It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything Fortnite from McFarlane Toys.
Worried, am I? Maybe a little. Of course, we also didn’t expect a worldwide pandemic to hit shortly after Toy Fair. McFarlane Toys has also been pretty busy promoting its Spawn Remastered Kickstarter project. So there has certainly been a lot going on.
At the same time, in the second half of 2019, we saw 1-2 new McFarlane Toys Fortnite figures hit shelves every month. The line was chugging along at a very aggressive pace. This year, however, Vendetta and Skully have been the only figures released in four months. None of the stuff shown at Toy Fair like Big Mouth, Plastic Patroller, or Frostbite has gotten official press photography, and no preorders have been posted anywhere. I’ve reached out to McFarlane Toys asking for any info on the line but they have not responded. All we have to go on right now is a very vague interview answer from Todd.
Pixel Dan just posted his interview with Todd McFarlane (from his bed, in short sleeves … never change Todd) and I really appreciate that he attempted to get a status on the Fortnite line from him. The question is asked at about the 22-minute mark. The transcript is as follows:
Dan: Fortnite, you guys showed off a couple new things at Toy Fair. Is there more stuff planned beyond that, any delays with the Fortnite stuff? Is it still doing okay?
Todd: Yeah, actually as soon as I get off the phone here we’re having a conversation about it. We haven’t made final decisions on what that long term plan is. But we’ll get back to you on that one.
Again, you could probably take that answer any way you want to. Todd is a fairly blunt guy and was happy to address lines like Star Trek and Harry Potter as done or give a resounding “NO” to any other company but his making Spawn toys. At the same time, I’d imagine he still has an agreement in place with Epic, so even if the line was ending he probably would not indicate that publicly.
My thinking is this: If he’s going to continue with Fortnite he wants more or better shelf space for it. Most likely, the discussions he is having about “long term plans” are exactly that. McFarlane’s Fortnite figures have generally been regulated to the “collector” sections of big box stores like Walmart and Target, while Jazwares and Moose get the prime real estate. During the interview, he talked a lot about how he was proud of putting his DC figures on toy shelves beside offerings from billion-dollar companies like Mattel and Hasbro. I believe that is absolutely a factor weighing in on the future of McFarlane’s Fortnite line.
Whatever happens, I really do hope that Big Mouth and Plastic Patroller see the light of day. Neither has gotten a fully articulated figure yet, and it would be a real shame to let those gorgeous sculpts go to waste.
I look forward to a bunch of pictures and preorders being posted tomorrow to make me out as completely paranoid!
If you are interested in anything McFarlane Toys is doing, the interview I referenced above is a really good hour-long watch or listen. I highly recommend it. Dan is a good dude.