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amiibo, Skylanders and other toys-to-life to see more growth

by Eric Frederiksen | May 21, 2015May 21, 2015 12:20 pm PST

Back in my day, we bought pieces of plastic because they looked cool on our shelves, or we wanted to be Optimus Prime when we grew up. Video games were something else altogether. Nowadays, kids are plugging all manner of toy into their video games: Skylanders, Disney Infinity, amiibo, and now Lego Dimensions. According to the NPD Group, this product – known in the industry as Toys-to-Life – is just getting started.

According to the NPD, about 70 percent of parents of kids in the primary demographic are aware of the toys. 40 percent of those own at least one franchise, and 41 percent of those own more than one. Those parents that bought into the concept spent an average of $131 on the toys and nearly four out of five felt it was a good investment. The abandonment rate is very low, with only seven percent of families having lost interest in the toys after picking them up. Instead, it seems like people migrate from one franchise to another as they get older or shift interests.

Over half of the households that own these toys say that adults are playing the games, whether with their children or not, especially when it comes to Nintendo’s amiibo line of toys, which has doubled the rate of adult-only owners compared to other active toys-to-life franchises. The games combine an approachable, kid-friendly style with a real-world collection aspect that seems to hit all kinds of different player types, and it’s likely we’ll see more of these franchises come along.

Also, I always thought Soundwave was cooler than Optimus Prime. What I’m trying to say is that Hasbro is leaving money on the table if they’re not working on a Transformers game.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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