The Top Ridiculous Angry Birds Merchandise Rovio Sold to Make $97 Million

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A couple of days ago, Rovio reported its financial results for 2012, indicating that they brought in a whopping €152.2 million in revenue for the year.  I understand that most of our readers are in the U.S., so for comparison purposes, that figure comes out to approximately $195.3 million, or one butt-ton.  This is not really much of a surprise, considering the popularity of Angry Birds.  If you are not familiar with the series, then you are probably not reading this article, because internet access is spotty in Guantánamo Bay.  (#dealwithit)  Personally, I think the storyline of angry birds is a little confusing.  I understand that they may have been angry at first, but since then, they’ve been sent to Rio and even into space without once cracking the slightest smile .  What does it take to make these guys happy? Still, literally, everyone and their mother has at least one of the game’s iterations installed somewhere, and as long as the birds keep finding new places to be ungrateful, people will continue to enable them.

The surprising part of Rovio’s announcement is that 45% of their revenue came from the consumer products division.  I expected the game itself to generate large sales, but until I read the release, I didn’t even know that merchandising was part of the pie.  In all fairness, I have run across an Angry Birds pillow or doll here and there, so I knew that Rovio produced merchandise.  However, I was not aware that anyone actually bought this merchandise, let alone $97 million worth.

So, I did a little research to find out what exactly Rovio has been selling over the past year.  I did a Wal-Mart search for “Angry Birds” and filtered it by “Best Sellers.”  Here is some of the stuff I found:

 

5. Angry Birds Bedtime Supplies (Sheets, Comforters, and Pajamas)

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Billy! Quit jumping on the bed! …sigh… I don’t know where he gets these ideas.

 

The search generated so many items related to sleeping that I had to lump them into a single ridiculous category.  It is amazing to me that so many children have a bedding-level obsession with a video game that their grandmothers play every day.  Choosing a blanket adornment is a big deal in the kid community.  For kids, the blanket ranks even above the lunchbox as the single biggest statement about who you are and what you stand for.  Blankets are supposed to be reserved for cult captivations like SpongeBob, Mario, and Nemo.  A child’s bedding should proudly display his or her heroes, be they real heroes like Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown, and Kobe Bryant, or imaginary heroes like Iron Man, Batman, and the Kobe Bryant who didn’t rape that woman.  Since when did children start idolizing Angry Birds?  Heck, since when did kids even start playing it?  Angry Birds is a game designed for people who don’t play games because they are too complex.  It is for people who need a distraction from the 2-hour commutes that serve as demoralizing reminders of the dreams they missed out on.  Children born into the information age should be building supercomputers in their basements and hacking government databases with their sunglasses, not establishing identities around a game with a target market of “people at the airport.”  It seems I have underestimated the appeal of this game.  I have been sleeping on Angry Birds, and apparently, so has the next generation.

 

4. Various “Play Angry Birds in Real Life” Tabletop Games

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With the Mega Fling game, the fun is so candid and unstaged that the birds will take off before you even let go of the launcher!

 

In the Angry Birds Mega Fling game, pictured above, the goal is to stack up a bunch of plastic pieces into a structure that will not collapse when opponents bombard it with other, heavier, bird-shaped, pieces of plastic.  Said differently, it is simultaneously the easiest game and the hardest game of all time, depending on whether you are the architect or the vandal.  “Architect” is actually a purposeful word choice in this scenario, because any child who wins a single round of this game on the construction side is either a cheater (gluer) or the greatest architectural prodigy of a generation.  I understand Rovio’s desire to translate the largely free-to-play app into a $35 format, but the execution is a bit lazy.  Surely, they could have tweaked the formula just a little bit to create a playable, real world design.  Tetris works as a video game, but a tabletop version where kids “drop blocks into a box, and just hope it works out” might not be too popular.  It should also be noted that the Jenga version of this game is branded very inappropriately, as it is actually the exact opposite of Jenga.  Instead of “Angry Birds Jenga,” it should be called “Angry Birds Jenga if You Suck at Jenga and Have Anger Management Issues.”

 

3.  Angry Birds Pet Toys

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We guarantee your dog will put this toy in his mouth, or your money back! Also check out our selection of shoes, remote controls, and random pieces of trash. We guarantee your dog will put them in his mouth, or your money back!

 

Are they seriously targeting animals now?  There are a ton of these toys, and they are way up there on the best sellers list.  I will keep this one brief.  Your dog doesn’t know an angry bird from an ecstatic goldfish.  Save five dollars on the licensing upcharge and go for the standard plush ball.  The generic ones are just as easy to rub in your own diarrhea and then eat.  Your pup won’t even notice the difference.

 

2. Angry Birds Duct Tape

Ten times as effective as our Angry Duck's Bird Tape!

Ten times as effective as our Angry Ducks Bird Tape!

 

What!?  Are they just walking around a warehouse and labeling things now?  Angry Birds fishing line?  Do it.  Angry Birds traffic cones?  Hell yes!  Angry Birds butter churns?  Where have you been all my life?!

 

1.  Angry Birds Skateboard and Bike

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If your kids liked the Angry Birds skateboard and the Angry birds bicycle, they’ll love the Grand Theft Auto baseball bat, the Snoop Dogg Little Gardener’s Set, and the Django Unchained wrestling shoes!

 

Wal-Mart should package the Angry Birds bicycle, Angry Birds skateboard, and “Angry Birds Little Boys Two-piece Muscle Graphic Tee and Short Set” into a discount “Frequent Swirly” bundle.  The skateboard is emblazoned with “Bird is the Word,” but when I was a kid, if I rode up to the playground on a skateboard like that, the word would have been “Help!” and I would have been hanging from a fence by the Little Boys Shorts.  Granted, it seems that things have changed since I was a child.  The definition of what is cool may have been expanded to include extreme sports equipment with non-extreme illustrations.  Even so, I am not sure it sends the right message to paint angry birds on a bicycle that a child will then mount and ride.  Children are known to be impressionable.  If they really have adopted the angry birds as their personal heroes, then they may have also adopted an aspiration to crash into things and explode.  Of course, Rovio has considered the safety of these children.  As shown in the picture, the Angry Birds bicycle comes with optional training wheels for those cyclists who are not quite ready to take to the ramps and crash through the garage door.  They grow up so fast… and then they explode.

 

Seen any weird Angry Birds merchandise in person?  Tweet us a picture @whatsjump.

 

Thomas Shamburger
Thomas is one of the original creators of "What's Jump?" As a lifelong gamer, writer, and comedian, his goal is to provide readers with humorous, entertaining, and thought-provoking perspectives on current gaming news and culture. His early career successes in the business world helped to pave the way for the site's launch in 2012. As the Editor in Chief of "What's Jump?" he combines his passions for gaming, writing, entrepreneurship, and comedy.
Thomas Shamburger
Thomas Shamburger

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