The Toys to Life phenomenon that started over three years ago with Activision’s Skylanders: Spyro’s Tale and has carved out a substantial chunk of real estate in the video game aisles of brick-and-mortar stores is hotter than ever based on a new study by Interpret.
Using their proprietary GameByte study, Interpret has deduced that over 72 million children across the globe are interested in owning the combination of physical toys that can interact within a video game world.”The US already has a robust market for smart toys such as Skylanders and Disney Infinity,” stated Michael Cai, Senior Vice President of Research at Interpret. “Strong growth opportunities also exist in emerging gaming markets such as China, Brazil, and Russia, where more than 90% of gamers ages 6 to 12 are interested in smart toys.”
“We tested interest in an extensive list of current and potential smart toy brands and even prior to the Amiibo announcement, smart toys based on Nintendo characters were among the most desired smart toys in the US, Europe, and Brazil,” added Jason Coston, Research Manager at Interpret. “Lego’s mobile focus will position it particularly well in emerging markets where consoles face strong headwinds.”
Lego Fusion, from Lego Future Lab, releases in August and combines physical Lego toys with a mobile app developed by TT Games, the studio behind the popular Lego video games franchise. The app requires kids to move back and forth between the screen and building new toys with the pieces. They are priced at $34.99 per set and exclusive to Toys R Us and the official Lego Store and website.
Nintendo’s entry into the Toys to Life gaming category this holiday season with their Amiibo figures will heat up competition in the space with Activision’s Skylanders and Disney Interactive’s Disney Infinity. The fourth Skylanders console game, Skylanders Trap Team, arrives in early October, while Disney Infinity 2.0 Marvel Super Heroes is rumored for a September launch.
Both Activision and Disney Interactive could see their sales dip once Nintendo enters the marketplace and consumers become more cautious with their dollars and living room space for accumulating plastic toys. Activision in particular faces challenges with parents trying to keep a clean house as their physical Skylanders action figure line approaches 200 and counting.