Written by Chase Bridges
Ever since the original inception of GI-Joe in 1963, countless of generations have been fans. If you were a big fan of the action figures, the comics, the 80’s cartoons, or even the early 2000’s film GI-Joe The Rise of Cobra, then you know just how influential these characters have been.
GI-Joe started as a toy. Created by Hasbro, GI-Joe was a barbie doll for boys, using the United States Military as the gimmick. GI-Joe was the precedent to the term “action figure”, and was extremely popular with kids all over the country.
Like a lot of toys in the 80’s, Hasbro created a Saturday-Morning cartoon based on their action figure characters. They used the show as a long form commercial to sell toys. The children watching the show would find their favorite characters, and want to collect all of their action figure equivalents. It’s a very smart business model that is not exactly recreated in todays world.
Why is that? Well the tactic has actually seem to flip in todays market. Where popular cartoons and animated shows end up getting action figures created about them, in order to try and capitalize on the shows popularity. Not vise versa. But with the introduction of Fortnite and its mainstream success as a video game, could that be changed?
Fortnite is a battle royal based, third person shooter video game. It was released by Epic Games in 2017. It is known for it’s cartoon style and tons of different character skins, and has become the largest played video game in the world as of this article.
How could Fortnite become the new GI-Joe? Well in a lot of ways, Fortnite has already followed in their footsteps quite nicely. GI-Joe was known for their vast array of characters in the comics, on the shows, and in the movies. Having so many different characters made it so they could sell many different action figures. Fornite is very similar with their “Item Shop.”
The Fortnite Item Shop hosts different skins every day, and release brand new skin designs all the time. Skins are the different characters that the players can play as in game. Every gamer has their favorite skins, and get super excited when a new one comes out.
Another way that Fortnite is similar, is they have already created somewhat of a story with their skins. Using fun little animations and cut scenes to give their characters personality that the players latch onto. Causing their players in turn to want to purchase the skins that they are watching.
Fortnite could use the GI-Joe model to create more attachment to their skins and in turn make more money from skin sales. A Fortnite animated series would be the perfect answer to keeping Fortnite relevant longer, and increase the experience of the game even more.
Each season of Fortnite already has a loose storyline that the players enjoy following. Leading up to the big “event” at the end of the season, that kicks off the next one. These Fortnite Events are usually giant animated cut scenes that have something interesting happen to the map. For example, having two giant robots destroy it, or have a giant tsunami flood it, creating giant rivers.
Fortnite could capitalize on this, with a animated show. Using their already popular skins as the main characters, and introducing new characters that they could in turn, sell as a skin in the game. The events of the cartoon could even play along side the events in the game simultaneously.
Epic games already update the game weekly, making it change and evolve as time goes on. Imagine if they did that, while following along with their episode released that week. A kid could watch their favorite characters destroy a section of the map that morning while watching, and then when they are playing the game later that evening, the same thing has happened in-game! Or perhaps a brand new character enters the show, and then the skin equivalent is available for purchase the next day.
This would elevate the experience even more for fans of the game, and would also create a whole new fan base in the animated world. Especially if they make the show for an older and younger crowd, writing for the wide range of ages that play the game.
In a world where video game skins have taken over the popularity of action figures, this would be the best equivalent to the GI-Joe model. Do you think that Fortnite could follow in the footsteps of GI-Joe? Would you be interested in watching a Fortnite animated show? Let us know!