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Heroes of the Storm
by yo go re

Hey look, it's the normal version of that guy we reviewed as a chef!

click to embiggen

Take care when traversing the shadowed trails of Duskwood... ever since Abercrombie the Embalmer unleashed his abomination upon Darkshire, Stitches has wandered the road aimlessly, hungering for the flesh of low level Alliance players.

Stitches is a World of Warcraft character, but he's also in Heroes of the Storm, which is why NECA's made a figure of him. He's basically a zombie Frankenstein, but you have to wonder what kind of creature he used to be. What did that head belong to before it got sewn onto this body? It's got two deep-set eyes, a skeletal nose, and a chin that's twice as wide as the top of his head. A few random teeth cling tenaciously to his jaw, but this is clearly not a former human.

It's hard to tell how many different bodies Stitches is made from, but all of them add up to one tubby monster. His feet are different sizes, his legs are different lengths, no two of his arms are the same thickness. Yes, he has three arms - two come out of his shoulders in the normal place, while the third sticks out the top. Large rolls of fat spill down his sides, and his spine is visible in two spots (though only the top one is painted).

Despite his name, he's not held together by stitches, but rather by large silver staples. Which is weird, since collecting "Ghost Hair Thread" (it has a thousand uses, from binding evil spirits to sewing life into inanimate objects) is specifically one of the quests you have to complete on the path that leads to Stitches' creation. Maybe that's just what Ghost Hair Thread looks like? There are bindings in the shins, above the right knee, on his stomach, his forearms, his chest, around his shoulders, and, of course, holding his taint closed.

Stitches looks drastically different in Heroes of the Storm than he does in WoW - for one thing, he's blue instead of pink. For another, every other detail about him. Consider his stomach: both versions have a large hole in their abdomen, surrounded by jagged ribs and with visible organs inside; but only this Stitches has what appear to be large fangs surrounding the cavity and instestines falling out. It really is quite hideous. And while it was apparently beyond the rendering capabilities of an MMORPG, we've come a long way, baby!

Like fellow fatty Henrietta, some portions of Stitches' skin is sloughing off to reveal the gross meat beneath. And like the Boomer, he's got some totally gross boils festering on his skin. Basically, NECA took all the tricks they learned from previous monsters and applied them here. Jason Frailey's sculpt changes subtly between different sections, making them look like they come from different bodies even before they get paint.

The beast is definitely blue, but his color isn't flat. Not only is there a wash to create shading, but different sections of his body are painted slightly different colors. Most of him is bright blue (beneath the muting wash), but then the right knee, left hand and part of the wrist, and his boobs are all given a bit of a yellow tint, too. The small arm on his back is redder below the elbow, and the sides of his gut are closer to that shade than his butt is. The places where his muscles show through are a deep red, and the painted part of his spine is surrounded by a bright orange. His eyes and bones are almost the same color of yellow, and the interior of his mouth is bright green, matching the bile in his guts.

Until now, all the Warcraft figures we've gotten have been unarticulated lumps, but NECA don't play that. Stitches moves at the ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders, chest and neck. His extra arm moves at the shoulder and elbow. His jaw opens, and if you reach in there, you'll find his tongue is hinged. His tongue! That's crazy! Most of the joints are of the swivel/hinge variety, and can be tough to move: Stitches is a heavy toy, so NECA wanted to make sure he'd hold whatever pose you put him in.

Stitches has three weapons: a gigantic, bloody cleaver he holds in his right hand, a hook on a brutal-looking chain for his left hand, and a tiny scythe for his other left hand. The scythe and cleaver handles pull apart to get them into his hands, but you'll have to work the chain into place. The links are individual plastic pieces assembled to create the final product, and they're all painted nicely.

This is a deluxe figure, sold in a box rather than a clamshell, so he costs about twice as much as the normal figures in the line. But with all the work NECA put into him, he's worth it. The toy looks great and moves well, and his accessories are perfect for him. The character (and the name of his creator) is sort of a double joke, referring both to the Fats Waller song "Abercrombie Had a Zombie" and to a certain well-known clothing store for d-bags. And even if he looks completely different than he did in WoW, this version is a lot better!

-- 03/11/16

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