Fans of Angry Birds have been anxiously-awaiting the ultra-cool merchandise that's been on display at toy fairs and tech events overseas for a while. At this year's Toy Fair in New York City, I finally got a chance to hug a giant plush bird and play Mattel's new physical Angry Birds game. Could a geeky girl ask for more?
It was hard to miss the Angry Birds mania as I walked the Javits Center floor since it seemed like a dozen booths featured the plush toys or other merchandise, such as stickers and calendars. However, I was directed to the Commonwealth Toys booth since they have the official license--most of the other booths were just distributors. Once I got to Commonwealth, I had a hard time tearing myself away from all the different plushies. There were giant birds and pigs, squeezable toys that made the familiar sounds from the game, backpack clips, rubber balls, and even flip-flops. Yeah, I know.
I didn't see the cool slingshot that made an appearance at London's Toy Fair, but I did get to play a real life version of the game.
Mattel's Angry Birds: Knock On Wood is a clever translation of the app's gameplay to real life. The set comes with three birds--red, yellow, and black--plus four pigs, some fake wooden blocks, a star, a tree, and a launcher. Players choose cards that outline the particular setup they must knock down plus which birds they're allowed to use. Each card has a point value, and whoever reached 1000 points first wins. Pretty simple. But, as you'll see in the video below, even Angry Birds experts have a bit of trouble getting the hang of it when the game is translated to plastic and rubber.
Angry Birds: Knock On Wood will be out this Spring and will cost $14.99. No word yet on whether Mattel will issue expansion packs with more cards, more birds, and more blocks for more advanced gameplay. I guess we can only hope. The plushies and other toys from Commonwealth will make their way to toy stores big and small, gift shops, and even big box stores in the coming weeks.
Check out our video below of Angry Birds: Knock On Wood in action.