Angry Birds invades Walmart

If you’re one of the millions of Angry Birds fans in the US, head to Walmart.

The country’s largest retail chain has struck a partnership with Angry Birds developer Rovio to offer special edition t-shirts, plush toys, and even specially packaged snack foods featuring everyone’s favorite ill-tempered avians.

Rovio has managed to grow from a small startup to a $9 billion enterprise in just a couple years. In a perfect example of how the mobile market works these days, only around 1/10 of the company’s gross revenue has come from people actually buying the Angry Birds game.

The rest has come from in-app purchases for new levels and content, advertising collected on free versions of the game, and merchandise that capitalizes on the instantly recognizable characters from the game.

The new Walmart partnership is geared toward promoting the latest entry in the dynasty, Angry Birds Space. All of that specially packaged merchandise will contain special codes that will unlock exclusive content within the new game.

“Only Walmart can deliver the reach across America for this type of program and we wish our fans luck as they seek out our hidden clues,” said Rovio marketing head Peter Vesterbacka in a statement.

In addition to the brick-and-mortar deal, Angry Birds is also being featured on Walmart’s Facebook page, which has 13 million fans. People who visit the page can also receive exclusive clues and content.

Walmart said this is part of its initiative to keep its own brand fresh and relevant, noting, “This is just one of many exciting partnerships Walmart is forging to give our customers access to exclusive content.”