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by yo go re

Nitehare! Ah-a-ahh! Fighter of the day hare! Ah-a-ahh! Champion of the bun!

Hopping straight out of your nightmares.

Rabbit Raider, 2018's Easter-themed skin, was very cute. So were the Bunny Brawler (his distaff counterpart) and Pastel, the other skins released at the same time. All cute, all happy, all Eastery. So naturally, when a big patch was applied to Fortnite just before Easter 2019, fans thought we were in for some more of the same - now, imagine their surprise when they started scraping through the files and found not some adorable little cottontail, but this terrifying freakshow! (Well, him and a masked robber in a bright pink suit, but McFarlane hasn't made a Hopper yet, so that's extraneous to this review.)

Nitehare looks like nothing so much as an Easter-themed version of Sam from Trick 'r Treat: a large, creepy, and yet seasonally thematic head, sitting on top of a suit that looks like raggedy pajamas. Is that intentional? Eh, maybe, but it seems like a stretch. If they wanted to do "Sam, but Easter," it would have been easy to make the connection clear. It's not like Fortnite is shy about showing its influences or anything. The body is tall and very broad-shouldered, making him look strong and threatening, an effect surely furthered by the strange little "shawl" piece he wears over his shoulders and the big logging chain he uses as a necklace. He wears black gloves and black bunny slippers with sinister little faces. There's a pouch on his left leg with a drawing of a carrot on it, and a black strap runs around his chest with a few scary hooks dangling from it.

It's unclear wheather this is actually meant to be a giant rabbit, or if it's some kind of psycho killer wearing a really ornate mask. Like, the face appears to be organic, in that the blank eyes are sunken down into the surface and there are little wrinkles at the corners, and his long, long mouth has the subtle curves of lips sloping into it, but then there are large rough stitches (similar to the ones along the limbs of his suit) that appear to be closing a big mask-like seam running over the top of the head. The same kind of stitches are holding the ears on, too.

The colors are very reserved. The PJs, with their sculpted woven texture, are a desaturated lavender that almost looks grey (though it does get a little stronger hint of blue down by the ankles). The aforementioned stitches are a fairly light brown on the body, then dark brown on the head. His hooks and chain are siler, and there are thin white hash marks on his gloves, strap, and pouch - is he counting his victims? The skin - if that's what it is - is a pale cream color, with a very impressive airbrushing of pink around the glassy blue eyes. This isn't a very "Eastery" colorscheme, but it looks great.

Like Peely, Nitehare doesn't get the normal McFarlanne Fortnite articulation. He does have hinged toes, swivel/hinge/swivel ankles, double-hinged knees, those so-so swivel thighs that all Todd's figures have now but don't really work that great, the swivel/hinge thighs, swivel/hinge/swivel wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge and balljointed shoulders, and balljointed at the top and bottom of the neck. His entire torso is covered by a rubber shell, rather than simply being sculpted, so while we can definitely tell you there's a swivel waist in there, it's unclear whether he has any kind of chest joint. What's the advantage of doing the trunk this way, rather than the way the other figures have been done? Dunno. On the plus side, his ears are articulated too, so you can swivel them around to really make him look dynamic.

As usual for this line, the figure includes one gun, one Harvesting Tool, and one Back Bling. The gun is the "Compact SMG," based on the real-world FN P90 with some of the proportions moved around. (After Patch 11.0, this gun's model was used for the Epic and Legendary versions of the plain Submachine Gun.) The Harvesting tool is the Steel Carrot, a new tool designed specifically for Nitehare: it's a big scythe, with the blade shaped like a stylized carrot, cloth wraps around the handle that are the same color as his clothes and also has similar chains and hooks. McFarlane's website claims the backpack is the "Hoppity Heist," but that can't be right, because there is no Back Bling called Hoppity Heist. Hoppity Heist is the name of the set Hopper is part of. This is Floppy, a bunny gone bad. It looks like a little stuffed animal, possibly making him the equivalent of Bane's Osito. Again it's the same color as his outfit, wears a chain bandolier, and its face is drawn in the same style as Nighthare's slippers.

It's interesting that McFarlane Toys and Jazwares both opted to make one of the Fortnite Easter skins, yet managed to pick different ones. The fact that they're done in two different scales, with McToys' using the company's preferred 7" size, makes them mostly incompatible, but not entirely: for some truly weird fun, imagine that Rabbit Raider is a character in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, and that Nitehare is his Stand, All deiner Liebe.

-- 04/17/20

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