Skylanders Reaches $500 Million in Record Time

Skylanders Reaches $500 Million in Record Time

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Activision might have another billion dollar franchise on its hands soon.

Compared to making $1 billion in 16 days, reaching a $500 million sales figure over the course of a year may not sound like much. However, unlike Activision's blockbuster Call of Duty series, Skylanders - which has now exceeded half a billion dollars in sales - is aimed primarily at children. In addition to selling faster than any other kids' gaming property in history, Skylanders, which uses physical toys in conjunction with its digital adventure, also topped action figure sales charts and outsold contemporaneous children's movies. Not bad, considering that its mascot was essentially in hibernation only a year or so ago.

"Just a year ago, the concept of bringing toys to life in a virtual world was an untested play pattern ... Now the category has been established in the market and embraced by parents and kids everywhere," says Joshua Taub, a vice president at Activision. Taub isn't wrong about Skylanders gaining a foothold in the market: The $500 million figure includes both videogame and toy sales. $195 million of the total comes from Skylanders: Giants alone, which has only been out for two months. "It's gratifying to see kids excited about the adventures that await them both in the digital and physical worlds."

According to data from the NPD group, Skylanders was the fastest gaming IP for kids to reach the $500 million milestone. Perhaps even more noteworthy, however, is the fact that in 2012, Skylanders outsold traditional bestselling action figure lines, including Star Wars. When Skylanders: Giants appeared in stores, it beat out both Wreck-It Ralph and Rise of the Guardians - two top kids' movies - in sales that weekend. For a series that has marketed itself almost exclusively to a younger demographic, Skylanders has done pretty well.

Perhaps the most heartening part of this story is that while the connectivity of toys is undoubtedly a clever sales gimmick, it seems to be a worthwhile game mechanic as well. The games themselves have garnered good reviews, suggesting that its sales record is well-earned. Skylanders may not surpass Call of Duty in popularity anytime soon, but Call of Duty doesn't have an anthropomorphic whale swinging an anchor, so we'll call it even for now.

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"Just a year ago" the concept was untested? Did Webkinz get retconned out of existence? I distinctly remember my younger siblings falling in love with those things.

I'm not surprised at all.
My kids seem to love that game, and it's supposedly really huge at school.

Sort of reminds me of when Pokemon was huge when I was young.

Some of my money is in that $500M. It's actually a pretty decent game. And my kids love it. Honestly though, didn't know it was a Spyro the Dragon game. Doesn't look and feel like the older ones. Good for them though.

Great, now an entire generation of kids is going to grow up to be dragons.

Make a REAL Spyro game Activision. You'll probably make about as much as COD in a similar amount of time with kids AND returning fans of the franchise with it. All you have to do is make it please both the old PS1 fans and the Legend of Spyro fans, NOT this.

God-damnit, this isn't Spyro! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SPYRO YOU TWATS?

The next generation's Pokemon, perhaps?

Either way, the moment I saw the toys I knew they'd sell like hot-cakes: my inner child almost suplexed me into buying them.

I miss Spyro.....*sniff*

The money from the action figures is cos they cost so fucking much! It's like 9 for a little one and 12 for a giant and there is a million of them, which of course means every kid wants one of each.

So with 3 giants and a smaller one you have basically paid double for the game and people complain about cod dlc?

Yeah, that's true omega, but I'm guessing you can't put cod dlc on a shelf to make it look awesome.

I've been intrigued by the game, but I'm way too broke to even think about getting into it.

I can understand why. It's actually a very good game, and while I would never buy it for myself, being able to sit down with my little brother and us both be able to contribute to a game is a rare experience, and one I've thoroughly enjoyed. And a friend of mine has also found it a rather addictive experience on his own as well.

I'll actually need to sit down with my brother and play the new one at some point.

*Looks at wallet*... seems legit...

I grew up with Spyro (twas my first game, Purple bro-gan 4 life yo!) and even though im reeeEEEAAAAAALLLllly frustrated that he may not get a game actually about him any time soon, at least hes not a forgotten relic (Crash Bandicoot) or an angry old man who can't remember why he's here (Sonic).

Anyways, the games can be pretty fun.

Also, Tara Strong you guys, you guys Tara Strong:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKjEjCcoDYQ

The puns, they are glorious.

THIS ISN'T SPYRO!!!

Oh, look at the salty river of fanboy tears filling up this thread. How sad.

Owner of Skylanders: Giants as well as a good 15 or so of the figures here (including Spyro).

I'm 22 years old, and I love the game. I grew up with Spyro on the PS1, what with Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage being one of my fondest gaming memories. Anything featuring Spyro is a huge draw for me.

Those in this thread saying Skylanders isn't a "proper" Spyro game are correct. It isn't a Spyro game. It's a brand new game featuring Spyro as a character. That doesn't make the game bad by any stretch, though. The gameplay is solid, the aesthetics are colorful as well as fun, and it's easy enough to pick up and play at any time.

Frankly, I'm a bit weary of hearing people bitch about how Spyro has changed over the years. It's not like the PS1 titles went anywhere. I still have my original discs, and aren't the original three games on the PSN Store?

Go buy those.

Marshall Honorof:
*snip*

Kudos on the Cynder image for the article. One of my favorite Skylanders.

DVS BSTrD:
Great, now an entire generation of kids is going to grow up to be dragons.

Don't tease me bro.

nomaner:
Make a REAL Spyro game Activision. You'll probably make about as much as COD in a similar amount of time with kids AND returning fans of the franchise with it. All you have to do is make it please both the old PS1 fans and the Legend of Spyro fans, NOT this.

That's an idea I could support.

I do love Skylanders, but I could go for a game that focuses more on Spyro and the rest of the Skylanders.

I mean for a kids game, a lot of them have some interesting backstories. Sonic Boom's for one is kind of sad/dark for a kids game if you think about it too.

>_> However, I think I would be a bit scared to find out what made Trigger Happy the way he is....

Z of the Na'vi:
Owner of Skylanders: Giants as well as a good 15 or so of the figures here (including Spyro).

I'm 22 years old, and I love the game. I grew up with Spyro on the PS1, what with Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage being one of my fondest gaming memories. Anything featuring Spyro is a huge draw for me.

Those in this thread saying Skylanders isn't a "proper" Spyro game are correct. It isn't a Spyro game. It's a brand new game featuring Spyro as a character. That doesn't make the game bad by any stretch, though. The gameplay is solid, the aesthetics are colorful as well as fun, and it's easy enough to pick up and play at any time.

Frankly, I'm a bit weary of hearing people bitch about how Spyro has changed over the years. It's not like the PS1 titles went anywhere. I still have my original discs, and aren't the original three games on the PSN Store?

Go buy those.

Marshall Honorof:
*snip*

Kudos on the Cynder image for the article. One of my favorite Skylanders.

Agreed. Also having your "save file" as a little colorful figure you can display in the living room is one of the neatest things ever. I would loooooovvveeee if they did a Super Smash Brothers style game like this, similar execution to skylanders, but with previously existing characters to have figures of.

Hey Activision you know how you own the video game rights to Transformers right? well DO THE FIGURE/GAME COMBINATION WITH THEM!

Kumagawa Misogi:
Hey Activision you know how you own the video game rights to Transformers right? well DO THE FIGURE/GAME COMBINATION WITH THEM!

0.0 ......Oh my God, that's a good idea.

They could sell Transformers that acutally transform, and have them come with whatever the hell that disk thing is under the Skylanders.

That way you could get the cool transformer toy, and use it in the game too.
Maybe they should try that.

Oh crap... here we go again... let's hope ActiBlizz doesn't milk poor Spyro until a deformed pulp of mass is left behind.

SupahGamuh:

Oh crap... here we go again... let's hope ActiBlizz doesn't milk poor Spyro until a deformed pulp of mass is left behind.

Unless they start releasin new games that require new figures I don't really see that bein much of an issue. All they have to do, for now, is keepin makin new characters and people will buy it up.

On top of that though, Spyro had already been milked to death. Skylanders was breath of fresh air to the franchise that would have otherwise stayed dead.

Man, I would have loved this as a kid. Say what you will about Activision but they at least know how to run their business.

I've stocked so many of these and I was wondering what they were.
I'm amazed they didn't try MMO + Kid's toy fad before.
Disapointed to see this is Activision... seemed more like something THQ would do--that would have required actually planning and thought though.

Hnnnggggg...

I certainly wouldn't want to begrudge anyone the fun they've had with Skylanders. If people say it's a fun game, well, so be it.

I just can't help but get nostalgic for the glory days of the PS1 Spyro games. It's not really nostalgia though. I went through both Spyro 1&2 a little while ago, and they are still absolutely top notch platformers. Very few games in general manage to attain the same sort of magical atmosphere, let alone children's platformers. The only one that's come close recently is Rayman Origins. I remember being utterly bewitched by the PS1 games, and it's a captivation that still has its hold on me today.

So seeing it being transformed into this merchandising bonanza, it does make me a little wistful. It's like enjoying a magic steak buffet, only to see it get slowly processed into a McDonalds Happy Meal, complete with plasticky toys. A Happy Meal can be enjoyable, sure, but for me it doesn't really compare.

Ah well... here's to the old days.

I don't get it.. so Skylanders is Activision's 2nd kids franchise. At this rate they'll be giving Disney a run for their money.

PunkRex:
*Looks at wallet*... seems legit...

I grew up with Spyro (twas my first game, Purple bro-gan 4 life yo!) and even though im reeeEEEAAAAAALLLllly frustrated that he may not get a game actually about him any time soon, at least hes not a forgotten relic (Crash Bandicoot) or an angry old man who can't remember why he's here (Sonic).

Anyways, the games can be pretty fun.

Also, Tara Strong you guys, you guys Tara Strong:

I want Flashwing. I WANT FLASHWING!!!!!

If I get this game (And I probably will) I only want Spyro, Cynder, and Flashwing!

nomaner:
Make a REAL Spyro game Activision.

*SMACK* NO! Bad nomaner! Look at what they would do:

N. Gin is ROTTING for God's sake!

OT: I saw through the action figure bit immediately, it's like DLC really. Not to mention I watched a couple videos and never saw Spyro, so using his name is kind of... I can't say I'm happy about this, but maybe something good will come out of it, Activision could outsource making a Spyro game to Insomniac....right...right?

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That whale is fucking badass.

I want seven, and I want him to do battle against my zbot collection.

EDIT: Actually, he seems like he's the type to battle for the forces of chaos
ANCHORS FOR THE ANCHOR THRONE

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Hnnnggggg...

I certainly wouldn't want to begrudge anyone the fun they've had with Skylanders. If people say it's a fun game, well, so be it.

I just can't help but get nostalgic for the glory days of the PS1 Spyro games. It's not really nostalgia though. I went through both Spyro 1&2 a little while ago, and they are still absolutely top notch platformers. Very few games in general manage to attain the same sort of magical atmosphere, let alone children's platformers. The only one that's come close recently is Rayman Origins. I remember being utterly bewitched by the PS1 games, and it's a captivation that still has its hold on me today.

So seeing it being transformed into this merchandising bonanza, it does make me a little wistful. It's like enjoying a magic steak buffet, only to see it get slowly processed into a McDonalds Happy Meal, complete with plasticky toys. A Happy Meal can be enjoyable, sure, but for me it doesn't really compare.

Ah well... here's to the old days.

Dude, Bro-gan fist bump for you, I know that feel.

I played the originals (1, 2 & 3) on PS1 (so did my mum funny enough) and even though I do enjoy Skylanders it doesn't have quite the same atmosphere. I never got into the later installments on PS2, found them far to grim even the one with the flying Teddy Bear fighters... still, Spyro was my first game and even if he never gets another proper platformer i'll still remember him fondly and, as you mentioned, theres alwasys hope, Rayman Origins has been my favourite game in the last few years. Just keep your purple claws crossed.

Dat soundtrack!

 

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