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5 Angry Birds merchandising opportunities

10 million iPhone owners can’t be wrong
Product: Angry Birds | Developer: Rovio | Format: iPhone | Genre: Casual
Angry Birds iPhone, thumbnail 1
Rovio boss Mikael Hed has big plans for Angry Birds. The ten million-selling franchise, which looks like it will soon have appeared on more handsets than Snake and Breakout combined, is going to Hollywood!

Hed wants to make the fowl-flinging game into “a major franchise that crosses over to other platforms - from TV shows and movies to toys and comic books”.

Apparently a script is being handed around the sleazy bars of Los Angeles, there are toys available for pre-order, and you can outfit your iPhone with an Angry Birds case, and your naked chest with an Angry Birds shirt.

It’s all a bit bonkers. But the Angry Birds Express is showing no signs of slowing down. We reckon it won’t be long until disgruntled red birds and oblivious green swines crop up in more merchandising opportunities than Spider-Man and C-3PO.

Other than lunchboxes and bedsheets, here are some we’d like to see:

Angry Birds: The boardgame

Since the dawn of Pop-up Pirate and Tumblin’ Monkeys, the term 'boardgame' has ceased to mean just pen and pencil RPGs and brainy pursuits like Monopoly. It now refers to anything that comes in a box and goes on a table.

This new-found appreciation of kinetic energy, construction, and just throwing bits and pieces around the room gives Angry Birds a perfect opportunity to joins the likes of Crocodile Dentist on the shelves this Christmas.

The premise is simple: one team is given three minutes to assemble the perfect tower out of Jenga-like blocks and place the green pigs inside. The other team draws cards to find out what type of birds they’ll get to use (“Please please please Big Brother bird!”) before dropping them in a tiny catapult and lining up the shot.

It would be excellent. At least, until the game got pulled from shop shelves amidst a media frenzy as Milton Bradley is slapped with a million dollar lawsuit for blinding a kid with a yellow plastic bird.

Military Vehicles

Even proud service men and women defending our countries from terrorists need a break every now and again, and I heard some of them like nothing more than to unwind with some quality iPhone apps.

So presumably they’d be in the market for a novelty heat-seeking missile in the shape of a furious crimson bird. Or a AC-130 gunship painted to look like a white bird, which drops giant eggs instead of fiery missiles.

Angry Birds: The chess set

Some say that Angry Birds isn’t as strategic, tactical, and well designed as chess. Well, why not shove them into one game? That'll settle the argument. Probably.

If nothing else, I’d just like to see a cute set of chess pieces modelled after birds and pigs, from little blue pawns to mighty eagle queens, and tiny construction-hat wearing pigs to massive, mustachioed king swines. 

In fact, why stop with chess? Angry Birds checker pieces, Angry Birds playing cards, Angry Birds Monopoly, Risk and Cluedo. It was the White Bird in the Jungle with the Egg, M’Lord!

Water Balloons

This one just makes TOO much sense: packs of promotional polychloroprene, adorned with Angry Birds themed designs. When you buy them they look like shriveled fowl skins, missing a few important organs.

Fill them with water, though, and they turn into plump poultry, ready to soak an unsuspecting pig (your little sister).

You can also buy water balloon launchers (or make your own with a bike tire’s inner-tube and a Y shaped tree) to send these H20 filled sacks of love flinging further than ever.

So quit faffing about with boring, plain-coloured balloons and grab a set of these Angry Birds themed projectiles, you chump!

That’s the advertising jingle. 

Angry Birds Racing

Hey, it worked for Mario, Sonic, and Crash Bandicoot. And Shrek, the cast of Nicktoons, all the animals from Madagascar, Mickey Mouse, Mega Man, a handful of Digimon and The Muppets. Oh, and Crazy Frog, that wacky little guy.

If you’ve got a winning cast of cute, cuddly, and colourful characters, it seems like the laws of physics dictate that they will one day end up driving tiny little go-karts around a themed race track.

And Angry Birds would be no different. There’s the all-rounder red bird, the yellow bird with awesome acceleration, the white one that can drop obstacle eggs, and all the others that I’ve forgotten.

They’d zip around the jungle, the construction site, the kingdom of the pigs. And the final tournament would be the “Golden Egg Cup”. Oh it’s just so perfect, isn’t it?

Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 22 November 2010
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