The endearingly witty and beloved Ted Lasso might be gearing for its third and final season on Apple TV+ later this fall, but fans of the feel-good series can now revel in the latest treat care of Funko that equates to "biscuits with the boss" time. Earlier this summer, Funko released the Ted Lasso Party Game, a cooperative game that tasks players in a collaborative effort to help Coach Lasso and the staff at AFC Richmond inspire their players to overcome their troubles. In an exclusive with PopCulture.com to chat about the game, Funko's General Manager Deidre Cross and game designer Dexter Stevens revealed that as big fans of the show, they knew it would be the perfect companion to the series.
"We were such massive fans of the show here in the [Funko] studio and it kept popping up. Every podcast, everyone was listening to — everybody everywhere was talking about what a great show this was and it also really seemed to span the breadth of the country, too. It was just really broadly appealing," Cross told PopCulture. "We were talking with our friends at Warner Bros. and they were talking about how much everybody loved Ted Lasso too, and we were like, 'Wait a minute. Wait, we all love this thing. Let's make a game!'"
Sharing how Warner Bros. has been an "incredible" partner to their company over the years, it was then that the team rolled up their sleeves in thinking up the concept and bringing the property to life. That's where Stevens and his team came in, sharing how he watched the whole first season over two days and was inspired by it. "It's a show about football soccer, but it's also a show I think even more about just positive energy and helping each other," he said. "It came at a really good time in the country for sure, so coming into work, we knew right away that a cooperative game is something that would match the attitude of the show really well, which is just a game where everyone's working together towards the same and highlighting more the emotionally helping everybody."
While he admits they could have chosen to highlight the game of football a little more, it was the "good vibes" that spoke to Stevens and the Funko crew. "We thought that the interpersonal relationships or something that the show — [that] made it really unique." With an objective to help your friends and footballers, one of the greatest features of the game are if you ever get stuck, you can just break out the biscuits for a save in an authentic-looking box similar to the one Coach Lasso gifts AFC Richmond owner Rebecca Welton, players can draw tiles from. Additionally, players can feel like they're at the venue when they roll the unique football die in the AFC Richmond stadium box.
The Ted Lasso Party Game, which also comes with an optional timer app that can be downloaded on your smartphone with themed sound effects to enhance the games, currently retails for $19.99. Gameplay features include all of our favorite characters, events and memorable quotes from the Emmy award-winning series — an element the Funko team knew was important to implement and get right.
"Because the show has so many unique characters that are all very memorable and distinct, that's a really good starting point when you're making a game because you want each encounter, with each character, with each part of the game to feel memorable, the distinct, just like the show does," Stevens said, adding how the integration of characters like Dani Rojas just adds to the game's zest and appeal for audiences. "It's a great inspirational way to draw inspiration, so each character provides a nice jumping-off point to [other characters]... That kind of thing is a great way to get a head start, so being immersed in it helps create a building that everyone's going to recognize."
With a party game this intricate and detailed, Cross reveals the Funko team began creating the two to six-player game in the spring of 2021 before Season 2 had been released on Apple TV+ and decided it needed to be a cooperative game thanks to the show's overall themes. A lot of this was accentuated through the show's humor and its memorable quotes, which attributes to the party game's overall vibe.
"[Just] trying to get that vibe in there where you need Ted and Coach Beard and they have to be taking care of everybody running around, helping everybody out and really thinking about how that feels in the show and how things left unsettled can fester or get out of control," Cross said. "If you're not over there taking care of Roy Kent and Jamie Tart ends up in there, it's going to be bad. So we wanted to really get that vibe in there, that pressure and stuff — and then the humor, including the quotes is the humor of the show because everybody loves to quote Ted Lasso and even things like Americans, trying to understand how in the game of soccer, you could score zero points. Everyone could score zero and even including that little element in our scoring mechanism where it's always a possibility that you could get zero despite your best effort."
Featuring so many charming elements of the show in the game, Cross says one of the most magnetic details in the game is the iconic Believe poster, which Funko ensured fans could own a piece of too thanks to the box's artwork. "Just even doing something like putting the word 'Believe' on the inside of the box lid — that's not used in the game, but it's just so iconic to have that up where you can slap it on the wall," she said of the estimated 20-minute gameplay, adding how Warner Bros. played a big part in providing imagery and assets. "We like to include whenever possible, those kinds of Easter eggs that make people feel like, 'You know that I know that we know we're all in it and so that's really important."
The Ted Lasso Party Game from Funko is now available to purchase in stores and online digital retailers, like Target. Game contents include five location mats, two coach movers with bases, 12 event cards, 14 character cards, 54 'Believe' cards, 32 trouble tiles, a Biscuits With the Boss box, football die, scoring clip, reference card, and the rules. For more on Funko games and all things Ted Lasso, keep it locked to PopCulture.com for the latest.