I think what he's getting at is this: create the pieces of your character, create a skeleton for your character, and then attach said pieces to their corresponding bones on the skeleton.
Yeah, that's pretty much how a bones system works. Then to move the character, you don't have to move the actual sprites, or worry about their individual rotation. You just move the bone.
In 3D it's pretty much the same, only your mesh is usually one piece. You attach specific polys to the bones and it deforms the mesh when you manipulate a bone.
it probably works like my blobber character, they may have even gotten the idea for such an object from it. Its pretty complex to set up and not something the average user could do on his own, this object would make it wayyyy easier.
In effect it would pretty much look the same, yes. Your blob guy looks like what a bones system would do, just without actual bones. You've gone and made some kind of crazy complex IK chain without using a true bones system