Known mostly for its trading card products, Upper Deck has ventured into gaming products from time to time. Their offerings have been light since getting out of the World of Warcraft TCG in early 2010, but now they company is making another push with Slingers, a Marvel-themed collectible game that uses a unique yo-yo dexterity mechanic to create what Upper Deck is marketing as "the ultimate game of skill and strategy." For those already wondering, there is no connection to the similarly-titled late 90's Marvel comic book.
Upper Deck's Slingers uses an array of Marvel character medallions laid out on the floor as its play area, and a yo-yo-like Slinger device is used to pick these medallions up for points using an "invisible energy shield" which we can only imagine is marketing speak for "magnets." In total, there are 84 different medallions broken down with the following rarity distribution: 30 common, 30 uncommon, 12 rare, 12 super rare.
Although this is the first we've heard of the product, it's quite far along and will actually be ready for holiday shipments, with sales starting next month. Players can pick up Slingers in several forms: $14.99 starter packs that include 6 Slingers, 3 medallions, and an instruction manual, or they can opt for the $14.99 booster packs with 10 medallions and a bonus super rare medallion. These Slingers packs will be sold only in hobby stores, but Upper Deck is also offering a $27.99 Battle Pack exclusively through its website, which includes two Slingers, six medallions, an instruction manual, and a full-color playmat.
Dexterity games have been quite popular as of late, both in the hobby gaming and the children's toy markets, so Slingers is surely looking to take a bit out of that success. It's clearest competition is with fellow Marvel license-holder Hasbro's Beyblade system, so we'll have to wait and see if holiday sales show Slingers making any inroads to success.