Nintendo is experiencing a surprise comeback this year, as its profit triples thanks to its new interactive figures, Amiibo.
The self-proclaimed toy firm lost 23.2 billion yen ($193 million) last year, but thanks to the launch of its NFC toy line – featuring characters such as Mario, Link and Sonic – the firm is now on course to hit 36.8 billion yen for 2014.
The results would mark a vindication of sorts for President Satoru Iwata, suggests Bloomberg, who stuck with a strategy of selling his games only on Nintendo devices rather than smartphones and tablets.
The Kyoto-based company now projects that it will take in 1billion yen ($8.2 million) from Amiibo in US sales.
“Nintendo has picked up good momentum heading in to the Christmas season,” said Tokyo-based analyst, Tomoaki Kawasaki.
“This time they have a hit line-up. Amiibo represents a new revenue source, and we are watching it very closely.”
The second wave of Amiibo figures is due for release next Friday, with another two scheduled for early in the New Year, following reports that three of the original 12 Amiibo characters have already been discontinued.
‘We will aim for certain Amiibo to always be available,’ read an official statement from Nintendo. ‘These will be for our most popular characters like Mario and Link. Due to shelf space constraints, other figures likely will not return to the market once they have sold through their initial shipment.’
For now, only speculation surrounds which of these characters have been discontinued, with various experts noting the sudden disappearance of the Villager from Animal Crossing, Marth from Fire Emblem and Wii Fit Trainer characters.