The second edition of this report identifies the main challenges faced by the ‘smart toy’ market, also known as ‘toys-to-life’, over the next two years.
It highlights this fledgling sector’s major players from the toy and video game industries, examines their offerings, and also looks at new entrants looking to challenge them.
It analyses the main trends and key success factors of smart toys, and provides data (volume of smart toys sold, market value) for the period between 2015 and 2020, broken down per geographical region.

Table of contents

1. Executive Summary

2. Methodology
2.1. General methodology of IDATE reports
2.2. Methodology for estimating the market

3. Introduction: context
3.1. Definition of the smart toy concept
3.2. Industry context characterised by the convergence of two entertainment areas, video games and toys
3.3. A three-sided market, pursuing combinatorial strategies
3.4. A sector born of industrial and technological convergence

4. Smart toys in the video game industry
4.1. The major industry players and their results
4.1.1. Activision Blizzard, the smart toy market leader with Skylanders
4.1.2. Disney: an ambitious competitor to Activision
4.1.3. Nintendo, the new entrant in the smart toys market
4.1.4. Some of the challengers
4.2. Two major smart toy categories in the video game industry
4.2.1. Action/adventure smart toys
4.2.2. Fighting smart toys

5. Smart toys in the toy industry
5.1. Strategy adopted by the major toy industry players in the smart toy sector
5.1.1. Mattel: turnover in sharp decline, negligible smart toy offering
5.1.2. LEGO: heavy investment in R&D and a desire to compete directly with Skylanders and Infinity
5.1.3. Hasbro: smart toys for revisiting the most popular toys and games
5.2. Some of the challengers
5.3. Market positionings
5.3.1. The various smart toy categories in the toy industry
5.3.2. LEGO Dimensions, a game changer for the toy industry
5.4. Technologies used for interfacing
5.5. The toy is the main source of value

6. Industry takeaways and future prospects
6.1. The main industry takeaways
6.2. Ten opportunities and challenges for 2016-2017
6.3. Market outlook
6.3.1. Industry context
6.3.2. Methodology
6.3.3. Market estimates

List of tables and figures

List of tables and figures

Table 1: Games available as part of the Skylanders franchise in 2015
Table 2: amiibo features in Splatoon
Table 3: Notable smart toys developed by video game start-ups
Table 4: Description of the two major smart toy categories in the video game industry
Table 5: Description of the pricing and business models used by action/adventure smart toys
Table 6: Turnover of the 8 largest players in the toy industry, in 2013 and 2014
Table 7: Notable smart toys developed by major toy industry players
Table 8: Notable smart toys developed by toy industry start-ups
Table 9: Number of smart toys sold by geographic region
Table 10: Smart toy market growth

Figure 1: Geminose by Starbreeze
Figure 2: Tiggly Toys by Tiggly
Figure 3: How Skylanders works
Figure 4: Skylanders: SuperChargers
Figure 5: Disney Infinity 3.0
Figure 6: Amiibo figurines
Figure 7: Compatibility of various amiibo figurines with Nintendo video games
Figure 8: Apptivity Cut the Rope
Figure 9: View-Master Sizzle
Figure 10: LEGO’s R&D spending, 2010-2014
Figure 11: LEGO Fusion
Figure 12: LEGO Dimensions starter pack on Xbox One
Figure 13: Rankings for entertainment software in the United Kingdom, week ending 3 October 2015
Figure 14: Monopoly zAPPed
Figure 15: Connection technologies used between the mobile device and toy for smart toys in the toy industry
Figure 16: Growth in value of the video game and toy markets
Figure 17: Hasbro Interactive’s problem and solution
Figure 18: Bowser and Donkey Kong in Skylanders: SuperChargers
Figure 19: Donkey Kong and Bowser amiibo
Figure 20: The steps to success for smart toys
Figure 21: Geographical distribution of figurines sold in 2015
Figure 22: Geographical distribution of figurines sold in 2020
Figure 23: Growth in the number of smart toys sold
Figure 24: Growth in average price of a figurine
Figure 25: Smart toy market growth
Figure 26: Relative share of the smart toy market compared with its reference markets

Geographic area

Asia-Pacific Europe Latin America Middle East & Africa North America World


  • Activision Blizzard
  • Disney Games
  • Hanakai
  • Hasbro
  • Identity Game Talpa
  • Jakks Pacific
  • LeapFrog
  • LEGO
  • Marbotic
  • Mattel
  • Melissa & Doug
  • MGA Entertainment
  • Nintendo
  • Nordeau Creative
  • NukoToys
  • Playmobil
  • Roam & Wander
  • Seebo
  • Spinmaster
  • StarBreeze Studios
  • Tiggly
  • Ubooly
  • Vivid
  • WowWee


• A market halfway between the video game industry and the toy industry
• An oligopoly that will change gear in 2016
• Endless potential for content
• Four main business models
• Key success factors
• Ten opportunities and challenges for 2016-2017
• Ten opportunities and challenges for 2016-2017
• More than 660 million smart toys sold by 2020
• A global market worth 8.4 billion EUR in 2020

Other details

  • Reference: M15275IN1A
  • Delivery: on the DigiWorld Interactive platform
  • Languages available: French, English
  • Tags: AAA toys, AAA video games, amiibo figurines, augmented reality, big screen, Disney Infinity, entertainment, figurines, first party approach, Free-to-Play, gaming companies, industry giants, industry players, LEGO Dimensions, LEGO Fusion, mainstream smart toys, Marvel, mobile platforms, new entrants, onslaught, phygital, Pixar, prospects, second party approach, Skylanders, Smart toys, Star Wars, three-sided market, toy industry, toy manufacturers, toys-to-life, TTT, user experience, video game publishers, video games, virtual reality

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