I recommend listening to this music as you read this. I had it playing while I was writing the article. It makes it that more interesting.
Players have been bombarding the team with requests for real life penguin toys ever since the game originally debuted in October 2005. As you know, the game’s growth rate skyrocketed during its early years. Getting a toy line out there would only make sense.
It finally became a reality on August 30, 2006, with the launch of the Club Penguin online store!
At first, there were plush versions of every puffle available in-game at the time, and CP t-shirts. Each puffle cost $4.95 and each shirt cost $10.95. There was no Treasure Book back then, so the puffles didn’t come with a coin.
The shop was a huge success and only continued to grow. In December 2006, only three months after the official launch of the shop, puffle keychains, another t-shirt, and the red puffle plush were added.
The next big update occurred in March 2007, with the addition of brand new Club Penguin clothing! Hoodies, beanies, and more were added. That CP beanie looks pretty sick if you ask me. Oh, and all these toys/clothing you’ve seen so far are almost 9 years old.
The shop was generating a ton of revenue for New Horizon, and it didn’t make sense to halt production on new merchandise anytime soon. But you had to remember, this was a small company who didn’t have experience with toy making. Hiring other companies to make the toys was expensive. Throughout the rest of 2007, only a few new things were added. Most notable being the Astro Blaster T-Shirt.
In April, the entire shop was moved to the Disney Store website. For the first nine months of the year, nothing big was added to the shop. A few new t-shirts here and there, but that’s about it. The lack of new merchandise was because Disney (who bought the game in August 2007) had been working on a HUGE toy line.
On October 10, 2008, Club Penguin hosted their one and only real life merchandise giveaway. For three weeks, they gave away limited edition stuffed viking penguins. Only 3,000 were made, and they are very rare to this day.
When Club Penguin turned three years old on October 24, 2008, the massive merchandise line was revealed. Stuffed penguins, puffles, play sets, books, puzzles, mini figures, trading cards, and even a Nintendo DS game!
Check out this video which talks about the official toy launch that took place in New York City.
Still here? Great!
Since Club Penguin was generating loads of cash for Disney, they kept on pumping in more resources for even more merchandise. In November 2008, the first ever Club Penguin DS game was released. It was based on the EPF, which neither the less, has gone extinct. So much potential resides in the secret agency department. There is… Oh. Right. I should be talking about merchandise. Anyways, a second series of toys were released, just two months after the official launch, in December 2008.
Brand new penguin toys, puffles, mini figures, and more, hit stores.
Club Penguin would greatly expand their merchandise selection in the new year, 2009. With Card Jitsu Fire trading cards, a sleeping bag, watches, pins, and even a puffle bean bag chair! Along with that, a few new series of penguin toys, puffles, and mini figures were released.
One big year for Club Penguin video games. Along with a few new series of penguin toys, puffles, mini figures, and playsets, Club Penguin released two brand new video games. The first being a sequel to the successful DS game. Herbert’s Revenge was released on May 25, 2010. It wasn’t as big as the first one, but its numbers were still up there. The second, and totally different kind of video game, Club Penguin: Game Day, was released on September 21, 2010 for the Nintendo Wii. This was one of Club Penguin’s first experiments with 3D.
Card Jitsu Water trading cards also made a debut, and the puffle bean bag chair was discontinued.
The merchandise was still in full swing. Wave 2 of the Card Jitsu Water trading cards were put out, along with a new line of puffle toys which featured hats! New 3-pack penguin and puffle bundles also started appearing at ToysRUs. A new series of mystery pins was also released. Disney kept on fueling the fire that seemed impossible to put out…
We got a bucketload of new penguin and puffle toys, along with a new mini figure series. Although it seemed like Club Penguin made another puffle series by accident… You see, by 2012, it was getting very hard to actually find merchandise in stores. Puffle series 12 was released in April 2012, and they were the last series of puffles that I could actually find in stores.
Puffle series 13 was the final product line for the puffle toys. I believe they went up on Disney Store’s website only two months after the launch of series 12, in June 2012. However, I could only find them on the Disney Store’s website, and they were only up for a limited time. I don’t think many stores even got series 13 in stock. On another note, the official Club Penguin magazine launched in the U.K. Series 16 was the final product line for the penguin toys.
The fire had finally burned out. Production on everything was halted. The Club Penguin magazine stopped printing in May 2015. Stores stopped getting restocks, and eventually, the space that CP merchandise had occupied, was replaced with another brand. There was only one survivor… Membership cards. Note that the one month card has been discontinued.
However, last year, Club Penguin made a deal with Zazzle and launched Zazzle made CP themed clothing, iPad cases, skateboards, and more. They had good intentions, but the prices were a killer. I don’t imagine they sold much at all.
I have one final thing to discuss about…
Disney still produces pins, t-shirts, and other things for the Club Penguin staff. Whenever a big update is pushed out, there will sometimes be a pin that commemorates the event. For example, every time the app gets a big update, a new pin is made.
Club Penguin was working on a real life Card Jitsu board game. Unfortunately, it never made it to store shelves.
The Puffle bean bag chairs were discontinued for a lot of reasons. They took up a ton of shelf space, cost a lot to ship, the consumer had to fill it with beans, and they didn’t sell well. The good news is that about a hundred were manufactured exclusively for Club Penguin’s office.
There is one penguin plush that is 2,999x more rare than the viking penguin. It is called the Tron Penguin Prototype. There is only one in existence, and Spike Hike owns it. I guess you could say it’s also more rare than the Beta Hat? 😛
Billybob might be the record holder for having the biggest Club Penguin collection. Ever. How could he have possibly gotten all of this? The answer is very simple. He asked.
A website leaked information that stated that Card Jitsu Snow was supposed to be released in November 2011. Club Penguin had apparently been working on trading cards for the new game in the series.
At one point in time, there were real life Club Penguin arcade machines on display in Disneyland. You could actually play the game on the machine.
Last but not least, Disney actually made life sized costumes of Rockhopper, and Bambadee. The costumes were used for real life events, and gatherings.
The era of Club Penguin merchandise has come to an end. 9 years of penguin toys. Club Penguin has produced thousands of stuffed penguins & puffles, mini figures, video games, play sets, books, pins… it goes on and on!
And THAT my friends, is the history of Club Penguin merchandise. There were some very neat knick knacks produced throughout the years. Some of my favorites include the puffle bean bag chair, (I have a white one), the pins, and the t-shirts.
I hoped you enjoyed reading, and learning about the history of Club Penguin merchandise as much as I enjoyed writing it. Let me know what you thought about the article, and what YOUR favorite CP toys are in the comments below. 😀