Here Comes a Bunch of Plush Toys for Other Mobile Games (Thanks, Rovio!)

Rovio’s Angry Birds has become so ingrained into pop culture that it has expanded from mobile games to selling a stuffed toy collection — and even into movies, with the help of Hollywood.

Now other mobile games are trying to replicate the moneymaking branding model.

ZeptoLab’s Cut the Rope will soon start selling plush toys based on its main character, Om Nom, a lovable critter that likes to eat candy; Disney is also getting into the merchandising game, debuting its first original mobile game character, with hopes that it will become a pop culture phenomena like Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck.

The Cut the Rope toys, which aren’t yet available, are initially being used to promote the company’s Facebook page, by giving away toys to increase the number of “likes.”

Last week, Disney released the mobile game Where’s My Water?, which introduces the alligator character Swampy.

Similar to Cut the Rope, the game challenges users to guide water to Swampy’s bathtub by tunneling passageways through the dirt (in Cut the Rope, players snip pieces of rope to guide candy into Om Nom’s mouth). The character has a lot of personality: Tickle him once and he smiles; tickle him one too many times, and he growls.

Where’s My Water? is designed to appeal to consumers of all ages, unlike many of the entertainment company’s other brands, which are primarily kid-focused.

Disney Mobile’s General Manager Bart Decrem — who joined the game studio through the acquisition of his start-up, Tapulous — said, “I want to build a character and send it into pop culture.”

If Swampy does well — and so far, Where’s My Water? has done exceedingly well, unseating Rovio’s Angry Birds as the No. 1 paid app on iTunes on Friday — we could see Swampy in three-dimensional plush form, or on the big screen.

“He has to prove himself, and if people want to know more, then we’ll do YouTube movie originals,” Decrem said. “Our goal is to build great characters and great games.”


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