Angry Birds Star Wars has been hitting the promotional floor as hard as they can. We have had trailers, previews of merchandise, tweets, and contests. The one thing we have not really heard is details about the game or the merchandise. We have seen images, we know what kinds of things are coming out, but I am sure some of us want to know more. As the release dates near for the game itself but more specifically the merchandise I think most of us are anxious for news.
Cartamundi USA is a playing card company that has had the Star Wars license for about 5 years. It was not a surprise when they announced that there would be a playing card line released for the game. The last deck that we saw from them was the 3D deck that came out to help promote the release of the 3D films. This news of all the merchandise was the the most exciting, for me at least. I reached out to Victor Shaffer the Executive Vice President of Business Development for Licensed prodcuts at Cartamundi for more information. Victor was so kind to answer my questions the best he could. As always there are some things that he can not answer but the information he could share has me very excited.
What I do know from our interview is that there will be 4 different tins. Now we already knew this was going to happen from preview images but now we know why. Victor told me the following “We wanted to feature a number of the key characters to make the product look great. And, with four different tins which include four different 3D cards, there is something there for the collectors to aspire to!” This was great to hear for those of us that are collectors. I agree with his statement that with having 4 different 3D cards available highlighting 4 of the characters it makes the cards more valuable. Being a playing card collector myself I was most curious about the time it took to get the designs and what that process was like. Victor told me this “The concept for the cards was developed as new images were released to us. Over a period of about 2 weeks, we had finalized the plan, but the final product took months.” in addition he told me about how the artwork was developed he stated that “As more and more images were released to us, our plan came together. Once we had enough images to put a different character on each of the card denominations, and enough background images for the 4 card suits and jokers, we were almost there!”. This process is fascinating to me because I have never known how that works. He also told me that all of the cards are a 2D flat design except for the special collector’s card that goes with the collector tin. The last step for them was the approval process, just like everything else in the world of Star Wars they had to go through an approval process for each card design. Not only did Rovio have to approve it but so did Lucasfilm.
Next up on the table for discussion was of course the character lineup. He said that there is a tin for Luke, Han, Chewie and Darth Vader. I then asked if we would be seeing all the pigs/birds from the game on the cards and he responded with “Our beaks are sealed!” which leads me to believe that there may be more characters on these cards than we see in the initial game. Victor gave me the feeling that Rovio has plans to maintain the game and continue giving it updates at least for the next year. This is great because right now it seems the only Angry Birds game that gets updates is the Angry Birds Seasons game. As Star Wars fans with these possible updates we have the possibility of seeing many of our beloved characters make appearances.
Next we moved on to talk about distribution. He was very encouraged by the response he got from all the retailers especially since they had such a short time to pitch the product. He did say this “We’ve never introduced a product that had this much positive energy behind it.” which says tons in my opinion for the quality of work that they put into this product. We can expect to find these cards at our normal big box retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and even Barnes and Noble. In addition you are looking at a $3.99-4.99 price tag per tin.
Finally it was time to talk about upcoming products and what will be new for the company this coming year. In the next couple of months we can expect a 3D deck for the new Hobbit movie as well as a Lord of the Rings 2 deck tin. As far as Star Wars is concerned we will see a new weapons and battles double deck. This deck will feature 55 different weapons in one deck and 13 different battles in the other. I asked him about more Angry Birds and he said that next year they very well may have another Star Wars Angry Birds project, we will just have to wait and see what that that will be.
For now though we can indulge ourselves in the 4 collectors tins that will be released this Sunday. If you want to see a second version of these cards then I highly suggest you get out there and help these things “fly” off the shelves. What we as consumers do will determine whether or not they are given the go ahead to make Version 2!
Check back here for my interview with Victor Shaffer later in the week.