Iwata On Skylanders And Nintendo’s Figurine Business

By Ishaan . May 13, 2014 . 2:00pm

Nintendo recently announced their “NFP” project, which will introduce toy figurines that can interact with the company’s games. In addition, the company shared other initiatives to help improve Nintendo’s business as well, such as utilizing the Wii U’s online features.


In light of these reveals, at a financial results Q&A with investors and analysts, someone in attendance asked Nintendo president Satoru Iwata if the company still believed in the concept of unique software driving hardware, given that some of these initiatives sound like they’re expanding outside of the software realm.


Regarding figurines, Iwata stated: “As for utilizing character figurines, Activision has released video game titles from the Skylanders series over the past three years and Disney Interactive released the software title, ‘Disney Infinity,’ last year. Both video game series are compatible with character figurines and have created an extremely large market for these products.”


“In the overseas markets especially, a huge amount of space has been allocated to those product lines at retail stores with a large market presence. Our primary focus, however, is not to develop software that is compatible with figurines. Rather, we have been developing figurines since last year because we believe there may be different approaches or ways to appeal to consumers by using them, and this could also be one way for Nintendo to utilize its character IP.”


Additionally, Iwata also reiterated once more that Wii U-specific games that make use of the Wii U GamePad will be revealed at this year’s E3. These games, he said, are being worked on by development teams under Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto.


“The titles we are preparing to show you at E3 vary from being nearly complete to still in the early phases of development but with the core of its appeal noticeable,” Iwata said. “Therefore, our strategy of focusing on software has not changed.”

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  • Kaetsu

    If Nintendo made a Skylander/Disney Infinity game I probably wouldn’t buy it because it’s not my thing but I think I’d end up buying the figurines. If they plan on using existing IP than they could make Fire Emblem and Star Fox figures!

    • Bigabu Beaze

      Or custom robo.

      • MasterScrub

        Custom Robo? I’d need new pants.

      • Kaetsu

        Custom Robo figurines? Well then I would buy whatever game they are made for plus 500 figures.

      • Grape Monet

        Make them customizable and I’m sold.

        • Bigabu Beaze

          Thats what I was thinking. Figures or model kits with included bases that have the electronics for your Robo’s Save file in the base you stand the Robo on.

    • subsamuel01

      They already said that there not using a single platform. Apparently the figurines will be able to be used in upcoming Nintendo titles, how that’s going to work we’ill have to wait and see at E3.

    • AndyLC

      Placing Fire Emblem figures on a virtual grid would feel good.

      • Kaetsu

        I didn’t even think about! Nintendo would totally steal all of my money if they made me buy units.

        • AndyLC

          “When they die in the game, the figurine explodes”

          • Guy Rainey

            … That might be fun.

          • keithmaxx

            Way to go permadeath! That ought to stop the need for DLC. Who needs new content when you care enough to buy your 15th Marth, 10th Roy or 69th Generic Protagonist figurines?

      • Oxybelis
        • AndyLC

          My god, if there was a dating sim tied to buying those figs to unlock costumes and dates, it’s taking otaku punishment to the next level

  • Eric Harris

    I’m hoping for an impressive showing of games from Nintendo at E3. I’m just not going to get my hopes up. I did last year and they didn’t really have any surprise announcements.

    • keithmaxx

      X or crossover FExSMT didn’t grab your attention? Wow you must be hard to please.

  • phayroent

    And how long will it take for a non-minigame collection or non Mario/Zelda toy to be released? It doesn’t matter what their plan is if it takes forever to implement. One toy every quarter like they are doing with relevant first party games would make it useless. One game per quarter with 20 toys on the market would be more useless.

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    I’m hoping those Paper Mario figures are made out of real paper, or else I will be sorely disappointed.

    • ronin4life

      WHAT Paper Mario figures??

    • 3PointDecoupage

      I hope the Stalfos figures are made out of real bones.

      • PreyMantis

        I hope the Luigi figurines are made out of real Italian plumbers.

        • Pedro Rosas

          I hope the Donkey Kong figures are made out of real gorillas

        • grevlinghore

          I hope Bowser and the Koopas are made of real turtles. (Not really though. I don´t even like this figurine-concept in the first place.)

    • Grape Monet

      Papercraft Mario?

    • ShawnOtakuSomething

      but kids and paper cuts isn’t a good idea ;p;////wait yes it is

  • SaiyanJedi_Trunks

    Well I’m excited to see what they do with these figures.

    However, it shows that they were impressed with what Activision showed them when offered the partnership, but then decided to do something themselves…especially after they saw how well it went.

  • AndyLC

    There’s no reason for Skylander’s mediocre designs to make more money than a Japanese company off of Gashapon-like figurines.

  • Kango234

    Well at least there’s confirmation that something interesting will be at E3

  • SuperSailorV

    Imagine if the devices for use with this system were already implanted within the Club Nintendo figures they’ve already released (the one with everybody in it, and the Luigi’s Mansion one). Mind blown!

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    This is a great idea for Nintendo, this could work way better then skylanders and Disney infinity, Why? because you don’t need to buy $80 hardwere if it brakes and come on…you all know you want Link to come into battle on top of a Yoshi

  • exrazer

    MAke some figs that display fire emblem characters. Dinner with my waifu tharja.

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