Fruit Ninja Wants a Slice of Plush Toy Action
The playbook is as follows: Create a successful mobile game and then launch collectible plush toys.
Rovio was one of the first to try out the model on a large scale through the sale of plush Angry Birds, and now there are plenty of fast followers.
The Australian game studio Halfbrick is the latest copycat.
Today, it started selling stuffed toys based on the characters found in its hit mobile game Fruit Ninja. It closely follows others, such as ZeptoLab, which sells plush toys based on the main character in Cut the Rope, Om Nom, a critter that likes to eat candy.
While cross-branding has worked well for Rovio, it’s unclear whether consumers will lose interest as other game makers pile on.
However, if the entertainment industry is any guide, there are plenty of brands that have successfully made millions selling merchandise.
The Fruit Ninja options are fairly limited for now. Fruit Ninja fans will have their pick of only two toys: A grey-haired sensei dressed in a kimono and wearing flip flops, or a ninja watermelon cut in half. (Unfortunately, there’s no toy warrior swords or throwing stars, and the fruit doesn’t really explode on contact as it does in the game.)
Halfbrick has partnered with ToyFoundry, a brand merchandise company, to launch its own Fruit Ninja store, where the toys went on sale today. The sensei costs $16 and the sliced watermelon will sell for $15. A training pack that includes both will save you $1.
In addition to the store, Halfbrick will be working on a new iteration of its Fruit Ninja game. The company has received $3 million in capital from Australia’s New South Whales Interactive Media Fund to support a new studio, according to Inside Social Games.