NFPNintendoNintendo is planning a new line of character figurines that can communicate with video games, similar to Activision’s Skylanders and Disney Infinity. The new Nintendo Figurine Platform (NFP) was announced last Thursday by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata at the company’s annual financial briefing.

“Other than using character IP in Nintendo’s video game software, we need to start a new business that will someday become one of our core activities,” said Iwata. He stressed the importance of taking risks and coming up with interesting ways for Nintendo to leverage its character intellectual property.

NFP figurines will be compatible with the Nintendo Wii GamePad and the 3DS handheld system, and are targeted to launch by the end of this year. During his presentation, Iwata described NFP as having both a writer as well as a reader function, so it can not only tell which character figurines are on the Wii U GamePad, but a compact amount of data unique to each game can be written into and read from it. “That is to say, you will be able to customize your NFP to raise or train your own Nintendo characters,” he said.

Products and full details will be unveiled at the E3 expo in June.