Home Gaming Does the toys-to-life genre need to change?

Does the toys-to-life genre need to change?

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Kids today, I tell ya. Back in my day, we could either play with our video games, or we could play with our toys. Of all the gaming trends that have come out lately, I am most jealous of the kids these days for being able to play with all manner of toys-to-life games. From Skylanders to Disney Infinity to LEGO Dimensions, there are just so many cool ways to enjoy your favorite universe. However, sales are waning and one new player on the scene thinks the lack of evolution is to blame.

Indie startup Jumo is hoping to target a different market when they release their toys-to-life game. Speaking to Games Industry, COO Chris Esaki explains that it’s a lack of of innovation that’s causing the genre to slump:

What’s happening in the current toys-to-life space is they’re not innovating. They’re not changing the game that much. And as a game player, when something doesn’t change, you just get tired of it. So I don’t know that it’s necessarily saturation; it’s just fatigue.

Typically, the genre is set with 8-10 year olds as the target market. However, the first Skylanders game came out about five years ago, and those kids have aged out of the range. Jump sees this as an opportunity, marketing their games at the 14+ bracket.

I have no idea if this other model will be successful, but I do think that we need to see some changes in the genre. What was revolutionary when it originally came out is now accepted as the norm. Of course toys can come to life. Of course those toys can store progress data so you can bring your toys to your friends’ houses to continue playing with them. Now those toys need to go to a new level and offer something that kids haven’t seen before, with gameplay aspects that can become more challenging as the fans transition into their teens. Of course what that evolution will look like is anyone’s guess.

Last Updated: April 21, 2016

15 Comments

  1. Ottokie

    April 21, 2016 at 11:34

    It’s fine where it is, since it’s for kiddies and when they become a kid 4 years later they will already have a Mincraft youtube channel up and running.

    Reply

  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    April 21, 2016 at 11:35

    Haven’t teenagers discovered other things to do with teenagers by that time besides playing with dolls?

    Reply

    • RinceThis

      April 21, 2016 at 11:48

      Darryn hasn’t?

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        April 21, 2016 at 11:58

        D’s Batman, he can do what he wants.

        Reply

        • miaau

          April 21, 2016 at 11:58

          D’s Batman, he can be what he wants.

          Reply

          • RinceThis

            April 21, 2016 at 11:59

            0_O

          • miaau

            April 21, 2016 at 12:00

            yes. It is. So there.

            Hah.

            What does 0_O mean?

          • RinceThis

            April 21, 2016 at 12:16

            Surprise, one eye opened wider than the other.

          • miaau

            April 21, 2016 at 12:55

            ah, thanks.

        • RinceThis

          April 21, 2016 at 11:59

          Is he though?!

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            April 21, 2016 at 12:28

            He’s a lot of things

    • miaau

      April 21, 2016 at 12:56

      Wait a minute, wait just one minute. No, teenagers wait till they are old to understand the emotional and personal ramifications of their inter-personal relations with other teenagers. Right. I mean, I did. Surely, that is a good example there.

      Or perhaps I was just a big nerd. Who knows? (in reality, I do)

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        April 21, 2016 at 13:11

        What? I was just referring to them all getting cellphones. Mobile games are the future, or something.

        Reply

    • BakedBagel

      April 21, 2016 at 14:19

      “Haven’t teenagers discovered other things to do with teenagers”

      like drugs? 😀

      Reply

  3. miaau

    April 21, 2016 at 11:58

    I cannot wait till my first child is old enough for this. I view this as a great father / daughter bonding time.

    I think this can be AWESOME.

    Is the market not also, for certain games, for kids of 3 or 4? Other gamers on this site said previously they played these with their toddler age kids, under 5.

    And for 14+ they need to call it action figures, for sure.

    Reply

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