We’ve talked on the podcast a number of times about the phenomenon that is Skylanders. Spyro has seen a resurgence in popularity unlike many other franchises in the history of video games. Activision has struck gold with these figures and the game that accompanies them. People are standing in line to get them. Others are spending more than a thousand dollars on a handful of figures, and Activision is going to be expanding the Skylanders brand in a big way over the next year.
They’ve entered a deal with Penguin Publishing to bring out five Skylanders branded books over the next year. This deal includes a sticker book, a Skylanders novel and an eBook. That’s not all, explains Skylanders VP of Consumer Marketing, John Coyne:
“That deal is just the tip of the iceberg. We have just held a licensing conference in the UK, with 150 people attending. I’ve worked on a number of these IPs for the likes of Mattel and Spin Master in previous roles, and you can sense things are going well when people approach you about licensing opportunities, rather than you having to approach them. That’s what we’re seeing here. Lunch boxes, apparel, back packs, publishing, other toy areas – these are all things that are currently in the works. Hopefully Skylanders will be everywhere. It tends to go that way. Once kids get into something, they really get into it. You see that on a number of movie properties and TV shows. It becomes a lifestyle thing for them. Skylanders is following that curve.
Coming from the toy industry, I never underestimate the importance and power of retail. That hands-on experience, to be able to see something and interact with it at retail, was something we knew was going to be important from the start. Kids are going back to stores week-in week-out looking for new Skylanders, which is a great thing for retail.”
So get ready for your kids to be buried in Skylanders branded toys. Mario should just give it up now. He’ll be playing second fiddle to Spyro before you know it.