Angry Birds, Star Wars team up for a sequel

The franchise that keeps pumping out apps adds another money-grabbing wrinkle with physical toy add-ons

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Whether you love or hate Angry Birds, you have to admit that it's a marketing mega-monstrosity at this point. The latest venture from Rovio is a sequel to its Angry Birds Star Wars app, appropriately titled "Angry Birds Star Wars II".

The game maker has published the following trailer for the game, which will be available for download on Sept. 19. In addition to new levels and characters (the Darth Maul, double-lightsaber-wielding-bird looks interesting - and thankfully, no sight yet of a Jar Jar Bird), Rovio has teamed up with Telepods to create a physical toy that can interact with the app. Much like the Skylanders video game (and the upcoming Disney Infinity system), physical action figure-like toys can be purchased by customers (OK, purchased by parents), and then used in-game.

I've lamented before that Rovio and the Angry Birds franchise have "jumped the shark", so I'm not going to go down that path. My iPad-obsessed children still love playing the game, but they haven't reached the totally obsessed levels yet - they have a few Angry Birds shirts and stuffed animals, but there are plenty of other kid-pop-culture brands that they get into as well. I'm sure I'll be downloading the new app, but hopefully my son (the chief Angry Bird fan in our household) won't find out about the toy add-ons. He's already inquiring about the Disney Infinity system and more Skylanders, of course, and my wallet can only take so much.

Of course, this is another step for the Star Wars brand that makes it more kid-happy than those of us who grew up with Star Wars when we were children. With the Star Wars brand now owned by Disney, how long until they create more branding with Rovio for the Angry Birds license? Let's take bets on when Disney World visitors will be able to get their picture taken with a giant red Angry Bird? My bet is 2016.

Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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