A word of warning to pig farmers in Finland: Keep away from playgrounds.
One angry slide (Lappset)After invading the worlds of apparel, stuffed animals and board games, Angry Birds are now adding playground equipment to their repertoire. Two Finnish towns -- Rovaniemi and Espoo -- will get the first products next year, with worldwide distribution planned at a later date.
Playground equipment manufacturer Lappset is behind the deal. The company will make 20 pieces of play equipment featuring the game's ornery feathered heroes.
Among the items kids will get to ride are spring rides for all the birds (and, yes, the pigs as well) and four different play towers that have a mix of slides, a climbing wall and a cottage. Also included in the mix are a sandbox, rope slide, ship, swings and crawling tunnel.
The oddest -- and in some ways, most intuitive -- item is the giant, child-friendly slingshot (which Rovio insists complies with current European safety standards). And, naturally, there's an outdoor version of the game that can be played as well.
"The activity parks perfectly tie in with the Angry Birds world and our way of thinking," says Rovio's Mighty Eagle, chief marketing officer Peter Vesterbacka."We will be developing a service which brings together the digital world and the physical world in a way that's never been seen before. The popularity of Angry Birds isn't restricted to any age, sex or social group, and the activity parks too will be designed to be interesting places for absolutely everyone, all around the world."
Two years after its initial release, Angry Birds continues to dominate the iPhone sales charts, a remarkable feat for any entertainment property. Rovio has been leveraging the game's success for a while now, heavily merchandising the game (there are over 85 types of Angry Birds items available) and looking to expand it to other media, including film and television.
There's talk of an IPO for the developer as well and the company is already beating the drum, saying in August that if it were to be bought then, it would have been worth more than the $750 million EA paid for PopCap Games.