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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Plants vs. Zombies: The Products behind the Phenomenon

David Brown

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!


  1. So where do I get all of these?

  2. You left out:

    From my wife. She was even contacted by PopCap about making more.

  3. I really want a second game and hope they make it and get off their butts and get official merch out there.

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  5. alot of fans post things they make on facebook plants vs zombie page some of its great, but theres alot of rubbish that has nothing to do with it mixed into it, wish theyd sort it out tbh!/plantsversuszombies?sk=photos

  6. I hope PopCap will make a second version of this game. This game is very entertaining. Let us all kill those zombies with that zombie stoppers car!

  7. PLANTS VS ZOMBIES 2 IS COMING!!!!!!!!!!!!
    get ready to crap ur pants!!
    emm... i mean soil your plants.

    IN EARLY 2012!!

  8. I just made this Plants Vs Zombies necklace for my daughter's birthday. How funny, a 3 year old requesting zombies for her birthday! Here's the link:!/photo.php?fbid=450076928367888&set=a.371891726186409.78919.100000967536792&type=3&theater

  9. Plants vs. Zombies has been spreading like wild fire, and it has gained countless fans who definitely love to have one of those products you mentioned. :) Awesome promotional items!

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