Wednesday, August 7, 2013

SDCC (2013) Exclusive Bludgeon Review

In an amazing move, Hasbro has included Bludgeon into this year's (2013) SDCC exclusive "Transformers vs G.I. Joe" toy line. Naturally, Bludgeon raised a lot of attention and demand, as evidenced by how much they are going for on eBay. Without any further a do, let's jump into the review!

Bludgeon's wardrobe is equipped with yellow and maroon armor along with maroon gloves, maroon wrist guards, yellow shin guards, and yellow footwear. The armor wrapped around Bludgeon's chest, waist, and legs are rubber for the benefit of removing or attaching these layers with ease, while all the other parts are molded on plastic.

The detailing on Bludgeon's armor is extraordinary and accurate. The front side of his wardrobe has been dry brushed with some silver, perhaps some weathering effect to add some battle damage. This concept works either way. Conversely, how the armor was made happens to be one of the biggest drawbacks to this toy.

Notice how the chest armor is positioned off center? Well, this layer of shield is fitted around Bludgeon's chest just fine, but because this article of gear is fastened with a rubber peg, this nub prevents the armor from being repositioned to the center, ever. Despite the numerous attempts to fix this misalignment, although it worked initially, the armor always veered off.

What receives the most attention on this toy is Bludgeon's head. You can clearly see that the skull is comprised of a plethora of mechanical and electrical components molded on plastic. Bludgeon's mouth has wicked looking fangs that overlap his teeth, and in those black eyes, lies dark red irises. Basically, Bludgeon's whole head spells a soulless, ruthless warrior looking for blood, or whatever robots bleeds.

When people think of a Bludgeon toy from any incarnation, having the necessary accessories to go with him is always expected, and this case is no exception. Bludgeon's accessories include a black sleeveless cloak with the Decepticon insigna on both lapels, a katana, tanto, and a samurai helmet. All of these pieces are a perfect complement to Bludgeon and are perfectly sculpted too. The katana and tanto are made out of soft plastic to prevent itself from breaking. Although the sleeveless cloak serves as a cool addition to Bludgeon, the material's thickness takes his ability to clutch his katana with both hands. Despite these limitations, Bludgeon has demonstrated that he can still pull off some decent poses while holding both weapons in his hands.

Also included with this set, is Bludgeon's bio card that contains the character's background and his purpose. The part about having armor that "secretes odorous, mucous slime" sounds a bit funny considering robots in general can't smell. But still, any extra bits at this point is just icing on the cake.

Bludgeon's articulation follows the same precedent that previous G.I. Joe figures have set before. The problem, again, is that the layers of samurai armor and the cloak doesn't allow Bludgeon to pose with much variety, and although the knees and ankles bend, having a swiveling joint to allow Bludgeon's legs and feet rotate would also be preferred. This would allow Bludgeon to have a wider battle stance for other sorts of posing.

Amidst all of the peeves that lingers in my mind, Bludgeon is still a home run. The G.I. Joe incarnation of Bludgeon is nothing short of a perfect fit, considering his origins. This skull faced samurai was introduced as a humanoid pretender shell, so why not base a G.I. Joe toy on Bludgeon? The samurai gear is awesome, the weapons are very appreciated, and more so, Bludgeon just looks plain psycho!

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