Perhaps things have gone a little too far. When it was only Skylanders, the NFC figure fad was okay. One line, about 40 to collect and that’s fine. We can handle that. Except this proved to be more than a passing fad. It transformed into a cavalcade, with Disney and Nintendo following Activision’s example. Now, at E3 2015, it’s clearer than ever before that NFC figures are set to become a permanent fixture in our homes.
When I went into my meeting with Activision about Skylanders Superchargers at E3 2015, the representatives made a point of referring to their NFC figures as the “original” toys. The staff went over the newly added vehicles and enhancements that will make their line even more like actual toys.
With Disney, it was all about capitalizing on the various properties that people love and enjoy. You love Star Wars, right? And all those Marvel super heroes are so cool. Don’t forget the Disney icons that were by your side growing up. They’re all here. They’re back again. The Toy Box and racing are so much better now. Look at these NFC figures. Nostalgia was key here.
Nintendo was banking on nostalgia too, creating NFC figures of characters they can’t resist. It’s almost as though the company is reaching a point where every amiibo is simultaneously endearing and exceedingly rare. Whereas the Disney Infinity 3.0 NFC figures were easily displayed in a gate, ready for anyone to come up, examine and enjoy them, Nintendo’s amiibo were sheltered away in cases, with staff ready to shoo people away if they even came close to possibly touching the case.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Lego Dimension toys had the honor of being the newbies this year, and were as accessible as Nintendo’s amiibo were elusive. During the presentation on the game, it kept coming up that these were the only NFC figures that were actually toys, with the vehicles crafted being able to be reconfigured to change their shape and function within the game. It kept coming back to how these weren’t just NFC figures, but real Legos that people could enjoy.