Shelf space concerns as toy games go to war

Angry Birds and Pokmon are the latest big name franchise to take on Skylanders as the toy war heats up, but is there enough space to stock them all?

The lucrative ‘toys to life’ genre has been dominated by Activision’s Skylanders series, which has generated well over $1bn since its inception. The franchise has made 100m in the UK during since its launch in 2011, according to the latest GfK Chart-Track figures.

But now the franchise is facing some serious competition this Christmas, with Disney Infinity arriving on August 23rd and now Angry Birds: Star Wars II launching on September 19th.
And Nintendo’s Pokemon Rumble U also arrives next month, although the toys that tie-in with the game have yet to be dated.

Retailers have responded enthusiastically to the rush of new toy-based games. Although they admit finding shelf space might be a challenge.

"I thinkpublishersare only just scratching the surface with the way they can augment the gaming experience for younger gamers," said Dixons category manager Simon Urquhart.

"Shelf space will be a fun challenge. One of the joys of retail is finding interesting and practical ways to present complicated ranges. All three are strong licenses with different pedigrees and should appeal to a very broad spectrum of gamers.

"If these two new entrants keep the kids happy for longer and gives parents a low-cost way to spoil their kids, retailers will benefit – especially as they are familiar and successful franchises."

Gamescentre boss Robert Lindsay adds: Disney will be in an excellent position in this category with such a strong catalogue of well known characters available to them.

Sacrifices will have to be made in-store to accommodate what we feel will be the most successful ranges.”

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