According to “Interactive Gaming Toys,” the latest report from The NPD Group, 70 percent of parents in the U.S. are familiar with Interactive Gaming Toys (IGT), also known as Toys to Life. As reported by Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group, 40 percent state that they own at least one franchise, and 41 percent of those who own an IGT indicate they own more than one franchise.
Over the past six months, parents estimate that they have spent an average of $131 on IGT games and characters from Skylanders, Disney Infinity, and Nintendo amiibo franchises for their primary player. The perception of this investment is very positive compared to other types of toys or video games these parents could spend money on for their child, with 77 percent saying it was definitely or probably worth the investment. Two-thirds of parents say they are extremely or very likely to purchase a new IGT game (65 percent) or a new IGT character (67 percent) during the next six months.
The report shows that IGTs are engaging, with only 7 percent of families having abandoned play altogether. One of the key reasons for this abandonment has been that the child or children have outgrown the games; these households mainly have teenage children that have aged out of the category.
Within households currently playing IGT games, 52 percent indicate that adults (age 18 years and up) are among those that play. Interestingly, among Nintendo amiibo-playing households with children, 21 percent of parents state that no child is playing these games; only adults are playing. This contrasts greatly with the other franchises, with the other franchises having 10 percent or less of adult-only players in the households.
Among all IGT players, the majority of their time with these characters is spent playing video games, with 22 percent of total character playtime being spent playing with them as toys, and not with a video game console.
As expected, the likelihood of playing with characters outside of video games decreases with age—a simple function of aging out of that type of play. However, 40 percent of parents state that that their kids ages 13 to 17 continue to play with IGT characters such as toys or action figures, compared to 77 percent for kids ages 2 to 5.