The 'three ages' of digital integration between toys and video games

Nomad Games MD Don Whiteford explains how the lines between traditional toys and video games are blurring, and why it's for the good of both sectors.
Publish date:
Social count:
0 Nomad Games.png

While there are plenty of examples of toy brands moving into the digital medium, new collaborations between forward-thinking businesses in both sectors is creating lucrative new commercial opportunities.

These new collaborations between the two markets has evolved via three ages of integration, namely:-

Branded Playtime: Where video games are based on the toy IP (intellectual property) and create a new experience or portrayal; e.g. Hot Wheels, Action Man, Bratz, Transformers and LEGO themed adventures. This has been happening for a very long time.

Crossover Playtime: Where a physical product has a digital equivalent that essentially does the same thing; e.g. LEGO and Minecraft. This is a more recent development and is particularly obvious in the category of board, card and dice games, where the portability of mobile devices has stimulated the genre.

Augmented Playtime: Where a technology toy and a video game work together; e.g. Amiibo and Skylanders. This is an emerging development and is typified by physical characters being used as ‘keys’ to unlock experiences in video games.

From a toy-maker’s perspective, crossover and augmented playtime are the most fertile areas for creativity.

In both cases the physical and virtual play value can exist independently, but when brought together can create a new experience. With crossover products we have anecdotal evidence that a digital version of a game boosts sales of the physical equivalent.

Nomad Games is now looking to extend its portfolio by taking other card and board games to digital formats through licensing agreements with both established brands and board game inventors.


Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 11.27.34.png

Generation Gaming: The rise of video games in the toy space

With gaming overtaking film as the largest entertainment industry in the world, there has never been a better time to embrace the cross-generational appeal of licensed video games product. With more game franchises pushing into the toys space, Jack Ridsdale examines why this growing market has not yet cracked the mainstream.


Digital kids

Carl Hibbert, head of entertainment content and delivery at Futuresource, looks at how conventional pastimes remain important to children in the face of technology.


Game on

Despite new pressure from the video games sector, which has moved into social gaming in a big way, a recent Reuters poll showed many consumers are returning to board games and puzzles, as staying in becomes the new going out. ToyNews finds out what is new in the market...

Featured Jobs

Vivid Job Logo 620 x 349

Digital Marketing Executive - Toys & Games

Vivid is Britain’s biggest toy company and the 20 largest in the world. With offices across the globe, they sell an amazing portfolio of toys and games to over 60 countries. Vivid is best known for its association with blockbuster brands and is very excited about future opportunities around the world.


UK Sales Agents

Liberty House Toys have been appointed as the exclusive UK distributor for the BiOBUDDi brand, and we are pleased to introduce this new unique, innovative and exciting range of 100% environmentally-friendly toy building blocks. We are seeking experienced sales agents with existing network in the toy retail market.

Gameplan Job Logo 620 x 349

Head of Product Development & Marketing

Our client is a privately owned French toy and games manufacturer which sells through distributors in forty countries. The company develops and sells innovative electronic interactive toys and games for the educational and gaming markets, and also takes suitable licenses. To progress its successful business development a Head of Product Development & Marketing is to to recruited.

HIT Entertainment Job Logo 620 x 349

Licensing Systems Administrator

The Contract System Coordinator is a newly created role to support the deal term entry process into Mattel’s new Contract Management System for its Licensing business. The role will support the Business Teams at the Deal & Amendment phase of the contracting process and act in conjunction with the System Administration team.