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8-Ball

Plunderlings
by yo go re

Just as we were in the midst of the Series 1 reviews, Lone Coconut gave Kickstarter backers an update on their plans for expansion of the line: Plunderlings, meet the Plunderlongs!

8-Ball is a Feral Plunderlong who was found as a hatchling in a barrel of gunpowder. Since then he has been singularly obsessed with thrill-seeking. Eventually, his escalating need for speed had him resort to crawling into cannons just for the exhilaration of being blasted out and soaring incredible distances. Luckily for this unhinged adrenaholic, the Plunderfolk love to celebrate the bold! ...even though his madcap antics as well as his little regard for safety are known to occasionally sabotage his own crew's missions.

So in addition to new body types, Plunderlings Series 2 also has biographies now. Change approved! "Feral" was (like Captains) a theme of figures unlcked during the first campaign, not something new; we just didn't review any of them. You'd think the Feral Plunderlings would all live on their own or something, but 8-Ball's story suggests they're just discovered on their own, and are allowed to be adopted onto ships' crews henceforth.

As the name suggests, Plunderlongs are taller than the normal Plunderlings. The shapes of the body are the same - bulky forearms and calves, sharp fingers and toes, etc. - they've just been stretched out. The 'lings were just under 4" tall, while the 'long almost reaches 4¾". As before, there's a variety of different clothing options in the molding. 8-Ball gets tattered pants, a belt with a tiny skull as a buckle, and a short vest that barely comes down low enough to cover his armpits. The overall effect is that of a Plunderling who had an unexpected growth spurt and hasn't had time to adjust his style yet.

Even the head gets extended. Gone is the cute, round, little face, traded for one with a longer, narrow chin, and eyes that sit higher than the nose instead of immediately beside it. We still get the pointed ears (8-Ball has notches in his, possibly because any earrings would get lost in all his explosions), and each toy still comes with three heads: one with the mouth closed (and a pair of teeth poking up from the lower jaw), one with the teeth gritted, and one with the mouth open happily. Plunderlongs' teeth are smaller than the Plunderlings', making them look more like "adults." 8-Ball has white skin, which contrasts against his dark eyes and clothes (and his black claws, too), and there are shadows painted on the inside his his ears to exaggerate the depth. You know what would have been really cool, though? 8-Ball likes playing with explosives, so paint on some cartoony powder burns that stop right where his goggles would be.

The Kickstarter got cute when explaining the Plunderlong articulation: "Neck hinge for looking up at a distracted target. Bicep swivels, just past 90 single jointed elbows, and a wrist hinge for picking pockets. Deep ab crunch disk and double dumbbell chest joint for ducking out of the way of his incoming fists when he takes notice of you. A Swivel at the waist and thigh cut for busting a u-ey. Double jointed knees, and forward-facing ankle rockers for hightailing out of there!" That's a step up from the first series, thanks to a larger body. Everything moves fine and holds its pose well. Like the older figures, he has either open hands or ones to hold accessories - fists sold separately.

To cement his position as the Plunderlings' Crazy Harry, 8-Ball includes a torch and two bundles of dynamite. The torch is made from a large purple turret shell permanently affixed to a stick with a hand wrap around its middle. The flame emerges from the top, and is a removable translucent piece so you can choose whether you want the torch burning or not. The dynamite is three red sticks with their fuses twisted together, and a rope "handle" so the figure can hold it. Finally, 8-Ball gets the accessory that gives him his name, a black crash helmet with a simple figure-eight in a white circle on the top. The helmet has a pair of goggles attached, and straps that hang down next to the chin. It's magnetic, but the difference in size between the Series 1 heads and the Series 2 mean you can't trade it backwards.

As a bonus, Kickstarter backers got one more thing. The Plunderlongs were unfortunately delayed (some non-specified tooling issue that the factory took responsibility for; they sent Lone Coconut replacement parts, and LC swapped all the pieces themselves, but that took time), and to reward fans for their patience, the Plunderlongs shipped with a special bonus, a heavy, solid metal chunk designed to look like a golden coin, with a stylized skull on one side and a footprint on the other. It's about 1¼" in diameter, so it's the size an in-universe coin would be for the goblins themselves.

The Plunderlings were super cute and fun to play with, but all the different outfits and colors could only do so much to make them feel like distinct creatures. Now that there are additional bodytypes, this world is starting to feel a lot more complete.

-- 12/10/23


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