It looks as though we are entering a day and age where a video game can’t seem to stand on its own two feet without a toy to go along with it. While Skylanders have been insanely popular and I am in no way bashing them because the game is fun, it seems like everyone is trying to get a piece of the action. Within the last month we have heard about two titles that will use a similar approach to upcoming titles with Disney and now Pokémon jumping into the game. The newest Pokémon game for the Wii U, Pokémon Rumble U, will use the same figurines that Skylanders so cleverly invented and not only are the more affordable, getting an entire set will be trickier than you think.
Today, as reported by Kotaku, the Pokémon company reviled their tiny characters that will utilize the ability of the Wii U gamepad’s near-field communication abilities to scan these tiny little guys into the game for your use as you please. While these little guys are much smaller than that of the Skylanders figures, they are priced much more affordably too. In Japan, the micro-sized creations will run 200 Yen each, which equates to about $2.11 in American money. While this might have fans jumping for joy as obtaining a full set to start will only cost a consumer about $14, the feat may not be as easy as you think, and not only that, the scheme put forth by the Pokémon company is nothing short of genius.
While Skylanders run about $8-9 a pop at retail, you can select the Skylander that fits both your needs for collection and desires for game play. The catch with the Pokémon is, even though you save money, you don’t have the same ability and risk duplication with every purchase. No one will know what is to come in the packaging upon purchase because the Pokémon company will be attempting to take as much out of your pocketbook as possible, by placing the miniature figures in a bubble casing much like that of a vending machine. Instead of seeing what’s inside, it will be black so that the contents remains a mystery.
While this might seem like a rip-off to consumers, and in the same breathe it is, it is a marketing goldmine by Pokémon. There is little doubt that fans will flop down tons of cash knowing that the opportunity to obtain a given character is just $3 away. The disappointment when opening your 52nd Pikachu will turn to greed and envy of the next guy opening the character needed to complete your set. While the characters are tradable and at this time there is only 6, there is little doubt that more will be on the way, especially if both the figures and game sell well. As the market grows for games such as this, more companies will probably lean to the side of what the Pokémon company is doing because the benefits are greater than the cost of bigger figures and selling them at a slightly higher cost. Its a fact, if you enjoy something enough, most consumers will spend what is needed to fulfill their desire. If your a Pokémon fan you may want to start saving your pennies now because even getting all 6 of the first characters will no doubt cost you more than it should, and could, in the end.