As connected toys become collectible, sales have risen 18%.
It is fitting in some way that toys-to-life are meeting with the return of plastic instruments in living rooms packed with video game consoles.
Although the original Guitar Hero and Rock Band got gamers used to forking out more money for a physical manifestation of virtual joy in 2007, the rebooted varieties of those plastic drums and guitars are now battling for space in a rec room getting more and more crowded with other gaming toys.
Grouped under the term “accessories,” these action heroes and figurines have increased in popularity over the past few years, increasing the bottom line of the video game companies.
According to the NPD group, sales of accessories – including connected toys from Lego Dimensions, Disney Infinity, the Skylanders series and Nintendo’s Amiibo, increased 18% to $197 million, compared to the 2014 figure of $168.2 million in October 2014.
The connected toys genre was started by Skylanders: Spiro’s Adventure in 2011. What was at the time quite an unknown franchise, has now sold $3 billion worth of connected toys and software.
That’s one major reason why other companies are getting on board, such as Nintendo, who released its Amiibos this year. The connected toys of its characters have sold over one million units in Canada alone – obviously a huge success.
Communication manager for Nintendo in Canada, Andrew Collin, stated that they just keep increasing exponentially. He added that it’s amazing that in less than a year, they’ve gone from being nowhere in the connected toys market to holding about a third of the market.
Collins highlights the fact that globally, the new Yoshi has already sold over 400,000 units globally.
These coonected toys/ toys-to-life all use Near Field Communication tech to connect with a console through a reader. They can affect game play and have internal memory to help saves stats.
Majority of the games have a USB connected pad, where the gamer places the figure on the pad, and boom! The character appears on the screen.
Most games permit connected toys to be switched at any time, thereby changing your character.
In addition, a lot of the games need certain figures or characters to unlock new content and the companies are clever about getting you to pay for it.
The difference with some of the connected toys titles is that they are able to tap into changing story lines of non-videogame sources – such as movies – to keep them fresh.