Aug. 29 - The UK's first Angry Birds activity park opens in Nottinghamshire with more planned globally by Finnish firm Rovio and theme park makers Lappset. Hayley Platt reports.
There were no angry faces as the first Angry Bird's activity park outside Finland opened in the UK. Rovio - the Finnish firm behind the gaming phenomenon - has got together with theme park specialists Lappset to create an attraction at Sundown Adventureland. Its 83 year-old owner Audrey Rhodes is a big fan. SOUNDBITE: Audrey Rhodes, owner of Sundown Adventureland Theme Park, saying (English): "I do play it yes on my IPad, my grandson put it on for me" Angry Birds has come a long way since it started life as a mobile phone app in 2009. The game now has 200 million users a month. Last month Apple named it the most popular paid app ever. And Rovio is now worth an estimated 9 billion dollars. Lappset's Chris Jones says that's before the attraction here is replicated around the globe. Plans are already in place for one in Holland and of course Asia. SOUNDBITE: Chris Jones, Managing Director, Lappset Playworld, saying (English): "I believe the biggest parks will be in China. In here and electronically you'll play with the catapult and fire birds at pigs in structures, over there you'll be able to climb into a plastic ball and actually take part in the game so you are actually inside the game and you'll roll down a runway and you'll be knocking down structures yourself with pigs and eggs inside them so you'll actually be taking part in the game." Rovio now considers itself an entertainment brand. It's already signed a merchandise deal with the world's biggest retailer Walmart and has plans for branded stores in China. SOUNDBITE: Chris Jones, Managing Director, Lappset Playworld, saying (English): "They're spending most of their profitability on the brand and making it into a full marketing entertainment message and they're moving into education, into schools and books and they're also developing games outside the Angry birds theme so I think like the Super Mario and Thomas the Tank Engine Angry Birds will be here to stay." Rovio certainly isn't the first children's game to venture into theme parks. Lego has various attractions in four countries and the Danish company is now a massive global brand. But it's taken them 80 years - Angry Birds is only three years old. SOUNDBITE: Ben Griffin (father), Connor Griffin age 18 months, saying (English): "It's brilliant, absolutely brilliant." SOUNDBITE: William, age 9. saying (English): "It's the fun place I've ever been to" This first venture outside Finland is no Disneyland. But even that American great took many years to achieve it's success. Nasty pigs around the globe had better watch out - the angry birds are coming. Hayley Platt, Reuters.