When you think about things that go together you may often think of peanut butter and jelly or milk and cereal. One combination that many never thought of was plants and zombies. PopCap Games created a phenomenon with this combination that many will call nothing short of brilliant... including me. The game, which has been reviewed countless times, is a work of art that deserves all of the praise that it has received. The game is available on numerous systems, most recently the Nintendo DS.
With the success of a franchise, you usually see a flooding of various merchandise. In the case of Plants vs. Zombies, there is an exception. We have seen plenty of promotional products but nothing commercially available. Since the original release of the game on PC, we have seen a number of promotional products including some great pins, chef’s aprons, custom printed t-shirts, paper masks, and more.
A search for Plants vs. Zombies on eBay alone will give you many products that have been independently produced such as Plants vs. Zombies soft plush toys. One listing we found included plush versions of Sunflower, Wall-Nut, Kernel-Pult, and Peashooter. If you look further, you can find hand-made figures of SunFlower, Tall-Nut, Torchwood, Flower-pot, Repeater, Doom-Shroom, and more. These figures range in height from 4cm to 14cm. There are also figurines devoted to the zombies themselves that can be found on Etsy and on eBay.
Plants vs. Zombies has inspired fans and artists to create their own collectibles including lawn decorations. If you do a Google search, you can find almost unlimited avenues that have been touched by Plants vs. Zombies. Many have created cakes devoted to the game, made their own costumes, and painted their cars. Somebody even took it upon themselves to have their boat painted to reflect their love of Plants vs. Zombies.
In all of this there is one unfortunate truth. Many of the products that are seen and sold out there are purely shown and sold by the fans. According to Garth Chouteau, VP of Public Relations for PopCap Games, there are currently no “commercially available” Plants vs. Zombies items other than the game itself and the zombie figure that comes in the Game of the Year edition retail packaging. He went on to explain that PopCap has received “many overtures from companies” regarding merchandise and that they are “entertaining offers and proposals” for officially licensed products.
Plants vs. Zombies has caused an explosion in the United States since it was released. The game has seen many incarnations that have received mass praise and appeal from the fans. It is also interesting to note that each version of Plants vs. Zombies is a little bit different and is more than just a simple port.
The success of Plants vs. Zombies is one that cannot be ignored. What originally began as a strategy game putting plants against aliens has grown to become the addiction of casual and hard-core gamers alike. Many people have taken their love of the franchise to unprecedented levels. It is this level of devotion, and the creation of so many great products, that illustrates the power of a simple idea executed correctly. The only bit of sad news is that there are currently no plans for a Plants vs. Zombies 2 to be released, although there are plans to eventually work towards this. I, for one, may be more eager to see some official Plants vs Zombies toys!
In an attempt to show you what is official and what is not, we at Zombies & Toys have photographed and compiled a list of the official Plants vs Zombies merchandise we are aware of. Read on and let the drooling commence!