Nintendo could have had Skylanders exclusivity

2 min read


While we’re on the subject of companies being offered great properties and turning them down, Nintendo could have been the exclusive Skylanders partner.

I’ve always maintained that if Nintendo took the Skylanders concept and applied it to Pokémon, they’d be rolling around in more money right now than they had in the Wii days. Making obsessed Pokénuts catch ‘em all by buying physical toys for the 720 or so different critters would be a goldmine. Turns out, they could have.

In a look at the history of Skylanders on Polygon, creator Toys for Bob’s head honcho, the very cool Paul Reiche III said that Nintendo was looked at as an exclusive partner.

"They spent a long time looking and looking," says Reiche. "They were just like ‘we have never seen anything like this before.’ I’ve always wondered about the full meaning of that comment [laughs]."

Nintendo was fascinated, but opted to not make a full exclusivity deal.

"We have no idea why," says Reiche. "Clearly, they have got properties well suited to this world. Why it is that they didn’t rush in here will probably haunt them for the rest of their days."

In the end, it’s probably for the best. Skylanders itself probably wouldn’t have become the entertainment behemoth it is. In fact, I don’t think anybody could have predicted just how much of a prolific entertainment franchise Skylanders has become.

Reiche is still surprised nobody jumped o the bandwagon until Disney released Infinity last year.

"Nintendo could have kicked Disney’s ass," says Reiche. "If I was running Nintendo I would have jumped on this."

Last Updated: April 17, 2014

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