With Skylanders having forged a path in the toy-game hybrid sector, it was almost inevitable that competition would eventually appear. Enter Disney Infinity. Youth research agency Dubit takes a look at its potential impact in the market.

Talk of the Playground: Disney Infinity vs Skylanders

As Disney Infinity launched on August 23rd, the team at Dubit wanted to find out what impact the new toy-game hybrid would have on the existing space led by Skylanders.

We began by looking at some of the competition, which as well as Skylanders also featured popular virtual worlds: Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin, the ground breaking Minecraft and the excellent LEGO games. They don’t all utilise near-field communication (NFC) but are popular with this demographic.

Our sample of 500 six to 12 year olds clearly love video games. 35 per cent play LEGO-based games and 34 per cent play Minecraft. The virtual world space is dominated by Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters. This doesn’t include children who only play with the toys. Skylanders is bottom of that list, but is still played by an impressive 19 per cent.

With plenty of kids playing video game toy tie-ins, we’d expect them to be pretty excited about the launch of Disney Infinity.

However, our research shows that only 33 per cent were aware of it. But we then showed our sample a two-minute trailer to bring them up to speed.

The trailer is a success, as an impressive 46 per cent of children say they expect to either definitely or probably buy Disney Infinity. Only six per cent are positive they won’t be getting Disney’s cool new toy. Infinity appealed across all age groups and boys are slightly keener than girls.

On which version store owners should stock up on, that was even too. Xbox 360 owners make up 19 per cent of prospective buyers, the same number is true of PS3 owners and 17 per cent own a Wii.

Skylanders players are more excited about Infinity than non-players, with 26 per cent expecting to definitely get Disney Infinity compared to 16 per cent over all.

Part of the appeal of Disney Infinity is the array of characters it will bring to life. We asked children that were expecting to buy the game which characters they were looking forward to playing with (they could pick three).

Top of the class is Monsters University (60 per cent) followed by Pirates of the Caribbean (56 per cent) and Toy Story (47 per cent).

Clearly Disney Infinity is doing something right and should prove to be a big hit in August. Skylanders has a battle on its hands, but we’re sure there’s enough space for two toy-based video games out there.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens when the NFC-enabled Pokémon Scramble U is released.

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