Skylanders series mints $500 million

Activision's toy and game franchise has generated half a billion dollars in the United States alone since 2011.

Activision's Skylanders toy and game franchise has generated $500 million in the United States alone since the series launched in 2011, Activision announced today, citing data from NPD Group. According to Activision, the Skylanders series reached the sales milestone faster than any other children's game property and even outsold action figure lines like Beyblades, WWE, and Stars Wars.

Skylanders Giants, the sequel to 2011's Skylanders Spyro's Adventure, generated more than $195 million in 2012 US sales. This figure represents sales of accessory packs, action figures, and the games themselves. In addition, Activision claimed that Skylanders Giants revenue surpassed the US box office sales for Disney's Wreck-It Ralph and DreamWorks' Rise of the Guardians.

Toys "R" Us executive vice president and chief merchandising officer Richard Berry had high praise to give for the Skylanders series, saying in a statement that it is "one of the most innovative and exciting toy properties to hit the market."

The Skylanders series is developed by Activision subsidiary Toys For Bob, which is based in Novato, California. For more on the franchise, check out GameSpot's review of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure and previous coverage of Skylanders Giants.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

56 comments
Tzardok
Tzardok

This one is fun. The first one as a bit buggy, hope this one is cleaner.

AlexFili
AlexFili

Maybe Pokemon will do the same

hassmann20000
hassmann20000

Hate on Activision all you want, they know how to make money.

Poodger
Poodger

I have never even heard of Skylanders until this article. I always thought that as an adult, if another "pokemon" came along, I would see it coming. This makes me feel old...

immanuel_aj
immanuel_aj

Glad it did well.  If they made a game for adults based on the same model I'd buy it.

paxis85
paxis85

you have to admit that from a marketing standpoint the whole idea is pretty much genius

Dirty_11
Dirty_11

dont mind paying for the skylanders. I can understand that it is a bit of a cash grab but my son and I have a ball playing it together which makes it worth every cent.   

Aletunda
Aletunda

The concept is really nice, however have you gone down to toys r us lately and checked out the price? for 1 toy it was $19.95 AUD. the thing is tiny and doesn't even have karate chop action!!

shiss27
shiss27

I love the idea of Skylanders. This is a new wave of the future. Can't wait until they make a DC universe version.

tgwolf
tgwolf

Yeah, and they reached these figures through exorbitant pricing for what would otherwise be an interesting concept, AND THEY DIDN'T EVEN DEMAND A CUT OF BATTERY SALES needed just to play because of the portal!

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

It's actually a really fun game to play. Collecting them is just optional and can easily beat the game with just the starter pack given to you.

I actually play this with my family and we all have fun with it.

master9000
master9000

Toys for Bob. We want more Star Control!

Silinel
Silinel

I look at these things, and mentally deride others at how silly and financially wasteful they are to spend money on a fad that will inevitably find its way onto the shelves of a Goodwill or a Salvation Army toy bin within a couple years.


Then I notice that I was doing just that in the 90s and early 00s, during the Pokemon craze. Those freaking boost packs were money pits, all for a couple of pieces of printed paperboard.

Stupid, stupid me.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

Activision could use that money to donate to the hurricane victims.  look what Blizzard did..

hiphops_savior
hiphops_savior

Is it just me, or do I see massive esports potential with the Skylanders series?

sabresieben
sabresieben

whenever i see this game i just get angry at how much of a dump this is taking on my childhood game

JDWolfie
JDWolfie

Can we just have great Spyro games like the original Playstation games? This is just way too expensive.

tim1935
tim1935

At one point I thought this game was a pretty cool concept.  Then I realized they are selling you a crippled game that you have to pay way extra to open up functionality you thought was part of the game.

EPaul
EPaul

Activision's new cash cow

SolidTy
SolidTy

I wonder what would happen if the Skylander model was utilized by the rest of the games. Including pokemon...

kbaily
kbaily

How many of you who hate on this game actually played it?  Just wondering.

nedrith
nedrith

So if anyone ever asked me what's worse than CoD and it's yearly releases, this one might top my list.  I mean not only are they charging I believe $80 for the game and portal they are also charging $7 for what is basically DLC $20 for a pack of 3.  and DLC isn't released every so often it is released on a relatively constant basis.  However in order to bait parents into buying the DLC they disguise it as these  little action figures.  


I like spyro but this idea has always bothered me.

CptRexKramer
CptRexKramer

I'm so glad my son grew out of this.  He seem to enjoy the first one, but has turned an eye from 'Giants'.  And my wallet couldn't be happier. 

funny16
funny16

I like how they forget to mention the fact that you must buy the toys in order to unlock stuff in the game.

wexorian
wexorian

And i ask myself who said that You can't make money out of crap? 

ADO300
ADO300

man i hate do admit it but this is one of the best games i've played for this gen! sure it doesen't beat dishonored, halo and uncharted but it's so damn adicting, fun and awesome that i began to collect these figures... got them 12 by now, 3 of them are giants

Mozuckint
Mozuckint

Well it's good to see some other IP's make money other than the usual.

I'm rather pleased Spyro is doing so well.

KillerOttsel
KillerOttsel

Jesus Christ! Spyro is back and making more money then ever. He definitely bet Crash and Banjo.

kpolicoff
kpolicoff

I'm 32, and I enjoy Skylanders Giants. Unlike the first game, this has a hard mode... which in some cases... is really hard. Beat the game and you unlock nightmare. The characters all play very differently, and have some really unique abilities. The voice acting is great... with some really big names such as Patrick Warburton, George Takei, Sumalee Montano, Richard Steven Horvitz, and even Bobcat Goldthwait. Tons of fun off main quest distractions, as well. It's too bad that the advertizing of this game really just emphasizes the "look, it's a toy, now it's in the game" feature... and nothing more. No one really know what this game even is... unless they're 10. Well, I guess they can't complain. they've made bank off of this thing.

mikel222222
mikel222222

I feel like the company appreciates the buyer, good prices and the allowance of using your older skylanders with the new games shows promise

sonicare
sonicare

My nephew likes this stuff.  I've bought him a few, but I really dont know that much about them.

Triton
Triton

@2bitSmOkEy  

Ditto. See it in the store never paid any attention to it.

Silinel
Silinel

@bongsyas_23 That goes for 95% of people as well. Of course, corporations are people, too.


Personally, I'm not keen on donating so people can rebuild in the same spot where the hurricane hit in the first place. If home is where the heart is, many of those people need to transplant elsewhere.

Razorlight6
Razorlight6

@CivilizedPsycho No, that's what the figures are for. The kids are too young to understand DLC anyway. That, and they don't/can't have accounts to buy the DLC, and it's kind of hard to tug at mommy and daddy's sleeve and show them DLC the way you can with a toy.

Mr_Big_Boss
Mr_Big_Boss

@SolidTy I don't see Nintendo stooping that low, but it would be very successful for Pokemon. "You gotta purchase them all"

Mr_Big_Boss
Mr_Big_Boss

@kbaily The game might be fun, but this rip off process turns off anyone with common sense.

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

@funny16 

One of every element only if you want the bonus stuff. Game can be completed with just the starter pack... =/

kpolicoff
kpolicoff

Really, the only reason I ever got this game is because I got a Wii U, and there simply aren't many games for it. I'm really glad I decided to pick it up.

SolidTy
SolidTy

@Mr_Big_Boss @SolidTy The point wasn't to suggest Nintendo stooping low to do this, although it could happen. My major point though  is to show that people shouldn't defend the milking done by this game and ACTIVISION because it's greed can spread to other games and that won't be to our benefit. Let's be honest, Skylanders could have been done without having to require people to purchase those toys. It's just a scam. The gameplay is solid, so it works.

kpolicoff
kpolicoff

@Yuusha09

Yup... I guess they tried to get some better voice acting for the characters that came with the game. Pop Fizz comes with the 3DS version of Giants... and bobcat does his voice. Think I might have to pick it up... just for that fact. That, and I have enough skylanders where the purchase of the 3DS game would see much benefit.

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

@Poodlejumper @Darkmoone1 @funny16 

Thats up to the parent....