Interactive toys are taking up more shelf space at toy stores, and now Lego is looking to offer more in this category to make sure it gets in on the action, according to a rumor.
Publisher Warner Bros. Interactive and Lego are working together on an interactive-toy game that will directly compete with Activision’s Skylanders, Nintendo’s Amiibos, and Disney Infinity, according to Videogamer.com. This would combine multiple lucrative concepts (building blocks, games, and interactive toys) into one product that could have massive appeal — which is something Lego experimented with already in its Fusion products. WB has released many successful Lego-themed games, and it could amplify its revenues from those releases by selling a companion line of toys.
The interactive-toy business is a $425 million market that grew 22 percent from 2013 to 2014, according to intelligence firm The NPD Group. The Skylanders franchise from Activision, which created what it calls the “toys-to-life” category, has generated more than $3 billion in combined game and toy revenues since its debut. Disney claims it has sold more than 2 million started packs since starting Infinity in 2013. And Nintendo, which just started selling Amiibos late last year, has already sold more than 6 million figures. Lego, one of the most successful toy companies in the world, could combine its expertise with WB Interactive’s to easily compete in this space.
Warner Bros. has not responded to our request for a comment, but we’ll update this story with any new information.
This actually isn’t even the first time that Lego and TT Games have worked in the interactive-toy market. Last year, the companies introduced Lego Fusion lineup of products. These four building sets enabled you to build all kinds of creations that you could then import into various game modes in an iPad app. Lego built and designed the plastic while TT developed the app. The sets game with 200 bricks, and you could work in themes like Town Master, Battle Towers, Create & Race, or Resort Designer.
“Children have always imagined their Lego creations as immersive worlds which come to life for hours of role-play and adventure,” Lego Future Lab senior design manager Ditte Bruun Pedersen said in a statement back in June. “Recently, smartphones and tablets have become a popular platform for empowering game mechanisms that kids love. Lego Fusion brings these two favorite play patterns together in an experience where real-life Lego builds come to life in a virtual game, inspiring creativity, strategy, and the pride of creation.”
While Lego Fusion was an entry point for Lego and TT Games into interactive toys, the companies didn’t base the toys on established brands or characters. To take on Skylanders and Disney Infinity, this new initiative from Lego, WB, and TT Games will likely incorporate properties that the companies have worked with previously including Batman and other DC Comics heroes.