When something's a hit with the kids, toys are an inevitability. In 2019, Fortnite toys have blossomed into a pretty big market, complete with action figures, nerf guns, plushies, and higher quality collectible figures. Let's make sure you don't make any simple purchasing mistakes. Prep your kid (or yourself, let's be honest) to have the proper accouterments lining their monitor in preparation for the next Fortnite season.
It's easy to find Fortnite toys these days, and it's especially easy to buy something unimaginative in all that marketing noise. But chances are, the best Fortnite toys won't be the ones lining shop windows.
What to buy
This Nerf cannon is a pretty faithful replica of the tactical shotgun from the game. Not only is it silly-looking enough to not be mistaken for a real gun, but the darts actually do more damage than the tac shotgun in the game itself!
This is a convenient collection that comes in the form of a Fortnite loot pinata. Open it up and you'll find one 4-inch action figure that looks very flexible. It also comes with a bunch of weapons, building pieces, and backpacks. The idea here is to get several Llamas that go together to make a larger set, but even as a single purchase, there's a good value here.
These Fortnite figures are the easiest to get behind, but they might be a bit too delicate to gift the younger kids. That said, you're getting 18 points of articulation, a backbling, a harvesting tool, and display base. It's more of a showpiece seeing that they're sculpted using in-game assets direct from Epic, but a gentle kid with an imagination would do well with one. There are a handful of options available so far with more expected later this year.
Classic posable action figures. They're not too intricate so they can withstand getting tossed around and stepped on, and you can remove the jacket on this Drift model, which is a nice touch. If enough models come out with similar clothing items, that becomes part of the play, and part of what I love about Fortnite: dress up. I'm not sure what's up with the included building material, but if I were eight, I'm sure I'd find a creative use for it. 'You missed, I built a wall!' and so on. You can find Jazware's figures at WalMart, Target, and Amazon.
A perfect companion to the Jazwares figures above is their Turbo Builder pack, an 80-piece set of building material squares that snap together. Your kids can form these into any angular shape to simulate the building from the game. Like a good pile of LEGOs, kids can get a lot of mileage out of the rearranging of this set's pieces.
You, too, could be as happy as this kid holding a plastic rocket launcher. This Nerf launcher looks very faithful to the in-game weapon. It's also bright and colorful, so it won't be mistaken for a real threat. The NERF weapons that launch larger darts like this carry more of an impact, so don't let the kids use this one inside.
Over on Etsy you can get some 3D printed Loot Llama piggy banks, and they look exactly like the real deal. Teach a young person how to save money that doubles as an accessory to any other figurines they might have. You can get a few different sizes and an unpainted version as a DIY project for you and the lucky recipient.
What to avoid
Please don't welcome an advertisement into your home if it doesn't have posable arms. Fortnite has fallen prey to the Funko effect. It's an increasingly popular form of 'toy': a featureless plastic ocean ornament pitched as a collectible, an invented desire to supplant invented desires that does nothing to change the condition of your life other than by reminding you that it exists.
These things do not even attempt to replicate characters from Fortnite. They are pallid imitations, changelings that point to an idea, polluting it with a psychic wail that pierces all knowing. They should not exist. They do not exist. Plant a vegetable garden. Give your kid something that encourages play.
These are the toys to avoid.
There's not much left to say. It's possible to admire the detail on a Funko Pop, but that would be like admiring the interior decoration of a model home in a gated suburban neighborhood. No moving parts, no fun accessories. They're more useless than a misshapen brick, but infinitely stronger. Funko Pops will outlive humanity.
Moose minifigures | $10
Phew, the heads are back to normal. But these figurines are particularly small and posed in such a way that requires a disc to keep them upright. You'll need to squint at them in order to recognize the brand you know and love. Maybe consider these for the littlest of kiddies, those with imaginations big enough to make up for the size, strange proportions, and stiff ligaments, but they're just too boring and cheap to get behind.
It's not a successful brand until cheap knockoff figures show up on the market. I've quoted the exact title from Amazon above, just to avoid any confusion. These are Fortnitegame figurines, not Fortnite figurines. I appreciate that they come with tiny swords rather than pickaxes. And the detail! Look closely at their faces. Do you hear that? The incessant screaming?
But honestly, bad business practices aside, these cheapos are perfect for backyard play. The featureless, sunbleached sandbox fossils of the future.
Nerf Fortnite AR-L Blaster | $50
I can't recommend buying a kid a plastic replica of a military-grade weapon. Fortnite might be bright and colorful otherwise, but it's still strange that so many of the weapons are based on real-world counterparts. Without the context of Fortnite's cartoon world and rules of play, it loses the innocence that was barely there to begin with. It's just strange and distasteful.
Some egg-shaped collectibles I'm beginning to think I hallucinated | Please help me
The morning I started writing this article, I could swear I saw some egg-shaped Fortnite collectibles scroll by in my Twitter feed. They were just eggs—plastic eggs with distorted images of familiar Fortnite skins stretched over the shell. I have searched everywhere for evidence of their existence only to trip headfirst into a dark corner of predatory, kid-targeted YouTube that I'll never forget.
It's been a long couple of weeks. Getting dark earlier, colder too. I'm hopped up on over-the-counter cold meds and brussel sprouts. It's been raining here for days on end and the white noise of water puts me in a trance-like state. I'll catch myself staring at the wall, imagining little scenes filled with strange creatures. There's one with four sharp crystalline feet walking through a mossy forest. Another: a blue squirrel with six tails and no feet. The tails work like a wheel. Anyway, if anyone could tell me whether those Fortnite egg toys are real or not, I'd really appreciate it.