Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Bludgeon Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Beast Hunters, Commander, Decepticon, Prime

Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters

Bludgeon

General Information:
Release Date: March 2014
Price Point: $20 (Depending on import price)
Retailer: Limited Release (Mostly Europe & Asia)
Accessories: Missile; Sword

Images:

As the "Beast Hunters" toy line wound down, there was one last burst of product that saw limited distribution. These included Deluxe figures such as the "upscaled" Bumblebee and Windrazor figures. It also included some retools of existing sculpts as new characters in the Commander Class scale.

One of these was Bludgeon, inspired by the Decepticon of the same name from "Generation One". More recently, this character was part of the "Revenge of the Fallen" toy line. The figure itself is a retool and redeco of Commander Class Shockwave. Check out that review for a detailed look at the sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made for this release.

It should be noted that distribution of these figures was somewhat limited due to them being sandwiched between the Christmas season of 2013 and the upcoming "Age of Extinction" toys. These figures were found in various places including the UK and parts of Asia. My particular set came from Singapore courtesy of fellow fan Brandon Masagung. BWTF thanks Brandon for his efforts in getting me these figures.

Robot Mode:
Bludgeon uses the same basic body frame as Shockwave, complete with the "missile launcher arm" on the left side and a "regular" arm on the right. The changes made are rather significant however, and they do a brilliant job of redefining the sculpt for a different character altogether. For this release, two main parts were changed:

Head
The head sculpt is a new one, featuring the "Samurai helmet on a skull" design from G1 Bludgeon's Pretender Shell. The lower jaw of the skull section sticks out a bit and is rather long. The crest on the top of the helmet sweeps back and there are lines carved into the sides of the helmet. Overall it looks great and is instantly recognizable as Bludgeon.

Chest Plate
Instead of the more mechanical looking panels of Shockwave's chest, Bludgeon features a beautiful design that looks like it came right out of an ancient piece of Asian art. The chest panel has a layered look with a design that looks like furrowed brows over a sinister looking set of eyes. There are even fang-like designs in the middle with a beak like "mouth". It's a somewhat unsettling look and I'm sure that's the idea. Bludgeon reflects both Asian influences and the desire to look intimidating, and this definitely fits the bill!

The rest of this figure is the same as Shockwave, but the design definitely works for Bludgeon. The curved, clawed feet fit in with the "creature" like theme of the chest plate and the curved lines of parts like the thighs and forearms serve as a callback to his G1 "techno-organic" Pretender Shell.

Bludgeon is cast in green, orange, black and silver plastic - very different colors than Shockwave. The green and orange make up most of the figure including his arms and legs. The black is used on his feet and the treads on his back while the silver is used on smaller parts such as the triangular flaps on his back and the section of his chest behind the "face" design. The green and orange were two key colors of G1 Bludgeon so they really help "make" the character.

The paint colors used on this figure are brown, orange, white, silver, black and red. The Brown color is found on the helmet and circular details on the shoulders. Orange is used for the chest and the crest on the helmet. White is used for the skull face. Contrasting against the skull face are red eyes on both his face and chest. Silver is used on the missile launching arm to provide some additional detail along with a black Decepticon symbol. The color scheme is very nicely done, blending both the colors of the "Pretender Shell" Bludgeon had in G1 along with the colors of the robot inside the shell from that era. Overall, the colors look grey. The bright colors contrast very nicely against the green and black parts and he looks very distinctive among the other Commander Class figures in the line.

The ten points of articulation on this figure are intact and the joints are nice and tight. No worries about mold degradation here. Bludgeon includes an additional accessory Shockwave did not have: a sword. This sword is a repaint of the sword included with Commander Class Optimus Prime. It's quite appropriate as Bludgeon was often seen in the comic books with a sword (though this is less a Japanese sword and more of a broadsword looking weapon). The sword is cast in red plastic. The missile firing mechanism still works nicely as well.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing each robot leg out to the sides.
  2. Bend each leg at the knee, then rotate it around.
  3. Swing the robot feet down.
  4. Pull the chest panel forward and down in between the legs.
  5. Swing the robot head down into the chest cavity.
  6. Swing the treads on the back up. Next to each tread swing the small triangular panels up.
  7. Swing the sides of the chest panel out.
  8. Swing the cannon arm up into the middle and connect the tab on it to the hole in the waist section.
  9. Swing the right arm onto the back of the robot mode and connect the hole in the forearm to the tab in the back piece.

*Note: The sword is an accessory that wasn't planned for when the Shockwave sculpt was made, so I couldn't really find any place to stow it away in this mode. You can push it into the hole in the rear treads, but then the wheel can't turn.

Vehicle Mode:
For the most part, the vehicle mode on Bludgeon looks the same as Shockwave - except for one detail: the chest panel. Here it faces forward, so it's hard not to see. With its beast-like face, it makes the front sections of the tank look like claws reaching out at some prey. It's a really cool effect and shows this redeco/retool was really well thought out. The tank mode is very appropriate as G1 Bludgeon's vehicle mode was also a tank, albeit more of an "Earth tank" than a Cybertronian one.

This mode shows off a bit more black plastic thanks to the treads in the back. Orange still makes a strong impression on the missile turret, the chest panel and the thigh sections that lead to the front of the vehicle. The silver and black details on the turret also get to feature prominently in this mode.

Functionally the vehicle mode is the same as Shockwave. No changes in that respect.

Final Thoughts:
Bludgeon is a fantastic example of how to do a retool/redeco. New tooling, new colors and even a "new" accessory make this a great figure to own. Be cautioned however that it was a limited release item, so this will cost you more than the typical $10 for a Commander Class figure. Recommended!