>> Super Mario eyeing a jump to Mickey Mouse style merchandising. With the Pokemon Go craze in full swing but earning still deep in the red, Nintendo is taking a queue from the Disney playbook. Looking to bring its characters past the struggling console business and into the wider world of toys, books and beyond.
As Reuters Tim Kelly reports from Tokyo, it could be sitting on a gold mine.>> That could be a very strong stream of revenue. If you look at Disney, they make billions each year from merchandising deals. In the last full year of Disney’s results, it was close on to a tenth of the revenue came from merchandising.
For Nintendo, that figure is still at the 1% level so the potential is there for them, it’s a case of whether they can now seize that and get those deals done.>> With millions of people glued to their phones hunting for CGI monsters, experts say now is the time to take Pikachu out of his pixellated comfort zone and bring Mario and the rest of the Nintendo gang along for what could be a very financially rewarding ride.
The company has resisted a shift in focus away from games for a long time but execs know that's not a good decision in the long run.>> Their essential message has been watch this space and there are things coming down the pipeline. It's a change in strategy for the company and after several years of looking at their console sales stagnating, they seem to have come to the realization that this for Nintendo is now the best option.
>> Of course, there's no guarantee the company could pull off a merchandising master class on Disney's level. Franchises like Star Wars and Toy Story helped rake in $4.5 billion from consumer products last year alone. But right now, it's harder to picture a better time to get Nintendo's big names beyond the digital map.