Angry Birds Star Wars Toys
How do you guarantee a surefire toy range success? By marrying film histories best loved franchise with one of the world's most successful mobile phone Apps! Finnish software developer Rovio, following a deal with Lucasfilm, have announced that the new Angry Birds Star Wars App will be available on 8th November 2012 and the related merchandise will be released by Hasbro around the same time, just in time for the Christmas/Holiday run-up.
To those unfamiliar with the Angry Birds game (I'm sure Star Wars needs no introduction!), it involves a 2D scrolling game in which an "angry" bird is launched on a catapult and knocks down structures, in an attempt to try to retrieve their stolen eggs from a group of Green Pigs. In the Angry Birds Star Wars App, the Birds adopt the guises of the familiar Star Wars Hero characters such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia etc. whilst the Pigs become the evil empire and become stormtroopers, Darth Vader etc.
Hasbro have acquired the licensing rights from Rovio/Lucasfilm to produce the accompanying toy range and the toy functions follow a similar format to Hasbro's other toy brands such as Koosh or Jenga and are a "physical" version of the computer game in which the plastic SW Angry birds are used to knock down Star Wars themed structures, in the fewest attempts possible. It would be unsurprising if the toy's mentioned below are in the "Most Wanted" category in the fourth quarter of 2012.The toys are recommended by the manufacturer from ages 8 and up. Some the sets will also include special "unlock" codes for unlocking exclusive App content.
Normally I would bit a bit cynical about such a tie-in but Hasbro have taken an interesting approach with the range which mixes Star Wars nostalgia with the novelty Angry Birds characters which I would imagine, will appeal to fans of both Star Wars and Angry Birds franchises. so what's due to be released in the coming weeks?
**Star Wars Angry Birds UK Availability Update 13/12/12**
It's worth mentioning that while there do not appear to be any supply problems in the US with most of the major online retailers offering discounts and good availability, here in the UK, there appears to be a supply issue to some of the larger retailers with regard to the larger sets. Whilst many of the larger supermarkets have the smaller sets, the AT-AT & Death Star Jenga sets do not appear to be on the shelves. Argos appear to have some in regional stores but the stock appears to be limited to 1 or 2 left (as of early December 2012), hopefully they will be getting some more in in the coming weeks, but who can tell?
Amazon.co.uk have the Death Star Jenga set listed available from Marketplace Seller "The Entertainer" at £29.99 ( which is the same as High Street/Supermarket prices) . Amazon's discounted stock (@ £23.79) appears to be BACK IN STOCK (as of 13/12/12) and is currently available on Super Saver Delivery to ensure delivery before Christmas, however by about 17/12/12, you may need to pay for faster delivery option to ensure pre-Christmas delivery . The AT-AT Jenga Set is also currently OUT OF STOCK on Amazon UK, with no current estimate on incoming Stock or Delivery, so if this the set you require/need, you may be advised to pay slightly higher and order via the main online/Direct Supermarket sites or visit Argos to check availability, also John Lewis may be a good bet, if struggling to find one, also might be worth checking your local Independent to shop who may have stock. If there are any updates, I'll post them here! Good Luck!
Angry Birds Star Wars Early Bird Package
This is a nostalgic nod to the original Kenner Star Wars 3.75" Action Figure Early Bird Mail Away from 1977, with an identical packaging to the famous Kenner early bird package was simply a box and a coupon that was rushed out quickly after the massive surprise success of the film release, in time for Christmas 1977, that promised the bearer the actual physical figures in early 1978, when they were actually produced. Thankfully, this time the box actually contains something! This set contains the basic lightsaber bird launcher, two blocks and Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and R2D2 Egg characters. The current estimated retail is US$12.99/UK£11.99, this product should be now available in the US (Toys R US may have the initial exclusive) but judging on Amazon.Co.UK, probably won't be available until late November/early December.
Angry Birds Star Wars AT AT Game
The Angry Bird Star Wars AT-AT is the largest in the range and the set follows Hasbro's Angry Bird App and game format, in which the AT-AT Walker is built from building blocks and the included slingshot is used to knock down the AT-AT and Evil Piggies with the "Rebel" Angry Birds. The set includes a "Lightsaber" launcher, 21 blocks, 8x AT-AT Pices, 12 Angry Bird Star Wars figures - including Luke Skywalker Angry Bird Hoth Pilot, Han Solo Angry Bird, Rebel Trooper Angry Bird in Hoth gear, R2D2 Egg, Darth Vader Pig, AT-AT Commander Pig, 2x Stormtrooper Pigs & 2x Snowtrooper Pigs. The set also includes exclusive AT-AT driver Pig and a Luke Skywalker Echo Base Angry Bird. The set is available already in the US and retails in the region of $39.99. The set is already released in the US and in the UK after 21st November 2012 and retails in the region of £34.99.
Angry Birds Star Wars Death Star Jenga Game
The Angry Birds Star Wars Death Star Jenga game follows the same format as the App and other sets in the series. As before, one or two players, using the launcher to launch the Angry Birds at the block-built Death Star, see who can knock down and destroy the infamous space station first. This set comes with a X-Wing launcher, Die, rules and sticker sheet, along with 31 plastic blocks (that form the Death Star), 1 lock block and base. The set comes with 8 figures - Luke Skywalker Bird, Han Solo Bird, Chewbacca Bird, Darth Vader Pig and 4x Stormtrooper Pigs. The set has a RRP in the US of $39.99 and is now available, however Toys R Us already have it available (as of early November 2012) and discounted for $20.00. In the UK, it would be available for around £29.99 and is available after 21st November 2012.
Angry Birds Star Wars Jenga Tatooine themed sets
There are three Tatooine themed sets on release, A smaller set is titled "Jabba's Palace" which includes three figures - a Jabba the Hutt Pig, Rancor Pig and "Boush" disguised Angry Bird. The set comes with 6 jenga blocks, a palace piece, green lightsaber launcher and instructions. This set retails for $19.99 in the US and £12.99 in the UK and as before, is available after 21st November 2012. A similar sized/priced set entitled "Tatooine Strike" contains a "block" Mos Eisly cantina and includes a Han Solo Angry Bird and Greedo and Ponda Baba Pigs.
A slightly larger set - "Tatooine Battle" ,includes a Millennium Falcon launcher, 12 plastic jenga blocks, Luke Skywalker Bird, Jabba the Hutt Pig and Rancor Pig, 2x dice, labels and guide. This set has a RRP of $19.99 in the US but Toys are already discounting to $15.00 (as of early November 2012)
Angry Bird Star Wars Lightsaber and Hoth Battle Sets
Two additional themed jenga sets are available - the Lightsaber Battle set, which includes an exclusive Obi Wan/Ben Kenobi Angry Bird and Darth Vader and Stormtrooper Pigs along with translucent 6 block "Lightsaber" and lightsaber Launcher and also the Hoth Battle Set which includes a Luke Skywalker Hoth outfit Angry Bird and 2x Snowtrooper Pigs, along with translucent "Ice" blocks and snowspeeder launcher. Both sets are in the US$19.99/UK£12.99 region, availabilty as before, although Toys R US have discounted the Hoth set to $15.99.
Mystery Bags and Koosh Launcher Sets
Similar to Lego minifigures, Hasbro are releasing a "mystery" bag range which include one surprise individual figures. The bags offer 12 different figures with 2x "exclusive" figures - Han Solo AB in Carbonite and Wedge Antilles AB characters. These are set to retail in the US for $3.99 and around £5.80 and these should appeal to collectors. Finally, also being released are two "Koosh" sets - slightly different to the Jenga sets above, in that they comprise of either a Jedi slingshot (catapult) or a Han Solo Blaster Launcher. These sets launch Angry Bird Star Wars printed character Balls to knock down either a Darth Vader Pig or a Greedo Pig Target. There are also separate Ball sets available. although essentially a separate game, they could be used in conjunction with the Jenga sets above.
The merging of the Angry Birds and Star Wars themes is a shrewd marketing move, made before the recently announced Disney takeover of Lucasfilm, it will no doubt prove lucrative to all parties involved. The Angry Bird Star Wars character figures will make great collectibles and likely to hold their value well with the less common figures becoming sought after through channels such as eBay. The range of themed items will no doubt expand rapidly in the coming months, already there are also small and large Plush characters that are available that are available (the larger 16" versions are pretty expensive, but the smaller 5" & 12" versions are reasonable) . There are likely to be more sets released in the coming months if the range becomes successful (which likely, it will), already there is also a Stormtrooper Pig set on the horizon.
Prices of the set will likely to be discounted in the coming months or sooner, through the usual sites such as Amazon & eBay (see below!), so if you are on the look out, it's also worth checking other large retailers websites and supermarkets and if I come across any great bargains, I'll update it here!