When I first came across the Kickstarter drive for a series of action figures called Plunderlings I was almost instantly smitten. The little impish creatures reminded me of some characters I used to doodle as a kid. In my mind, they look a lot like what I used to draw, but given I was much younger and definitely an amateur artist they probably looked far more crude. A similar aesthetic was in place though: short, big ears, big smiles, a bit devilish in disposition. I definitely never envisioned my goblin-like creatures as pirates though, and I was tempted to back the project.
I did not. I basically convinced myself I didn’t need anything like that. I also let my kid see them and I was curious if he would have a reaction to them, thinking it might be fun for the two of us to collect something together, but if it isn’t a Pokémon he doesn’t care much. The Plunderlings were funded, and eventually released early this year to quite a bit of praise in the toy community. The little devils were a tad pricey though, and I used that as justification for passing. Only when they sold out and became expensive on the secondary market did I change my mind, because I’m an idiot. Well, it was that and I found out a particular figure named Fwush was inspired by the toy community over at http://www.thefwoosh.com which I thought was really neat. I’ve been a member there since 2006 and was probably a lurker for a good while beforehand and it was just kind of cool to see a shout out like that. I wanted to at least grab that character, and I came close on a few occasions via Big Bad Toy Store, but it always sold out too quickly. Eventually, I gave in to eBay to erase my FOMO, but hopefully I didn’t just replace it with buyer’s remorse over paying above MSRP.
Lone Coconut is new to the toy making community and Plunderlings is apparently the brand they’re going to sink or swim with. The little creatures are smartly designed from a manufacturer’s perspective as the company is basically selling the same figure over and over. Each Plunderling shares almost an identical body with one another. About the only different appears to be in the shorts or pants each features and some minor differences with the ears. Otherwise, the heads, hands, arms, etc. are largely the same. How the company distinguishes each character from one another is with accessories and paint. They come in a variety of colors that basically span the entire color spectrum and they have a bunch of optional parts to enhance their look. Some are dressed like pirates, others are more feral, and some are just plain different like the golden idol. A lot of the parts, like belts and shirts, fit over the main body and are theoretically interchangeable if you’re not afraid to pop some limbs off while the masks and hats are held in place by magnets on each figure’s head. It gives the line a customizable quality, though based on what I’ve seen it looks like most collectors largely leave them as-is as opposed to mixing and matching. They’re packaged in cute little crates with the figure positioned inside its own mouth. The package is a perfect cube, 5x5x5″, with a second window on top showing off the extra heads and hands. Once the product is removed, there are paper ears inside the box that can be slipped into the sides of the crate to really make an interesting statement on your shelf. Great, another box I can’t bring myself to toss!
Fwush, being inspired by The Fwoosh, is a bright blue. He’s one of the raider Plunderlings and has some tattered, canary yellow shorts with a rope belt tied around his waist. First off, if you don’t immediately fall in love with the Plunderling design then this line probably isn’t for you. I, as explained in the first paragraph, very much like the aesthetic of these guys and the blue tone only enhances that. Without the hat, he’s about 3 and 3/4 inches tall with ears that stretch out to next week. The head on these guys is pretty large relative to the torso, while the legs and arms are a bit long too. The forearms on these guys are chunky as they basically lack wrists and they have some serious cankles going on. The paint is pretty clean and there’s some darker blue, or purple, used to shade the inside of the ears and some of the musculature. These guys are little, but they’re pretty shredded everywhere except the abs because a little belly just adds to the cuteness. They also seem to have a really droopy butt, which is kind of funny. The figure does have peg holes on its feet, though it really doesn’t need them as he stands very easily given the size of those feet. I may have bought this off of eBay, but it was a brand new and sealed figure that even came with some bonus, Kickstarter, stretch goals. Out of the box, I did have some paint flaking as I worked him out, but nothing that left behind an ugly white spot or anything. There is a message printed inside the box from Lone Coconut recommending these be heated gently to break them in so they obviously expected some stuck joints.
Lone Coconut was able to pack a fair amount of articulation into each Plunderling, even with them being small in stature. Fwush features a ball-hinge at the head that sits well and provides terrific range. It’s definitely the most expressive part of the figure as he can look up, down, rotate, and tilt like mad. The shoulders are ball-hinged and the elbows are just single-hinged. They swivel, but I can’t get them to bend as far as 90 degrees. The hands peg in and are on hinges with the open hands being horizontally hinged and the gripping hands vertically hinged, a nice little attention to detail I actually wasn’t expecting. There is a diaphragm joint that feels like a ball joint. The figure can bend back pretty far, but doesn’t come forward much. There is a little tilt and swivel there, but he doesn’t seem to want to twist very far and I’m not going to push it since I don’t have a major retailer backing this purchase. The legs connect on simple ball joints and they’re pretty limited. The figure can kick forward fine, but the legs don’t lift out very far to side or kick back far because of the butt mold. The knees are double-jointed, though I can only get one hinge on each leg to work. On the left leg the bottom hinge will move and on the right it’s the top hinge. Both are pretty tight, but he can achieve a 90 degree bend and I suspect if I applied some heat and got both hinges to work in tandem he’d bend even further. As it is, it’s fine. The feet are on hinges, but they’re shape doesn’t afford much movement there. They do have ankle rockers though, and they work just fine.
For a figure that’s less than 4″, I think the amount of articulation is fine. The only area I wish there was more range rests with the hips as I wish I could get him into a really, low, crouch. I’m still pretty satisfied with the poses I can achieve though, and it’s definitely helped by the fact that I only have one figure and not a whole army so I don’t have to seek out variety. I will say a lot of the joints were pretty stuck out of the box, but this does feel like a pretty sturdy figure. I wasn’t too concerned about any breaks as I worked him out, and I didn’t have to resort to heat for anything (though if I want those knees to work properly I’ll definitely have to do something there) to get him going so I’d say it wasn’t too bad. It’s certainly something to be mindful of so don’t go snapping your little imp right out of the box.
Little Fwush comes with a decent assortment of extra parts and accessories. Every Plunderling seems to come with three heads: smiling, grinning, and open mouth grin. They pop off and back on rather easily, and the same can be said for the hands. The retail version of Fwush comes with a pair of open hands and a pair of gripping hands. This one also came with the Kickstarter bonus pair of fists. It’s always nice to have fists, but I don’t know if I’ll ever display him with them on. As far as accessories go, Fwush has a bandolier around his chest that could probably be removed if you popped an arm off. In addition to that, he has a tri-corner hat that’s nicely painted and affixes to his dome via a magnet and stays in place well. Fwush also has a pair of weapons to make use of, a stylish scimitar and some sort of slingshot/gun hybrid. It’s basically a crossbow, only with a slingshot instead of a bow. He doesn’t have trigger fingers though, but even if he did the trigger mechanism is too far forward for him to reach, but it looks fine. Both weapons are painted well and I really like the distressed markings on the sword. They’re also easy to get in and out of his hands, though he can’t holster either weapon by default. Included in the box is a little plastic bag with two hooks in it. I initially thought they were earrings, but they actually can peg into one of the two holes on the bandolier to serve as a holster. The problem is, the bandolier is so tight to the figure’s body that it’s tough to get the leverage needed to fit the peg through the hole. And when I did finally get one of the hooks in place, it popped out the second I tried to holster the sword. In the end, they make for better earrings.
Fwush, and the Plunderlings in general, are cute little action figures that pack just enough articulation and accessories to make them a worthwhile purchase. How much you enjoy a Plunderling is dependent on what you think of the base aesthetic the line provides which actually makes these an easy purchasing decision: you either like what you see, or you do not. In hand, the figure has a nice feel and it checks all of the boxes. It doesn’t necessarily “wow” in any one area, but there’s also few shortcomings. I definitely wanted this particular one because of his look (I love blue) and its connection to The Fwoosh and I wouldn’t mind a few more eventually, but this is definitely not the sort of line I’d be all in on. Of course, if you want this figure you’re kind of out of luck at this point as he’s only available on the secondary market. Lone Coconut, realizing it has a hit on its hand, has opened pre-orders to both Big Bad Toy Store and Entertainment Earth on six designs, but Fwush is not among them. They’re still available though if you’re interested. The only other downside to these figures is they are expensive for what you’re getting. The retailers charge $40 a Plunderling after they initially launched for $30 so the price is not a strong point. You are supporting a new, and small, company by purchasing them though and it’s a company that probably can’t get factory rates like Hasbro or NECA can. The pricing is similar to other small shops though like Boss Fight Studio which charges the same price for its Max figure that’s even smaller in stature than a Plunderling. It is what it is and if you don’t like the price then don’t buy it. I think these guys are pretty fun and Lone Coconut has a hit on its hands. Hopefully they continue to have success and maybe they can get the prices down with larger orders eventually which would really open this line up to kids as well as adults.