The plastic action-figure business is a booming one for Nintendo.
The company revealed today that it has shipped 10.5 million Amiibo toys worldwide. That’s since Nintendo introduced the interactive toys in November alongside Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. In the publisher’s fourth quarter, which runs through March, it shipped 4.8 million of that total. These toys, which fans have really latched onto, have contributed significantly to the company’s bottom line. And that helped Nintendo record a profit for its fiscal 2015.
The success of the Amiibos has actually proved frustrating for fans because many of the most popular characters are often sold out. But that’s not because Nintendo isn’t shipping enough product to North America at least.
Of the 10.5 million Amiibo shipped, 66 percent have gone to North America. That’s about 7 million. Maybe most of those were just Luigi.
Nintendo is one of the latecomers to the interactive-toy market. Activision essentially invented the space in 2011 with its Skylanders toys and games. Since then, Disney has also introduced a line of products that uses similar technology, and Lego is planning something as well in partnership with Warner Bros.
Despite the gold rush, no company has flamed out yet. Skylanders has already made more than $2 billion for Activision, and Disney Infinity was one of the best-selling games of last year.
Now, it seems clear that Nintendo is also going to make a lot of money from toys that work with video games. It plans to introduce more characters later this year, and that includes a yarn Yoshi to go along with Yoshi’s Wooly World. It also will start releasing Amiibo cards that will work with a new Animal Crossing game.