American multi-national toy and board game company, Hasbro, has announced a new line of Overwatch merchandise to be released this year. The products, based on the popular first-person shooter video game, will include an Overwatch Monopoly board game, a range of action figurines of ‘heroes’ from the game, Nerf dart blasters and Overwatch masks. The announcement was made at the New York Toy Fair in February.

The Overwatch flag

Despite a perceived drop in popularity within the gaming community, as well as stiff competition from rival shooters like Fortnite, the number of Overwatch players worldwide has continued to grow year-on-year, and now stands at over 40 million. Yet, so far, Blizzard have been slow to capitalize on their massive community of players, and have only released a small amount of Nerf merchandise to fans. This is set to change with the release of the Hasbro range.

Reinhardt will be one of the most impressive figures released

The new series of premium figures will include a total of 9 characters. Each figurine will be a total of 6 inches tall. Lucio, Reaper, Sambra and Tracer will all be available for $23 as single character kits, while the wider and more intricate Reinhardt will cost $50 for a single figurine, complete with giant energy shield. There will also be two dual-character sets, available for around $50: Ana and Soldier 76, and Mercy and Pharah.

Each character comes with their in-game accessories, and each figurine has multiple points of articulation for play or display. They are set to be released on April 30th.

The Overwatch Monopoly board game should be released a little earlier in the month, around April 18th. The game will feature 6 characters, 6 group leader cards, 16 objective cards, 9 loot box cards, 4 reminder cards, one standard die with numbers and one die for ability, as well as 90 HP counters – 50 fives and 40 ones.

Details on gameplay are currently sparse, but from the items included in the box it seems like it may include novel gameplay elements and be more heavy on the strategy. The original version of the board game has its own strategies. There are optimal strategies for buying Monopoly properties, mortgaging properties, buying houses and hotels and even spending time in jail. In Overwatch Monopoly, players will battle for points by securing objectives and collecting loot boxes, all set on the traditional board yet with additional game pieces.

Hasbro also announced the release of a new series of Nerf MicroShot dart blasters, set for spring this year. The original series featured heroes Diva, Torbjorn and Tracer. Series 2 will be based on weaponry from Lucio, Mei and Roadhog.

The only product in the new merchandising range that is not set for a spring release are the upcoming Overwatch masks, for Cosplay and Halloween. They will be detailed and true to the game, with flip down visors and adjustable fittings. Characters will include Genji and Tracer, and the masks should be released by Fall.

Overwatch is a team based multiplayer shooter that has seen huge success across PC and console platforms. Players are divided into two teams of six, and select from nearly 30 characters known as ‘heroes’. Teams work to secure and defend objectives, or escort payloads across the map.

Overwatch was initially unveiled at Blizzcon 2014. An open-beta of the game was released in 2016, attracting nearly 10 million players and earning revenue of over $1 billion in the first year. By the second year, the game had more than 40 million players, and is now recognised as one of the greatest video games of all time.

Hasbro are the largest toymaker in the world in terms of stock market value, and the third largest in the world in terms of revenue, with $5.12 billion so far. They have attended many trade fairs and shows, including the PPMA. The Monopoly franchise is one of their most successful products, along with toys like G.I. Joe, Furby and My Little Pony. The Overwatch merchandising deal is expected to be a big success.

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