special fondness for this figure. And, I have a couple of them, now, as I feel like I have to make up for not finding him in the stores.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. generalliederkranz

    Glad to see you back to GI Joe reviews lately! I love the pics, especially Bludd and Night Creeper Leader pinned down behind the squad car. (and I noticed the Lego plant in the second pic–I literally was just yesterday using some similar red Lego plants for a picture of my own, it’s a good fit!)

    I missed this guy in the stores. I remember him from the cardbacks and the picture on the box for the Desert Scorpion jeep, but I kept getting him mixed up with Metal Head. For me, the 91 Super Sonic version was always THE Bludd.

    Your characterization is fun, and plausible. I like putting Bludd in charge of Viper squads, because of the juxtaposition of “he’s really good” and “he doesn’t technically outrank them within Cobra.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad to see you posting again!

    This figure has grown on me more since I last wrote about him. He’s really not that special, but the weird costume makes him really interesting just for being different. The ’94 Joe line was developing an interesting aesthetic that was a lot more pulpy than what you commonly saw from years prior. Kinda reminds me of the sudden shift to crazier looking characters in ’87, which most people would probably point to as a criticism, but I like oddities like that.

    The purple feet making his outfit look like a onesie is something I never thought about before, and it’s definitely a flaw with the figure. Would’ve been better if they had just painted the rest of his boot silver, though you’d see more of them with wear on the toes now I imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved this one! The picture of him with Metal-head and the 94 Vipers is so good and even though the same figures are within arms reach of me right now it still feels nostalgic to see them together in someone else’s hands. Is that weird? Wish my Viper had elbows as nice as yours!

    The Toxo Viper connection with his legs is funny – I got him on my birthday in 94, either on the same day or really close to getting a Toxo-lab that had been deeeeply discounted since it had been sitting around for so long. Since I never had any of the Cobra Eco-Warriors, Bludd became the late de-facto leader of Cobra’s toxic experiments. I described before how that became a backdrop explaining where Headman’s drugs came from and how mega monsters and Blanka were created. So this version of Bludd actually had a pretty starring role as a little bit more of a behind the scenes guy. I didn’t have BC Mindbender, my friends did, so this Major Bludd was like my Mindbender at home.

    The lack of weapons and gear on his outfit didn’t bother me much as a kid since I mostly had him ordering people around from the top of the lab and fighting hand to hand once the Joes broke through. I had a lot of fun with his arm spike. I was really big into giving characters “special moves” for a minute because of Street Fighter, Major Bludd’s spinning elbow attack and spiked headbutt were something to be feared. Mine has really tight joints everywhere except that arm, so I must have really put that thing through some use!

    I love the picture you took of him with the jetpack. It’s fun to imagine him dusting it off in 94 for a quick getaway.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had this version of the Major along with the Sonic Fighters version. I liked both of them, but the SF version was my favorite. However, the ’94 Bludd was an antagonist of both the Star Brigade and Ninja Force due to his more “super-villain” appearance.

    I can’t remember what weapons I gave him as a kid. I distinctly remember him mostly using a knife though.

    Nice shots and great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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