Rovio, makers of the popular Angry Birds game, continues their licensing blitz and announced today that they are in a partnership with The LEGO Group to make sets based off of the upcoming movie of the same name. As per usual the press release doesn’t give much details in the way of set details but we may see a prototype set at this year’s San Diego Comic Con as LEGO has a history of using the venue to reveal new product announcements.
I would not be surprised the least bit if the Angry Birds characters were regular minifigure bodies with custom bird head elements to distinguish between the different types of birds and pigs. I would also not be surprised if the super jumpers element introduced by the LEGO Super Heroes line was used to launch the minifigure at the targets. You heard it here first, folks.
This just baffles me. Not because of the minifigure or super jumper theories I postulated above. But the whole Angry Birds license. What’s coming out next year? LEGO Candy Crush Saga? Build gigantic candy pieces using LEGO elements? If the article is true, then the license is really centered around the movie more so than the game, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the popularity of the game helped push the deal through. Personally, I think it’s a mistake. There are brands that have what I like to call staying power. Meaning, there are brands that are perennial and have garnered a loyal and rabid fan base. And there are brands that are just trends and like all trends they go out of style. Angry Birds is, or at least was, a trend. That article I linked to describes how licensing for Angry Birds merch has dropped dramatically so this feels more like a Hail Mary by Rovio to boost it’s bottom line. This is just my opinion but it doesn’t sound like a license that LEGO should have in its portfolio. Worst case scenario, it’s this decade’s Galidor and could cheapen the brand. Luckily, LEGO has no investors to answer to being a privately owned company so they can do whatever they want but still. This announcement just sounds like an easy paycheck.
And I’ll ask again, where is the Nintendo license. Does the big N have to come out with a movie to even be considered as a licensing partner? I was told by a secret source that the Zelda Ideas project wasn’t approved because the powers that be just didn’t understand what Zelda was about. “It’s a game? It first came out over 20 years ago? Why should we approve the set based on an old video game?” Meanwhile, we’re getting Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, The Simpsons and Scooby Doo sets. If LEGO is looking for licenses, they really need to hook up with Nintendo. And even if they’re not looking for licenses, open the door for them when come knocking like they did for the Zelda Ideas project.