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Potassius Peels

by yo go re

Arachis pandile gelata tempus est!

Et tu, Fruitus?

Back in Chapter 2, Season 5 of Fortnite (the "bounty hunters" one, when Mancake was introduced), one of the new features on the map was a big Roman-style arena in the northeast center of the map. Dubbed Colossal Coliseum, it was a giant cube in the middle of a desert biome, so it was hard to miss. A lot of work went into its design, with multiple levels, unique Ancient Roman decorations, etc. Large golden statues overlooked the arena, and while most of them were just regular skins, the two flanking what we assume to be the Imperial Box on the west side were versions of everbody's favorite banana, Peely, dressed as a Roman emperor. It wasn't until the next season that that because a skin you could buy your character, though.

No one has been made into more action figures than Peely. McFarlane made a couple in the 7" scale, Jazwares did multiples of him in all three of their scales (6", 4", 2.5"), Moose Toys made at least one... and now Hasbro's dropping in with theirs. Unfortunately, let's not beat about the bush: Hasbro's is not good. Now, we know that they can't just copy Jazwares' homework - they're not Facebook watching Twitter get its dick stuck in the ceiling fan and deciding to do the same, here - so we understand why Peelius Caesar can't have the swappable faceplate, but how did no one at any step in the process look at this and realize it's the wrong damn size?

Peely is a humanoid banana. That's his story. That means his arms and legs are human-sized, and his eyes are at eye level. When he and Jonesy interact, they are the same approximate size. Hasbro, in a brain-bogging display of stupidity, has apparently calculated the size of the toy to the very upper point of the banana - you know, the point that, according to in-game data, is 7'10". Wow. That is idiotic. And judging by how thin the limbs are in proportion to the body, the sculptor did things right, which means it's the fault of whoever is art-directing this line. Dave Vannemeyer, I believe? Hasbro has put out a 6" Peely that's in the 5" scale. How do you possibly perform that badly at your job? How do you get something so simple that very wrong?

I kinda just want to box the figure back up and take it straight back to the store at this point, but we're in the middle of a review, and it's not often Hasbro "Mattels" something this hard. They really Todded it up. Anyway, let's power through and see how the not-stupid parts of the toy are.

Potassius Peels dresses like a stereotypical gladiator or soldier. He wears sandals, a skirt of leather straps suspended from a giant belt, a lorica musculata cuirass with a lion's head relief covering the entire chest, lorica segmentata-style shoulder guards with more pteruges straps hanging from them, and a golden laurel wrapping around his head. There are buckles sculpted on the sides of the breastplate, which is an impressive little detail to include. Not really sure what the significance of the lion is: it's not really anything from the game, but maybe a llama wouldn't have read correctly? The sides of his peel bend down sort of in the way they should (the one on his left should curl back out at the bottom). His eyes are molded on, but the frowning mouth is just paint.

Speaking of paint, the toy's colors are fairly good. There's no shading or anything, but there really isn't much on the game skin, either. Other than the yellow of his peel, and the grey of his breastplate the colors should probably all be just a touch darker. Like, this is a very cartoony brown and Crayola red, but they should be toned down slightly. (Meanwhile, the grey should be lighter.) The official renders for the skin don't show him frowning, but just with a straight line of a mouth, so I don't know why Hasbro chose this. They remembered the brown spots on his knees, but the brown paint on his feet needs to come up a little higher: the insole is the same yellow here as his skin.

Despite the diminished size, the articulation remains as good as it can be. There's no neck, of course, but so far no one's been able to accomplish that. He also doesn't have any kind of pectoral hinges, despite those being entirely covered by his armor. What we do get are swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a hinged chest, balljointed waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel shins, and swivel/hinge ankles. The pauldrons are hinged so they'll lift out of the way when you raise his arms, and his skirt is soft PVC, meaning it doesn't impede the legs to any great extent. The giant lion crest means he can't bend his torso forward, only back, but the waist takes care of it anyway. Cameron Bye was responsible for inserting the articulation to an existing sculpt - if what Dennis Chan has said about his Fortnite projects holds true, then it probably began as a digital file straight from Epic (which makes getting the size wrong even worse).

Potassius comes with three accessories; like everyone else, he includes one melee, one ranged, and one backpack. The Harvesting Tool and Back Bling are both part of the same "Ides of Bunch" set as Potassius himself: the Cape of Potassius can plug into the hole in his back, and the Gladius of Potassius sword can be held in either hand. His gun is The Dub, an exotic double-barreled shotgun that only works at extremely close range, and will knock you back when you fire it. Which doesn't sound great, but a Roman emperor shouldn't be expected to have the best familiarity with firearms.

What really gets me about this figure is that I repeatedly passed on Jazwares' 4" "Unpeely" figure (the one in beach gear) specifically because he'd be too small to fit in with the rest of my collection. But now, with Potassius Peels being an inch undersized because Hasbro severely screwed something up along the way, Unpeely would have just looked like part of a very varied bunch. This figure is... fine, by itself, but unless you collect 5" figures it's not worth getting to integrate with anything else. Leave it on the shelf.

-- 03/17/23

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