Activision Extending Skylanders Licensing to Cereal and Coloring Books

The $2 billion franchise continues to grow.

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Activision Publishing's $2 billion toys-to-life Skylanders franchise, which did not even exist three years ago, continues to grow. The publisher announced today new partnerships with major companies like General Mills and Crayola to extend the video game franchise to new markets.

First, food company General Mills will launch an eight-week Skylanders cereal program in North America starting in February 2015 where the in-game minigame Skystones will appear on the back of cereal boxes. In addition, starting in September of this year, General Mills will launch a special Skylanders brand campaign for Go-Gurt and Trix Yogurt Cups. Activision and General Mills previously partnered for Skylanders-shaped Fruit by the Foot and Fruit Gushers snacks.

"From a global branding perspective, this has been a remarkable year for the Skylanders franchise," Activision Publishing VP of global licensing Ashley Maidy said in a statement. "We are delighted that many of the world's leading brands are collaborating with us on meaningful programs that let our fans engage with the Skylanders brand in ways that didn't exist three years ago."

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Other Skylanders licensing extensions for 2014 include a new global program from book company Penguin Group (which has already sold over 2.5 million Skylanders books), as well as a special Skylanders: Swap Force official guide from augmented reality company Zappar. Activision has also teamed up with Immediate Media for an official Skylanders-themed children's magazine to launch in the United Kingdom with further expansion plans scheduled for 2015.

On top of that, Activision signed a new deal with comic book publisher IDW to make the first official Skylanders comic book series. It will serve as a prequel to this year's Skylanders: Trap Team, offering up backstory about the Skylanders universe. The first 16-page issue will debut at San Diego Comic-Con in July, before arriving at retail this fall alongside the game.

Finally, Activision and crayon maker Crayola have agreed to a deal that will bring Skylanders-branded Xtreme Coloring and Activity Pads to stores across the US beginning in spring 2015. With these new collaborations announced today, Activision has now partnered with over 175 companies for Skylanders licensing.

Activision is no longer the sole player in the toys-to-life market, as Disney Infinity entered the business segment last summer, while Nintendo plans to role out its amiibo line of physical toys starting this year with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. For its part, Activision sounds pretty confident that it will stay on top. Skylanders: Trap Team launches October 5 across Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii, Wii U, and 3DS.

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