The best and worst Fortnite toys

Know anyone born in the last 15 years? OK, then here's your gift guide. There's a high probability the kids in your life are into Fortnite. And when something's a hit with the kids, toys are an inevitability. Fortnite toys are still in the early days, with small collectible figurines taking up most of the attention, but some high-quality stuff is starting to show up. Let's make sure you don't make any simple mistakes. 

It'll be easy to find Fortnite toys in the coming months, and it'll be especially easy to buy something unimaginative in all that holiday marketing noise. But chances are, the best Fortnite toys won't be the ones lining shop windows.

What to buy

McFarlane Toys Fortnite figurines | $25 

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. They're expected to ship in late December.

Jazwares G.I. Joe inspired Fortnite figures | No price announced 

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. Jazware's figures aren't out yet, but expected sometime this December. 

Loot Llama piggy banks | $9+ 

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. 

Custom Lego minifigs | $25 

Another good Etsy find, these custom Lego Fortnite characters will do just fine until the inevitable Lego license agreement comes around. Blocks are a natural fit for Fortnite's building system, and I'm sure kids with existing Lego collections would have a great time with a Jonesy or Skull Trooper to dance around homemade fortresses with. They don't look like perfect imitations though, so I'd only bite if you have a serious Lego fan in the family.

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.

Fortnite Funko Pops | ~$10

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 | No price announced

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.

Ginkago Fortnitegame Action Figures Cartoon Toys Anime Collection Decoraction Children Gift (12pc) | $21

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
The AR-L Blaster won't be available until next summer, but even then, 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.