News Article

72 Million Kids Are Dying To Get Their Grubby Hands On Smart Toys Like Amiibo

Posted by Damien McFerran

New research bodes well for Nintendo's new "Toys to Life" range

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.


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User Comments (70)



luvjungle said:

Waiting for PS4 and X1 to release controllers with NFC chips xD
By the way, I am from Russia, our gaming market is pretty big, but the piracy eats biggest part of it



sillygostly said:

If this is what it takes for Wii U sales to explode and regain third party support, then so be it.



Kosmo said:

Ages 6 to 12? They don't get it. Most people who're going to buy Amiibos will be adults age 25-35.

And I'm going to get ALL of them! (except Diddy Kong)



Hopper2004 said:

@luvjungle Cool story, I heard that Half-Life 2 was the most pirated game in Germany (I think it was Germany...). But then Valve officially released it in Germany, and everyone just bought it instead of pirating it. Goes to show that people will pay if they can... Most of the time.



Peach64 said:

I don't think Nintendo characters have a wider appeal than Disney, but you'd think they'd be more popular than Spyro was when Skylands started off. The big question is, will people be interested enough to buy the hardware, or will it be like MK8, a huge success among the current audience?



DualWielding said:

I hate the trend, I'm sure it would do big business but its not for me.... Like I love Disney and would play Disney Infinity if it wasn't required to buy toys to unlock everything.....



Magikarp3 said:

They need to make an Amiibo of R.O.B. and then this whole movement will go full circle



cookiex said:

Interpret's blog had a bit more to say about amiibo's market potential.

New entrants such as Nintendo Amiibo and Lego Fusion introduce new platforms, IP, and business models, and will provide a boost to the market. “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,” said Jason Coston, Research Manager at Interpret.



Captain_Gonru said:

Outside of a few personal favorite characters, I'm not going to dive into this until I get more info on what they'll actually DO in games beyond Smash Bros. Because, so far, we really don't know anything.
Perhaps a Nintendo Direct with the figures explaining it, Robot Chicken style, would be in order.



erv said:

Meanwhile, popping up in my newsfeed:

72 million kids are dying

  • read more




xTrafalgarLaw said:

Well to become a must have they'll need create more games compatible with it... i hope Nintendo will give the proper attention !



0utburst said:

What? I'd buy my kid Luigi and maybe Yoshi. The rest on my list will be mine.

I'll surely buy Mushroom Kingdom chars as they appear on a lot of games. Outside of that, I'll get 1 or 2 on some favorite franchises.



Ralek85 said:

If it keeps Nintendo afloat so be it. I'm not interested in this weird kind of physical DLC at all. But like I said, I fully appreciate Nintendo needs to make living, if that is the way, go crazy, just don't push it on those of us, who don't want it. That's all im asking. We'll gonna see ...
Edit: Also they just don't look that good/ high quality. If they looked anything as amazing as the recent Nendoroid Wind Waker, one could argue merit based on that alone .... what's the point of a phyiscal toy, if it looks kinda cheap.



Sparx said:

amiibo will sell well but I doubt it'll significantly boost Wii U sales since they'll also be available for some 3ds games



Alucard83 said:

lol, this shows how much people about material stuff. Glad i've moved from that. But good for fans



KodyDawg said:

6-12, huh? I'll have you know, my youngest brother has bothered me to play Disney Infinity and Skylanders since he was only three. And just for the epicness of putting a figure on the portal and watching them come to life. Heck, I still have a soft spot in my heart for them! My bros and I watch Disney Inifinity's Toy Box TV each week to learn the latest news, and a game like Disney Infinity really helps us bond. We are SO excited for Amiibo!



Hero-of-WiiU said:

Of course people get the wrong idea and will think that this many copies of the game will sell and figures. This is guaranteed to be a future topic that everyone whines about the sales.



AhabSpampurse said:

I have zero interest in skylanders or infinity, but the fact that these transfer data two ways and look so awesome cosmetically, I'm probably gonna buy quite a few!



NintyMan said:

As others already pointed out, there's plenty of adults that are interested in these figures too, so those numbers should be even higher. I'm excited to see the details on how these figures will work on the other games other than Smash Bros.!



2Sang said:

72 million was how many I was going to buy, but I guess 72 million isn't bad for the children demographic.



aaronsullivan said:

Seriously, I think these will have an even higher adult attach rate than I think the Disney ones have had.



sinalefa said:

I am a kid (at heart) and I can certify my interest in these. I hope there are no shortages.



DinoFett said:

Age should'nt be a factor in this conversation, All company's want people to be life long brand loyalists. And for me Nintendo is one of those companies.



Shambo said:

After carefully inspecting the paint on several identical figures, the shop owner asks me: "Is it a gift?"
"To myself, yes. Doesn't need wrapping though.", I reply.
The shop owner looks at the figures, at me, and back at the figures on the counter.
I think I hear the faint sound of ice cracking somewhere.
Over half an hour later we're still there, exchanging stories about gaming then and now, collecting,...

Though this may be a tale of fiction, I had one such thing actually happen once in a toy store when I bought a game and asked if they didn't incidentally have some old Gamecube stock or something somewhere. What started with a dissapointing answer after checking, ended up in well over half an hour of war stories on Zelda, Mega Man,...



rbmoura85 said:

The problem here in brazil is that consoles and games are extremely wii u was almost 1000 dollars. This toys are also expenssive here.



Anguspuss said:

serious how many nintendo fans will just want to collect the figures. I flogged my gold zelda club nintendo statue on ebay for a nice deal it almost paid for my wii u alone.



GN004Nadleeh said:

will they be region free or will only japan get specials such as hamer bros mario for example



rjejr said:

Smart toys are a Billion w/ a B dollar business. These Nintendo toys will sell really well. None of that matters for Wii U sales. Nobody is buying a console for some toys that don't even have their own dedicated game, and SSB was going to sell just fine w/o these. I suspect most people reading this will buy SSB and amiibo and not even use them in that game more than once or twice then the novelty wears off.

Im glad Nintendo is doing these, my kids will get some from Santa, but I dont see amiibo affecting the fortunes of either Wii U or 3DS. They will make Nintendo money thoigh, which is good.

If Nintemdo wants real money, Pokemon Z on both Wii U and 3DS w/ both Xplay and Xsave and 720 Pokemon toys.



SavoirFaire said:

I think they actually need a sandbox game for the Amiibos. Otherwise, people are buying the Amiibos and they are just going to sit on a shelf and gather dust.

In other news, I am likely going to buy a lot of them, and they will sit on shelf, gathering dust...



Ralek85 said:

@DinoFett Well it's certainly an idea, why Hasbro though ? Plenty of Japanese companies that could do it ^^ I'm a longstanding proponent for Nintendo to offer something like a "Premium" line, e.g. I would love to have a 3DS XL with a 3D OLED screen of similar quality to that of the Vita or some smartphones (maybe a circlepad pro could have been included too, as well as highquality DACs, again like Vita). I'd be willing to pay for that, Nintendo should be aware that there are indeed quite a few, to address your next point, customers of theirs, who are by now no longer in their teens and still loyal to them. They have jobs and can afford a handheld that costs 300$ or more. Why not have a 2DS, a 3DS and a 3DS Deluxe or whatever?
Same thing applies to these amiibo figurines. If you look at companies like Sideshow Collectibles (while not big on plastic), they customer base is certainly not in their teens, and I'm willing to bet they share again quite a few customers with Nintendo. There has to be a middleground here, to give us something even an "adult" could get behind based purely on the quality of the figurine itself, as well as a toyline. Again that would certainly imply higher prices, but as long as those prices correspond to quality and are optional, I personally don't see the downside. I'm not a big collector, what I own you could probably count on two hands, but everything I do own I consider high quality, rare (to a certain point at least) and aestheticaly appealing with a certain timeless quality (think for example of some of those amazing Olly Moss or Kevin Tong posters. Those don't come cheap but I enjoy them every day and don't think they willl loose any appeal to me in the next decade or two ...). So yeah I would agree with your basic argument.



PuppyToucher said:

Like others have said before, I don't see amiibos really helping the wii u and 3ds until there is a dedicated game for them instead of them being add-ons to current games. The figures themselves may sell well, but without a dedicated game I don't think there will be a huge hardware boost.



zeldazero said:

I will get them all and not open them, then I will get seconds of the ones I want to actually use, no offense, they haven't shown me any uses that I care about, but they are cool looking toys



NibelsnarfNoob said:

Ike and Samus when they release. Zero Suit Samus and Palutena depending on how they look. Edit: And Rosalina! Forgot about my favorite Mario character.



PlywoodStick said:

Kind of like how I was "dying" back in the day to get my hands on a Furby... Or things in the Nintendo Power Supplies Catalog. Some of the things were silly (figurines), some things were neat (foldable, rollable calculator), while other things were priceless gems (Donkey Kong Country Blockbuster Tournament Edition cartridges).

The only things I was truly "dying" to get as a child were games, not accessories or toys. It seems silly that children specifically interested in gaming would REALLY want such material things over experiencing the games, when thought over; they're not stupid. There might be a few sentimental exceptions for everyone, though. Hand-crafted toys in particular are especially worthy of admiration.

I have my misgivings about the concepts of amiibo and it's contemporaries. Despite that, the real question is whether or not they will really be able to stand the test of time as legitimately taking their place in history. Having participated in the 90's and 2000's Blockbuster Events, I have to wonder what the value of a physical gaming experience is when it's based off of glorifying something outside the game, rather than inside it...



LoveSugoi said:

Nintendo is pretty much the gaming equivalent of Disney, I'm not surprised there is such a demand for more toys. These may or may not sell a ton of Wii U's but all Ninty needs is for them to sell a ton by themselves and they will.



Mecha_Boo said:

@Peach64 Well if I remember correctly, back in the late 90's it was proven in a survey that Mario was more recognizable than Mickey Mouse, so if that doesnt show anything about Nintendo's popularity, i dont know what would.



Manaphy2007 said:

i guess its a good thing, i however might buy one and i have to make it count. it might boost sales for smash bros with kids buying as for how much is when we will see.



Iggly said:

I wouldn't be surprised to see kids dying to see figures like amiibo, it gives them an excuse for their parents to buy them as they have functionality to do stuff other than to be just played/viewed with.



Technosphile said:

These "Amiibo" are not going to grab the Skylanders audience. Skylanders and Disney Infinity figures use hardware families already have; 360 and Wii systems bought many years ago. The rub here--that you have to buy another $300 console merely to use Amiibo--is, in my opinion, a very tough sell. Amiibo might be popular with adults who already own Wii U, but I don't think the dollar signs Nintendo is seeing will materialize.

If they had to do this, Nintendo might have been better off entering a partnership with Disney or Activision to make the Amiibo concept work in already-existing software, but exclusive to the Nintendo versions. Or even better, scrap the whole concept and use the capital spent in developing this idea into what the Wii U actually needs: quality Nintendo software.



Megumi said:

I'm just in it for Smash, unless the other games do something interesting with them.



DinoFett said:

Amiibo for Tomodachi Life, Even though I live in a very big city, anyone with a 3ds does not have this game let alone on sleep mode. Travelers and Items from that game should have exclusive content on a Amiibo for easier transfer.



Ralek85 said:

@DinoFett Yep, several companies could do a fine job at that, also I think Ninty has plenty of artist and designers that could come up with some really stunning stuff if given the chance. Maybe in the future .... Nintendo is probably the Grandmaster of all things "baby steps", not much for "great leaps" when it comes to restructuring.



8bitforever said:

I plan to buy every one but it won't result in me buying WiiU games, etc. I just want the figures. Nintendo will make lots of money off these for sure, but I wonder how it will impact game and system sells when so far these really don't do much. With Infinity, you have to buy the figure to even get them in game, that is not the case for these. At the moment they seem completely optional.



odd69 said:

Well, its not just for kids even though its aimed for them, But you have collectors like me who want these collectibles, I'm 31 by the way, so Yes Nintendo will make bank with this merchandise from both kids and adults as well

I'm excited for these!!!! Don't care about integrating them in games. I just want them for my growing collection of gaming toys, plush, ect. and movie toy swag



theBluntKnight said:

I'm 31 and I'm interested in getting some if not all of these amiibos. For the record I have no interest in skylanders or disney infinity nor have I bought any other video game merchandise figures. What might tempt me to splash some of my hard earned cash on these is that they look well made from the photos I've seen and the potential to interact with multiple wiiU and 3ds games



beautifulstrong said:

WOW, sweet headline!
Who's the a-hole that wrote "dying" and " grubby" in response to children?
OOOH, IT'S DAMIEN, the ugly princess of darkness!!!
She always writes the best articles with just a hint of wussy attitude! Such a good girl!!!
Ever since her boyfriend dumped her after getting her pregnant, Damien hates children! Don't blame children for your loveless life baby girl, just buy a no-no, get rid of your fur, and get yourself another man!!!!!!!



yoshi5852 said:

Here that little kids stick to skylanders and infinity while all the real nintendo gamers will buy all the hardware SO LITTLE KIDS KEEP YOUR GRUBBY HANDS OFF THEM 6-12... more like 13-45 XD there 15 bucks a piece.



jedisquidward said:

@noctowl No, I've spent time around kids. hahahaha dumb pedo joke. Youare so patronizing. But there is no point in me telling you, because you have made up your mind that you won't give kids, the main audience for video games, a chance and anyone who points it out is automatically insert bad adjective here.

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