The idea for the Chicken Trooper, as it was originally known, was formed earlier this year in the mind of a young Fortnite fan named Connor. His father shared it to Reddit, at which point an artist got involved, turning it into something more suitable for the game. Epic picked it up and ran with it, and here we are: As of today, the Tender Defender is an official Fortnite skin.
Connor's father, who kept all of this activity a secret in order to avoid disappointing him, has now spilled the beans. "We are so excited. I surprised Connor with the skin (right before we had to leave to an event) and he and his brother loved it," he wrote in the Fortnite subreddit. "Thanks to everyone on Reddit who made this possible. You made his day. He is sporting a permanent grin. You guys made me the coolest dad alive."
Get yolked 💪The new Fowl Play Gear is available in the Item Shop! pic.twitter.com/7cYIjPAMaZNovember 23, 2018
"Thanks to all the fans who gave both Connor and I the support and attention to make this a reality! This is a dream come true for me as an amateur artist," Etsyturtle2, the artist who created the full mock-up, said in a separate post. They also rejected a thoroughly mean-spirited suggestion that they deserved all the credit for the work: "Connor did come up with the character though. I made the art, but the kid still deserves credit for inspiring me."
The Tender Defender skin goes for 1500 V-Bucks, and can be accessorized with other "Fowl Play Gear" including the Flappy Flyer for 800 V-Bucks, and the Scrambler for 500. Connor's dad, who goes by tfoust10 on Reddit, said he recorded a video of his son's reaction to the Tender Defender news and will post it on YouTube soon.