Nintendo may find that the commercial success of its upcoming Amiibo NFC toy range could exceed even the most outlandish of expectations, if new research conducted by Entertainment, media and technology market research firm Interpret is correct.

The company recently commissioned a study to found out the potential size of the worldwide market for "smart toys", such as Skylanders, Disney Infinity and the forthcoming Amiibo. The research indicated that more than 72 million kids worldwide are interested in owning such products.

Here's what Michael Cai, senior VP of research at Interpret, had to say:

The US already has a robust market for smart toys such as Skylanders and Disney Infinity. Strong growth opportunities also exist in emerging gaming markets such as China, Brazil, and Russia, where more than 90 per cent of gamers ages six to 12 are interested in smart toys.

In emerging markets, Nintendo could well have the upper hand over its rivals thanks to the fact that its characters possess almost universal appeal. We recently reported on the massive demand for McDonald's Happy Meal toys in South Korea, which proves just how attractive Nintendo toys are to your average consumer.

Do you think that Amiibo could be the thing which causes Wii U sales to explode? Or could its success in emerging markets be limited by the fact that the console isn't available in every country yet? Share your feelings with a comment below.