Angry Birds toys teleport into new app

MAY THE FARCE BE WITH YOU: The sequel to Rovio's hit crossover app, Angry Birds Star Wars, will work with Hasbro's Telepods, a hybrid digital-and-physical toy that is similar to those of Activision's Skylanders.


    Jul 17, 2013

    Angry Birds toys teleport into new app

    WHEN Star Wars and Angry Birds were combined, a supernova property was formed.

    The crossover app has been downloaded more than 100 million times since its introduction in November, according to Rovio, the creator of Angry Birds. It is also one of the top-selling apps of the year.

    Eager to harness that popularity, toy-makers have lined up to sign deals with Rovio and Lucasfilm, the owner of the Star Wars licence.

    The latest offering comes from Hasbro in the form of Telepods, a hybrid digital-and-physical toy announced on Monday.

    Telepods are designed to work with the Angry Birds Star Wars 2 app, which is set to be released on Sept 19 on iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10 devices.

    A Telepods mode in the new Angry Birds app allows users to teleport physical toys into the game.

    The toys look like Hasbro's stand-alone Angry Birds Star Wars figures, but each one bears a tiny, laser-etched product code.

    Players use the front-facing camera on their device to scan the code and the character appears on the screen in digital form.

    There is no need to drag the toy around the screen. Once characters are transported into the app, they can be played with again and again.

    The concept is similar to Activision's Skylanders games, which integrate physical toys with video games. But Telepods cost much less than the Skylanders toys and console, and gameplay is not tethered to a TV screen.

    The inclusion of swoppable characters adds a level of strategy to the Angry Birds Star Wars game. Don't like Luke Skywalker's lightsabre skills? Send in Yoda as a pinch hitter.

    Playable characters will include those from the dark side, like Darth Vader, the Emperor and General Grievous.

    Telepods will be available next month as figure packs and battle sets at retailers in the United States from US$6 (S$8) to US$40. The initial assortment will include more than 30 playable characters, but Hasbro has plans for a universe more.