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Psycho Bandit

Borderlands
by yo go re

You know, back when Borderlands was being developed in the mid-00s, there was no way Gearbox Software could have predicted that a decade and a half later, between a global pandemic and uniformed cowards attacking peaceful protestors with tear gas, someone properly wearing a mask would look more like a good guy than a villain.

Psychos are bandits who have gone insane with a freakish obsession for the Vault. Shirtless, wearing a white mask and dressed in orange pants, these outlaws can be immediately identified by their homicidal cries, psychotic laughter and constant desire to get into close combat.

The Psychos (more accurately called "Psycho Bandits") are easily the face of the Borderlands series. They're the generic human enemies, running all over the place, and they're the ones on the front of all the boxes. There's even a great joke about it, "Borderlands 3 Delayed Until Cover Artist Figures Out How to Draw Guy Shooting Himself In Head In Third Way." And while NECA did make a Psycho back when they had the likeness, it wasn't very easy to find, so McFarlane Toys taking another crack at the character is fine by us!

The packaging says this figure is from Borderlands 3, but it doesn't really matter: they've looked pretty much the same since the beginning. The Psychos were originally prison labor forced to work in a mine, which is why they're all wearing orange pants - it's the remnant of their prison uniform. Pandora is a sweltering desert planet, so he's topless, showing off his labor-honed physique. Leather wraps cover his forearms, which should make for some interesting tan lines if he ever takes them off. Metal plates are attached to the straps on the right arm, for protection, while the left arm has bolts poking out for extra attacking power. He's got kneepads and sturdy boots, and two belts: the black one apparently to hold his pants up, and the brown one to hold his grenades plus the... carabiner and wallet chains? The '90s live on in space!

Psycho Bandits are most recognized by the masks they wear - like, orange pants are just orange pants, but you could throw one of those masks into anything and people would recognize it as a Borderlands reference. It's basically a white gas mask with three filters around the mouth, worn strapped to the Psycho's shaved head. An orange Vault symbol is painted over the front of the mask, contrasting against the blue eyes.

Being a modern McFarlane figure, the Psycho has good articulation. We're looking at balljointed ankles, swivel/hinge knees, an H-crotch, swivel waist, balljointed chest, swivel/hinge wrists, swivel/hinge elbows (with the swivel in the part that will allow the forearm to have the same range of motion as the wrist), swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, and a balljointed head. The left leg on my figure has turned out slightly longer than the right - it may just be a question of the way the joints were assembled, but it makes him lopsided and hard to stand. Good thing there's a base included.

The accessories include a sheathed knife that plugs into his left leg, and a buzz axe. The buzz axe is the Psycho Bandits' default weapon, a homemade thing with a spike on one end and a round saw blade on the other. You'd expect that this would just be a solid sculpt, but McToys did it with the blade separate from the rest of the weapon, meaning you can freely spin it around. Hey, that's pretty neat!

You know what they could have included, though? An alternate "finger gun" hand, and an alternate head with a cloud of whatever shooting out the side. That would have been a lot of fun!

The Psycho Bandit is an iconic part of Borderlands, even as much as Claptrap is. Once upon a time, settling for a McFarlane version of something NECA had previously made would have been trading down, but in the year of our lady 2020, not so much.

-- 07/26/20


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