From the toys-to-life fun of Skylanders and Disney Infinity to the imaginative gameplay of Minecraft, LEGO and LittleBigPlanet, there’s plenty on offer for young gamers.
While the majority of kid-friendly titles are now found on mobile, it seems that less is more when it comes to the quality of kids games on PC and console.
Minecraft is oft-cited as the ‘LEGO of video games’, but its traditional block-building ancestor has itself successfully transitioned to the virtual world.
Kicked off more than a decade ago with LEGO Star Wars, Warner Bros’ range of LEGO titles has continued to combine booming movie IPs with the toy franchise, leading to impressive results. According to GfK Chart-Track, three LEGO games – The LEGO Movie, LEGO The Hobbit and LEGO Batman 3 – alone generated over 42 million last year, a 43 per cent jump on 2013. In fact, LEGO was the overall fourth-biggest game franchise of 2014, behind only FIFA and the kid-averse IPs Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.
The last few years have seen kids brands on console taken up another notch, thanks to the launch of toys-to-life brands Skylanders, Disney Infinity and Amiibo.
Chart-Track reports that sales of Skylanders toys are up 44 per cent in units and 25 per cent in revenue for 2015 so far versus 2014. Meanwhile, Infinity toy sales have risen 56 per cent and 37 per cent in units and revenue, respectively
A reasonable latecomer to the sector, the sell-out success of Amiibo has propelled Nintendo’s official accessory unit sales by 145 per cent and helped revenue boom by 121 per cent.
This Christmas will see the launch of LEGO Marvel Avengers, more Amiibo and a new Skylanders, as well as the addition of Star Wars to Disney Infinity 3.0.
LEGO will also combine its existing success in games with that of toys-to-life, bringing original IP LEGO Dimensions to market.
While it seems mobile has quantity when it comes to kids IP, console is fighting back with quality.
LEGO Minecraft Crafting Box
Two of gaming’s biggest kids brands combine in this mashup between block-building behemoths LEGO and Minecraft. The 521-piece set includes a Steve minifigure and pickaxe accessory, plus a skeleton and mooshroom. Players can create their own world from redstone and lapis element bricks, plus torches, plants and other tools. Instructions for eight different constructions are a starting point, before kids can let their imaginations run wild.
Contact: 01753 495 000
Rabbids ‘Do It Yourself’ Eeerz Figurine
Ubisoft’s zany bunnies are known for their distinctive appearance and chaotic behaviour. Fans can let out their artistic side and have their own go at making a unique Rabbid with this blank collectible. The customisable vinyl model stands at 28cm high and can be decorated with pens, paint or more exotic materials like glitter.
Contact: 01279 822 822
LittleBigPlanet TruckerSnapback Baseball Cap
Kids can stick Sackboy and his cloth pals on their noggin with this LittleBigPlanet-themed baseball cap.
Contact: 01462 680 060
Pokmon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire: The Official Pokdex
Information on over 700 Pokmon and every item in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire is contained in this comprehensive book.
Manufacturer: The Pokmon Company
Contact: 01753 483 700
Pac-Man Soft Toy
Pac-Fans can get a load of gaming history with this plush. It stands eight inches tall and makes Pac-Man’s iconic waka-waka sounds.
Manufacturer: Bandai Namco
Distributor: Advantage Distribution
Contact: 01215 069 590
Angry Birds Transformers Telepods Optimus Prime Raceway
Avians and Autobots unite in this 35-inch speedway, which sees Transformed Birds and Piggies face off in a drag race.
SRP: $29.99 (19)
Contact: 0208 569 1234
Disney Infinity Messenger Bag
This carry bag for Disney Infinity figures, base and power discs can convert into a roll-out playmat for gaming on the go.
Contact: 01279 822 822
Skylanders fans can get an introduction to a board game classic with this toys-to-life take on Monopoly.
Distributor: Winning Moves UK
Contact: 0207 262 9696