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'Angry Birds' to Take Flight in Recipe Books and More

Rovio Angry Birds Logo

 (Rovio)

Angry Birds" was set to flap from touchscreens to big screens, books and toys, testing whether one of the best-known mobile apps can become an entertainment franchise akin to Mickey Mouse and Iron Man, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Finland's Rovio Entertainment, the game's developer, this month was set to publish the first in a line of books, "Bad Piggies Egg Recipes," with such fare as egg salad sandwiches and egg sushi.

The title refers to the game's porcine thieves, who become targets for an enraged group of birds after stealing their eggs.

Next, "Angry Birds" flies to the classroom. Rovio plans to publish a line of educational books for children ages four to their teens. Embracing the Finnish education system -- which emphasizes play in learning -- they were also designed as a counterpoint to the strict "Tiger Mom" approach to child rearing, Wibe Wagemans, a Rovio branding executive, said.

He said one of the books will illustrate geometry lessons by launching a bird character through the air, the basic concept behind the popular "Angry Birds" video game.

Rovio recently hired David Maisel, the former chairman of Marvel Studios, to advise the Finnish company on its entertainment strategy.

Maisel said he was talking to potential writers, directors and financing partners about getting an "Angry Birds" feature film off the ground. He said it would be "premature" to talk about the budget for the movie, which could be several years off.

Since Rovio first released "Angry Birds" as a game for Apple's iPhone in late 2009, the game frequently tops the most downloaded list for that device, Apple's iPad and smartphones running Google's Android operating system.

Big money was also lining up behind Rovio. The company raised $42 million this year from Accel Partners, a venture capital firm known for investments in Facebook and Atomico Ventures, the venture capital firm created by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom.

Rovio's revenue this year was expected to exceed $100 million, according to a person familiar with the company.