With toy-integrated gaming platform Disney Infinity set to give billion-dollar retail juggernaut Skylanders a run for its money this summer, toymaker Hasbro has now announced the launch of Telepods, a toy line that transports physical characters into mobile games like the newly announced Angry Birds Star Wars II.
The Telepods line will be available in September and will be based on and fully integrated into the new app Angry Birds Star Wars II from Rovio Entertainment and Lucasfilm. The sequel to the original Angry Birds Star Wars that garnered more than 100 million downloads will be released on September 19. At that point, players will be able to download the app, tap the Telepods icon within it, place one of the more than 30 Angry Birds Star Wars figures on the included Telepods base, and then place the base on a smart device (not included) in order to implant that figure into the game. The coinciding Hasbro toys will arrive in retail in September along with the game and will be presented at Comic-Con International in San Diego this week.
The new app features character additions such as the bird versions of young Anakin, Mace Windu and Darth Maul, and the game’s Rebel Bird and Imperial Pig figures will be imagined through physical Telepods.
The companies say the digital/toy experience was a true collaboration, as Hasbro’s Star Wars design team spent time in Finland working directly with Rovio game designers to develop the product.
The Telepods announcement comes less than a week after Hasbro paid US$112 million for a majority stake in Colorado-based mobile developer Backflip Studios, the studio behind such games as DragonVale, NinJump and Paper Toss.