Activision toasts another blockbuster franchise: Skylanders passes $500m US gross

Call of Duty publisher is making good on its promise to create another billion dollar franchise.

Activision has just announced that Skylanders has, after just over a year on the market, already made a total of $500m in revenue in the US.

When the toy-and-video game hybrid was launched, the firm said the series, a spin-off of Spyro The Dragon that uses figurines and near-field communication chips to interface with software, could join Call of Duty and World of Warcraft as one of its mega-grossing hits worth over $1bn.

So it’s halfway there.

In fact, it’ll be even closer when you factor in data from non-North America territories, such as the UK, where Skylanders is hugely popular.

According to GfK it’s already the third-bestselling franchise in the UK, after EA’s FIFA and Call of Duty.

In the US, NPD data says Skylanders is outselling popular rival brands such as Beyblades, WWE and Star Wars.

Skylanders sequel Skylanders Giants (which adds newer, bigger figures that light-up to the series – pictured)generated more than $195 million in US sales, inclusive of accessory packs and figures, in 2012 – which Activision’s announcement today happily points out "eclipsed domestic box office sales for each of the top holiday kids feature films including Wreck-It Ralph and Rise of the Guardians".

That’s 40 per cent of the US revenues made in just two months, while original release Skylanders generated the other $300m+ over a year.

Just a year ago, the concept of bringing toys to life in a virtual world was an untested play pattern that Activision and Toys For Bob believed in. Now the category has been established in the market and embraced by parents and kids everywhere,” said John Coyne, VP of consumer marketing at Activision Publishing in the announcement.

We’re humbled by the continued support and acclaim from parents, kids and critics alike, but more importantly, it’s gratifying to see kids excited about the adventures that await them both in the digital and physical worlds.”

Toys R Us, which has been a key retailer for the game, even sang the series praises:

Even before the concept was fully formed, we were immediately taken with the charm and magic behind the Skylanders property and following the highly successful introduction of Skylanders Spyro’s Adventures, we knew that Skylanders Giants would be a top-seller in 2012,” said Richard Barry, EVP and chief merchandising officer.

We believe that Skylanders is one of the most innovative and exciting toy properties to hit the market and are thrilled to continue our strong support of the brand.”

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