Disney may have bought up 20th Century Fox and all of the various intellectual properties that came along with it (specifically the X-Men and The Simpsons), but the surviving Fox Entertainment company isn’t just going to sit back and not acquire some intellectual properties of its own to fill that whole. To that end, Fox has just picked up the rights to one of the biggest pop culture icons in the world… sort of, maybe.
We’re talking about Gumby, who has always had some surprising level of cultural relevance (possibly thanks to Eddie Murphy’s parody on Saturday Night Live in the ‘80s), and now Fox is hoping to make that cultural relevance less “surprising” and more “inescapable.” That’s because, after acquiring the rights to Gumby from the estate of Joseph Clokey (the son of original creator Art Clokey), Fox has announced that it’s planning a whole suite of Gumby-related projects ranging from the obvious, to the confusing, to the dumb and exploitative.
First, the obvious: A press release announcing the acquisition specifically mentions a “new animated series, which seems like the most straightforward thing to do with Gumby. He’s a little claymation guy, he should be animated in some way. We don’t know much more beyond that, but the press release repeatedly mentions Bento Box, the Fox-owned studio that co-produces Bob’s Burgers and The Great North (among many other things).
Next, confusing: The press release also mentions “live-action original content.” What does that mean? Who knows. Maybe some kind of modern reboot of the Eddie Murphy Gumby? A show where Gumby as made of clay but he lives in a world of live-action people? The latter seems right up Fox’s alley.
Finally, the dumb and exploitative: Fox is planning to do some kind of Gumby NFT thing, which seems more like an attempt to cash in on a very popular scam than a play on blockchain/Blockheads—which is what it should be. If NFTs weren’t so stupid, it would be fun to make jokes about the Blockheads being on the blockchain, but no, not even the aforementioned press release makes that leap. Maybe because the Blockheads are bad guys and it’s kind of important to the blockchain that people don’t realize it’s bad?