Skylanders franchise is a half a billion dollar industry in the US alone

The Skylanders line of toys and video games has netted over $500 million to date in sales at retail in the U.S., according to Activision.

According to NPD data collected between January and November 2012, figures produced for both last fall's Skylanders: Giants and the original Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure released in Oct. 2011 have outsold some of the country's top action figure toy lines, including Beyblades, Star Wars and WWE.

The Skylanders: Giants video game along with its figures and accessory packs netted more than $195 million in sales in the U.S. in 2012. According to NPD data, Skylanders: Giants also topped box office sales for the top children's films during the 2012 holiday season. These include Wreck-It Ralph, with a total gross of just over $178 million, and Rise of the Guardians, with a gross of about $97 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Skylanders: Giants was honored with a number of awards, including the National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval, the National Parenting Publications Awards and the Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval. The game also has four nominations in the Toy Industry Association's 2013 Toy of the Year Awards, including "Best E-connected Toy of the Year," "Boy Toy of the Year," "Property of the Year" and "Game of The Year". The TOTY winners will be announced in New York City on Feb. 9.

"Just a year ago, the concept of bringing toys to life in a virtual world was an untested play pattern that Activision and Toys For Bob believed in. Now the category has been established in the market and embraced by parents and kids everywhere," said Activision's vice president of consumer marketing John Coyne in a press release. "We're humbled by the continued support and acclaim from parents, kids and critics alike, but more importantly, it's gratifying to see kids excited about the adventures that await them both in the digital and physical worlds."

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