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Kit

Fortnite
by yo go re

A cat? On the internet? What are the odds that would ever be popular!

Proudly following in his father's pawrints.

It may seem like time doesn't pass on the Fortnite island: given the opportunity to apply his detective skills to the situation, Batman determined that Fortlandia is stuck in some sort of time loop that resets itself every 22 minutes (fittingly, the length of time a game will run before the storm gets small enough to automatically eliminate all but one player). But every so often, time does move, jumping ahead days or weeks at a time - how else would you explain the storyline advancing? Or Meowscles being around long enough to have a son. That doesn't happen in 22 minutes!

Meowscles was a giant, semi-anthropomorphic cat man: cat head, buff dude's body. Kit, meanwhile, is a normal cat - cartoony, sure, but still an average kitty, with a head proportional to his fluffy feline body. For this toy, he's basically an accessory: a solid, pre-posed piece with only a swivel joint for the neck. Even his tail is molded right up against the body, so they wouldn't have to do it as a separate piece.

Just having a little cat running around the island wouldn't be very fair, so Kit uses technology to level the field. He drives a mech suit that seems to have been cobbled together from various scraps - the chest is a motorcycle gas tank over a large tire, which itself rests on a small treadmill to provide locomotion. There's a frame or rollcage around the torso, and big, visible joints in the arms and legs. The armor plating is dinged up, from countless times through the loop, and though the shapes are mostly symmetrical, the colors are not. It's intentionally designed to look like something put together on the fly, not something mass-manufactured. Oh wait: he built it himself; it's Kit-bashed! Haw!

The different style of body means different articulation. Kit's battle mount has hinged toes, swivel/hinge ankles, swivel shins, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, a swivel waist, hinged fingers, swivel/hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, hinged shoulders, and then a further swivel joint right alongside the torso - think "pec joints," but lower and with a fuller range of motion. You'll need to use those if you want to point the arms forward: with no swivel in the bicep, the only way to lift the arm to the front is to hinge it up sideways, then turn it forward and twist it to face the right direction. The toy does have trouble standing, thanks to its small feet, digitigrade legs, and all the weight up at the top. It's frustrating, but other than solid legs, what else could they have done?

In the game, the Kit skin comes with a built-in emote, "Go Cat Go." Activate it, and Kit's robot body splits in half, with the legs joining Kit on the seat and allowing the wheel to roll on the ground like a scooter. It's a simple thing, so the toy can duplicate it. Mostly duplicate it. In the emote, the legs suddenly gain a new joint that isn't there usually, and the arms raise up in a way the toy's can't follow. Still, it's awesome that it can do as much as it does. A hole between the legs' exhaust pipes plugs onto a tab on the backrest, keeping it in place securely. The easiest way to get everything together is to put the legs on, then sit Kit between them.

Kit's weapons include his Power Claws harvesting tool, a pair of mechanical buzzsaws. The blades don't turn or anything, which feels like a missed opportunity, since his Double-Barreled Shotgun hinges open for reloading, and his Grappler actually fires its suction cup projectile on a short string. Why must the axes be bereft of a play feature!

Judging by the fact that all Kit's ID sname in the game code includes the phrase "ProfessorPup," it seems likely he was originally intended to be a dog, not a kitten. But the animal is separate, so you could fix that if you feel like customizing. Just like Agent Peely could be repainted in his alternate colors, Kit could also be rereleased in Ghost or Shadow styles - the mold is the same, it's just a question of paint. But also, now that we have Meowscles and Kit, we really need a Lynx to complete their little family unit.

-- 06/25/21


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