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Skylanders sales top $500 million

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(Credit: One of Swords/Activision)

When Activision-Blizzard launched Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure in 2011, there were a lot of questions about its chances of success. A hybrid toy/video game based on an aging franchise? Would people be interested?

The answer, of course, was yes. Skylanders has been a hit for toy companies and Activision alike. A really, really big hit, as life to date sales have now topped $500 million, reports Activision.

“Just a year ago, the concept of bringing toys to life in a virtual world was an untested play pattern. … Now the category has been established in the market and embraced by parents and kids everywhere,” said John Coyne, Vice President of Consumer Marketing, Activision Publishing. “We’re humbled by the continued support and acclaim from parents, kids and critics alike.”

Together, the game and action figures that are a part of the Skylanders franchise -- which consists of Spyro’s Adventure and last year’s Skylanders: Giants -- have taken over toy stores. NPD data shows that sales of the figurines outsold popular toylines such as Beyblades, Star Wars and WWE-branded toys through November of last year.

Skylanders: Giants, released last October, has already taken in over $195 million in game and figure sales. Activision, never one to let a Hollywood comparison slip by, notes this was more than the box office take of both “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Rise of the Guardians.”

While the half-a-billion-dollar club is certainly notable, there hasn’t been a lot of doubt about the success of Skylanders for a while. Rare versions of the figurines were fetching over $1,200 in the months following the original game’s release.

It has also breathed new life into the Spyro the Dragon, once a key Sony mascot, something Activision was hoping might happen when it released the original game.

"We were looking for a new way to reinvigorate [the series] and they came to the table with this idea of bringing physical toys to the game that got everyone's imaginations firing," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing at the game’s launch. "It took what was a smallish, moderately ambitious project and turned it into a larger one."

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