If you’ve got school-age kids, you’ve no doubt heard of Minecraft. Most likely, your kids want to spend all of the allowed screen time playing Minecraft or watching Minecraft videos on YouTube.
Minecraft is an engaging (and apparently quite addicting) video game available for computers, tablets, smartphones and game systems like the XBox. It involves resource gathering, building, crafting, strategy and exploration.
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Last year, Microsoft purchased Minecraft’s parent company, Mojang, for $2.5 billion. But Mojang’s owners and founders aren’t the only ones making boatloads of money from Minecraft. YouTube stars – including some who make popular Minecraft videos – can make hundreds of thousands of dollars each month.
Minecraft on YouTube
Kids learn to play Minecraft and how to use various Minecraft “mods” (game add-ons) by watching YouTube videos, and the most entertaining, charismatic producers of Minecraft videos develop huge followings. These YouTube Minecraft phenomenons aren’t just basement dwelling gamers who got lucky, either.
These guys are talented animators and producers who work hard at their craft, earning every one of their millions of YouTube followers. ExplodingTNT boasts 2.3 million YouTube subscribers and more than 533 million views of his YouTube videos. JeromeASF’s YouTube channel shows 3.8 million subscribes and north of 747 million video views.
Minecraft Toys With a Twist
The company’s Tube Heroes line offers action figures, complete with appropriate accessories such as swords and shields, and plushes based on the online personas of these Minecraft video producers.
Tube Heroes toys are definitely the right Minecraft toys at the right time. Actual Minecraft toys look plain and boring, because that’s what the game characters look like. Minecraft game characters themselves are much less exciting than the online personas of Minecraft YouTube stars.
The Tube Heroes toys, however, offer beautiful, intricate designs that bring to life the world according to each individual YouTube celebrity.
The Tube Heroes action figures appear very well made, and their accessories cleverly snap into the figure’s hand. The plush toys feature exceptionally impressive designs with intricate machine stitching you don’t usually see on plush toys. My husband knows quite a bit about decorative stitchery from his days managing sports teams, and he was bowled over by the quality and quantity of the stitching on the Tube Heroes plushes.
My 5-year-old couldn’t wait to open the action figures and play with them. She often wants to sleep with one or more of the Tube Heroes plushes.
I wasn’t sure whether to be impressed or disturbed that my 11-year-old easily identified each YouTube star without reading any of the Tube Heroes packaging. She also provided detailed descriptions of the persona behind each Tube Hero and what kinds of Minecraft videos he makes.
Where to Buy Tube Heroes
You can find Tube Heroes toys on Amazon for prices in the neighborhood of $10 to $15 each – comparable or even cheaper than licensed Minecraft toys. I received sample Tube Heroes products for use in this honest review.