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by yo go re

We've mentioned before how time advances for some characters on the Fortnite island. Unfortunately for Bushranger, he's one of them.

Bushranger has no idea how he ended up on the island, but he knows that none of the other trees are quite like him. Until he can find his way home, he's happy to live off the land and off the beaten path.

During Chapter 2 Season 7, aliens invaded the island. Bushranger (who'd been hanging around since the start of the Chapter, but only made his presence known when Midas activated all his sleeper agents in Season 2) had a questline that asked players to basically help him find and hatch an alien egg. Aww! You do all that, and then you go back to where the NPC had been found and... there was a grave there. Lots of characters get eliminated, but Bushranger was the first to ever die!

Designed by Philipp Neumann, Bushranger is basically a living tree - that's why he made friends with Groot during the Marvel crossover season. His feet look like roots coming out of the ground, his limbs are like... limbs..., and he's covered in green leaves. At least, in his default style he is: he's got a few, such as for autumn or winter, where the leaves change color/placement. A bandolier across his chest seems to have three grenades on it, but in keeping with his arboreal styling, they're actually pinecones. Cute!

Bushy's face is absolutely adorable. It peeks out from the leaves, and has big chubby cheeks around its small smile. He doesn't have a human-style nose, going instead for a short little snout. Honestly, he looks like a cartoon hedgehog in a British children's book.

The reason his arms and legs look like tree limbs and not just spindly flesh is the paint. They're white with brown stripes - not like a tiger, like a birch tree. His hands and feet are solid brown, setting them apart from the rest of the limb. His leaves fade from light green near the face to a darker shade at the bottom. His pinecones are orange and the strap holding them a more saturated brown than the shade on his skin. Or bark. Whatever.

(Oh, and those dark stripes? They're actually sculpted into the surface, like gaps in the bark would be on a real tree! Dang, Hasbro, nobody was expecting that!)

Despite a bit of a non-traditional body, Bushranger still has good articulation. He has a balljointed head, pec hinges, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a hinged chest, balljointed waist, balljoint hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel shins, and swivel/hinge ankles. The leaves are all flexible PVC, so they don't block the joints entirely, but they are fairly thick and so will keep him from really utilizing the torso joints to their fullest extents.

Bushranger is part of the "Woodsy" set, since he's one scrappy little tree, and that's where his accessories come from, as well. First, there's the Buzzy Bag backpack, which looks like a beehive, complete with honey dripping out the opening - just the sort ofthing you'd find on a real tree! (Technically the game version has little bees hovering around the entrance, but that's not feasible here.) His Harvesting Tool, like Ragsy's, is actually a matched set: the Honey Hitters, basically a pair of machetes with honey along the blades. Finally, he's armed with an Infantry Rifle, which is based on the M1 Garand. A character who blends into the background as has a semi-sniper rifle? Sold! While sculptor Dennis Chan had to make all the accessories from scratch, the rest of the sculpt was based on digital files directly from Epic, so his job was mainly putting in articulation and cleaning things up for production.

In the game, Bushranger seemed like a fairly short character, but this action figure is as tall as the rest. Since the leaves are a separate piece over the solid body beneath, Hasbro could easily do some seasonal variants in the future. Poor little Bushranger may have died in Chapter 2, but Chapter 3 suggests he could be coming back - a seed has definitely been planted. Right after saying in the Ragsy review that Series 2 hadn't shown up anywhere nearby, they finally made it to store shelves. So now we've just got to wait for Series 3. Bushranger is a fun little weirdo, and a nice toy.

-- 07/22/22

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