You can buy a replica of Apex Legends' worst gun for $104

Bootleg merch for movies and games has existed long before the internet. This black market has cobbled wonders like this mismatched, bloated, knock-off action figure set that inexplicably includes Batman, everyone's favorite Avenger. 

Lately, the growth of cosplay, the abundance of online retailers, and the continued maturity of 3D printing have combined to produce a lively, higher-end grey market for video game arms dealing. This micro-industry seemed to spring up in the shadow of CS:GO's growth, as individual weapon and knife skins became status symbols that were so coveted that owning them in-game wasn't enough for some players. (You can get an inlaid Glock from CS:GO for $45, less than the price of some rarer Glock weapon skins.)

Apex Legends is the latest extension of this trend, with some of the game's guns available as full-size, expensive fakes on sites like Etsy, the same website that my girlfriend buys eco-friendly dental floss. Here are a few:

Peacekeeper, $87, by Senpai3D

R-301, $73, by Senpai3D

Mozambique, $104, by StarJeff3DWorkshop

Wingman, $50, DVAMakerStudios

Many of the prints come as raw plastic, but some sellers offer painting, including patterns and colors that match in-game skins. Cosplayers are a target customer for these sellers: one Etsy store, 3DWorkshopCreations, sells weapons and equipment from World of Warcraft, Fire Emblem, "Fortnight," and more than 72 pieces of Overwatch kit, including a lifesized Hammond.

Elsewhere, miniaturized versions of Apex's guns are floating around on Ebay and other sites: you can get a half-dozen weirdly big Apex keychain guns are available for $13.

The rarest item currently available in Apex, the 'Heirloom' Wraith knife, has a one-in-500 chance of dropping in a loot box, but you can grab a toy version of this kunai for a mere $14.

Raised by a Team Fortress Classic clan, Evan can only communicate using multiplayer FPS jargon, sort of like that Star Trek: TNG "Darmok" episode. 2fort, when the walls fell...