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First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 60, December 1989 / Issue 80, July 1991
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 229, August 5th 1989 / Issue 286, September 8th 1990
First/Last Cartoon Appearance -
First Toy Appearance - 1989
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Revenge Of The Fallen
- Added a Decepticon symbol to the hip (covering the smaller tampographed one)
- Headrobots head and weapons swap
Bludgeon was a lacklustre figure who suddenly became a brilliant character at the hands of Simon Furman. Having missed the cartoon, it was up to the comics and comics alone to give him a persona. Bludgeon was now an exponent of a cybertronian martial art with a penchant for telekenesis and was given a whopping great samurai sword. He took great pleasure in killing things and even became leader of the Decepticons during Generation 2, before being deposed by a souped-up Megatron who evidently regretted obliterating him so hastily. I thought that was the end of that. I certainly didn't think that Bludgeon would ever receive an update, but luckily he did, and boy, is it a good one.
Appearance (Robot Mode) 9/10
How to make yet another godawful insectoid-headed Bayformer into an amazing TF? Get the Headrobots upgrade kit. The swords are better and chromed as well. But seriously, this robot (even without the much nicer head) is a brilliantly realised homage to one of my favourite G1 Decepticons. If you look at this figure and don't admire it, then you are probably dead. My only criticism is that he looks slightly pigeon-footed in his neutral stance. His colouring is suitably garish and his arms/legs suit the skeletal look perfectly.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 9/10
The tank mode is very impressive and the turret swivels easily on what feels like a ratchet joint. It is also very imposing, being a voyager class vehicle. portions of the treads are actually rubber, which is impressive indeed. What this means they will look like in 20 year's time, is anyone's guess though. Detailing is superb throughout, and the colour scheme is more subtle in this mode, with only brief flecks of orange betraying the garishness of the robot mode.
Going from tank to robot is fairly counter-intuitive, and requires a scary-ish amount of pressure applied in the correct place to disengage what will become the legs. The most concerning part is pulling the chest back up to revert to tank, which requires a bit of force. The fact is that this central pillar keeps the whole figure together, so hopefully it is solid enough for the job.
First the bad - which is that there is no waist swivel, and head movement is massively restricted. This is not a fault of the figure though - it is just that there is less clearance with this replacement head than the original. Now for the good. The shoulders rotate, and the arms can pivot in and out directly beneath them. You also get bicep swivel, and what amounts to double-jointed elbows. The wrists do not swivel which is a massive shame, but they can tilt inwards thanks to the transformation joint. This means that this mould can wield the large sword two-handed. Which is about the coolest thing ever. The hips are ratcheted and can be splayed outwards or swiveled up and down. Bludgeon also has thigh swivel, as well as 2 pivots in his ankle and independently-articulated heels. Phew. Balance-wise, there is something slightly wrong. It comes back to those Pigeon toes, which actually makes standing Bludgeon fairly difficult in some cases. Having said that, you can pose him as if he is meditating - there are not many transformers you can say that about.
Annoyingly, the legs on this mould have a proclivity to fall off below the knee, and this is with me being careful around this area. The Automorph turret feature works smoothly and is nice and solid but an impatient kid could find some way to bust it. Most worrying for me is the use of rubber for parts of the treads. I can see why that material is necessary but I hope it stands up to the test of time. I just have to look at the cracked tyres on my G1 Autobots to appreciate how quickly rubber dries up and breaks down.
Overall - 40/50
With the Headrobots upgrade in place, Bludgeon is fantastic. For once, the Bayformer aesthetic perfectly suits his skeletal appearance and enhances the overall figure. I highly recommend him if you remember his appearances in the UK comics as fondly as me. And even if you don't have any idea who Bludgeon is, how can you deny yourself a robot Samurai for your Decepticon ranks?