It looks like Nintendo is getting into the lucrative collectible figurine business. Just like Activision’s Skylanders and Disney’s Disney Infinity series, Nintendo is poised to release a line of games and collectible figurines that have been codenamed Nintendo Figurine Platform. Nintendo actually alluded to this prior to the release of the Wii U, when they revealed that the Game Pad would feature NFC technology that would allow physical figurines to be transported into games.
Speaking during an earnings briefing, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced that the new line of figurines will be usable across multiple games that will be designed to accommodate the figurines. Consequently, you might buy a Mario figurine, which will then level-up as you play through various game titles, bringing stats and skill points from title to title.
The collectible gaming figurine market is a new but lucrative one. The Skylanders franchise had already accumulated $1.5 billion in total sales towards the end of 2013, and Disney Infinity, which has been out for little less than a year, has already raked in $500 million. Nintendo already has the technology to tap into this market built-in to every single Wii U on the planet, so creating a new line of toys and games seems like a no-brainer.