A hyperviolent PG-13 game may not be the obvious candidate for a children’s toy spin-off, but that is exactly what Microsoft is planning, according to Fast Company.
Microsoft is working with Funko Pop! to produce a series of collectables based on the Gears of War franchise.
The work of Rod Fergusson, head of the Microsoft-owned game studio Coalition, the plan is to expand the audience of the shooter with a collection of $5 bobblehead figurines.
The figurines will be accompanied by a mobile game, Gears Pop!
The aesthetic is inspired by collector culture in Japan and features the typical wide-spaced eyes of E.T. to Hello Kitty.
“Aesthetically, we came up with something that feels very stylized, whimsical, Asian influenced,” says Funko’s CEO Brian Mariotti. “But I think the result of it was that people that had never thought about buying a [highly realistic] Daenerys Game of Thrones action figure, with 14 points of articulation, will buy a Pop!.”
The characters will however still feature “adorable badassery” and of course the iconic Gears of War chainsaw shotgun, though somewhat more child-friendly.
“Instead of cutting through the Funko, it vibrates it and the head pops off,” says lead designer Tyler Bielman. “It’s a way to do what we do without making it destructive to a Funko.” When the head pops off, it’s not as if the toy has died. Instead, the head flies out to become a pin that might be redeployed onto the level later, like a piece on a gameboard.
“More than anything else, this is going to be the first exercise in storytelling but through a mobile platform,” said Mariotti. “That will connect people into . . . god, you could do a movie with Pops!.”
Gears Pop! will be hitting iOS, Android and Windows 10 on the 22nd August.