With Disney's withdrawal from the field, one school of thought maintains "Skylanders" (and, to a lesser extent, "Lego Dimensions") should benefit after a slowdown in sales last year.
Not everyone's convinced, though.
"I'm not expecting year over year growth," says Eric Handler, senior equity analyst at MKM Partners. "I think if they could be stable, that would be seen as a big positive."
One thing that could work to the series' advantage? The looming launch of a Skylanders TV show — "Skylanders Academy" — which is set to debut later this year.
"It's probably three or four years too late, but if they're the only survivor in this space, it may be there's a chance to grow the business again," says Handler. "The TV show sustains brand awareness and gives life to a brand. Beyblades was a very hot product for a while — and that was because they had a TV show that shows people the brand and what it was. And I think you need that for Skylanders."
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While some have compared toys to life games to the "Guitar Hero"/"Rock Band" bubble, which saw a rapid rise and fall, analysts say the comparison isn't that simple. Plastic guitars and drum kits not only took up a lot more space, they weren't toys kids could play with independently. As a result, music games were skewed at a notably older audience. (There's also a collector market for some of these toys — with some selling for over $1,000 on eBay.)
One company that seems to be, if not immune from the toys to life slowdown, then removed from it is Nintendo. The company's Amiibo figures continue to sell well. The company sold 40 million in the first nine months — and since it uses the figurines differently than other titles in the space (tying one or two to a specific title), it's a bit less dependent on coming up with a big new idea each year.
"Amiibo is the exception," says Taylor. "The fan boy base for Nintendo is legendary for supporting anything and everything that Nintendo does. It seems Amiibo is going to remain part of the landscape. The other guys are much more iteration-dependent. With Amiibos there's not generation one two or three like there is with Skylanders."