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How ‘The Walking Dead’ is Infecting Brands from Hasbro to Hyundai

Marketers create vehicles, boardgames and Halloween experiences to target 18-34-year-old males

The fourth season of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” doesn’t debut until October, but that hasn’t stopped brands from rallying around the zombie series in order to court 18-35-year-old men.

Hyundai has launched “The Walking Dead Chop Shop” app  that enables fans to customize three vehicles into zombie-killing survival machines when outfitted with nearly 300 parts such as flame throwers, machine guns, machetes and chainsaws. As of Aug. 5, nearly 43,000 vehicles had been designed through the app.

The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman and Hyundai unveiled their latest zombie survival vehicle (see below), based on the sporty Veloster, at Comic-Con in San Diego, developed by agency Innocean USA as a way to build the brand’s identity among young males. The first, based on an Elantra Coupe, was revealed at last year’s fanfest.

A kiwi-green Hyundai Tucson is featured in the series.

Hasbro and USAopoly will start offering “Walking Dead” editions of the “Monopoly” and “Risk” board games in September. The traditional player tokens are replaced by Sheriff Rick Grimes’ hat, Dale’s RV, a telephone, Michonne’s katana, a bat, and bucket of body parts. Cash has been replaced by fuel, food, knives, firearms and first aid. The games will be exclusively sold through Skybound and Diamond Comic Distributors.

■ “The Walking Dead” will also serve as the overall theme of Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort’s annual Halloween Horror Nights’ event and return as a maze for a second consecutive year. Event runs Sept. 20 through Nov. 2.

SEE ALSO:  ‘The Walking Dead’ to Theme Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights

The Walking Dead” returns Oct. 13.

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