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by yo go re

Is this where GMOs have led us?

Go bananas.

Season 8 of Fortnite had a piratical theme, so the Fortnite island got partially tropical. And what's a tropical island without bananas! After wheat, rice, and corn, bananas are one of the world's largest crops - and they're also a wonderful example of the effects humankind's domestication can have on a fruit. Original bananas were small things, about the size of your finger, and inside their tough greenish-brown rind was a collection of large black seeds surrounded by a gelatinous goop. Imagine if you filled a pool with bowling balls, then filled the empty space between them with some kind of mush; that's what bananas were like. Then we bred them to be larger and larger and to have smaller and smaller seeds... and apparentkly also to have arms and legs and the ability to murder their enemies in fun and amusing ways.

Peely is a giant, man-sized banana, so his body is distinctly different from McToys' other Fortnite figures - even something as unique as Dire looks positively pedestrian next to the ambulatory nanner. Not only do his arms and legs lack the standard accoutrements - the shin armor, the wrist computer, etc. - but his body is not a human body at all. It's a banana. This is not somebody wearing a banana costume, it's an anthropomorphic banana. The torso is a soft PVC sleeve glued to an irregularly-shaped framework beneath - there are solid pieces where the arms and legs connect, but then there are large hollows you can feel beneath the skin, to keep Peely from being an insanely heavy nightmare of plastic.

The figure may not have a separate head, but he does have a face, with a cute little smile and large black eyes, almost like a Funko POP! (and, perhaps coincidentally, they also look like the oversized seeds in un-modified bananas). Living up to his name, the skin is peeling a bit at the top of the head - it pulls down far enough that we can see the texture of the delicious delicious banana-meat within.

As you'd expect, Peely is mostly flat yellow. They probably could have given him a mottled brown deco, but this is supposed to be a cartoony banana, not a realistic one. The inside of the banana is white, or nearly so, and while the eyes are part of the sculpt, the mouth is simply tampographed on. The remnant of the rough stem on the top of the head is brown, the same color as the raised bumps on the elbows and knees, and the soles of the shoes. There's a (tampoed) banana sticker on his left shoulder - apparently he's a "Nana Nana" brand.

Because the body is weird, the articulation is not standard. As much of it as possible is carried over: he's got hinged toes, swivel/hinge/swivel Revoltech-style ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, Revoltech wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, and swivel/hinge shoulders. Because bananas don't have breaks in them, Peely has no waist, no chest, no balljoints for the shoulders, and no neck or head joints. Well, at least not the way we normally think of them. Being brave and risking damage to my figure, it feels like there are (very very stiff) hinges at the waist and neck; if you really force it, the pieces will move with a loud cracking sound, but they move back the same way, and don't seem to be broken. There's a swivel in the waist area as well, but it's hard to get a grip through the rubber skin.

He does get the usual three accessories, however: a gun, a Harvesting Tool, and some Back Bling. The gun is the same Hunting Rifle Crackshot carried, allowing you to compare how differently McFarlane and Jazwares do things. While there is a banana-themed Harvesting Tool (the Peely Pick), this toy comes with the Machete, which is a lot cooler than the uninspired name would suggest: it does have the titular chopper as part of it, but that's not where it ends. The silver-bladed machete is sunk deep into a young green coconut, and then they're both tied to a sturdy wood handle. Pretty cool! The Bamboo backpack is a bundle of the green stuff, which in the game comes paired along with the P.A.N.D.A. Team Leader skin, but works well with our plantainian friend.

As we've said before, the silly Fortnite costumes are a lot more fun than the serious ones, and make for better toys - any line can give us a mercenary soldier, but how many could give us a giant banana?

-- 01/02/20

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