“This is no ordinary toy,” says President of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime after pulling out a Skylanders-esque figurine of everyone’s favorite plumber. The plastic image of Mario is the first of a new line of products called “Amiibo”, that Nintendo has announced at their Digital Event stream. According to Fils-Aime, each figurine is designed with a unique chip that can be read by the Wii U GamePad. Once they are read, they can interact with a game in a variety of ways.

A key feature of the Amiibo is that the unique data in the figurine will change based on how you play. For example, a player’s unique stats in Super Smash Bros. can be applied to the figure’s data, making the character’s gameplay mechanics change and evolve. This growth can be developed in single-player gameplay and when playing against other players, but the growth occurs even faster if played against another Amiibo-enhanced character. A character’s special moves can be customized as each individual figure compiles unique data, acting as a sort of “alter ego” for the owner of the Amiibo. This also means that each figure will be unique from identical ones, bringing more individuality to each player.

Games that are confirmed to be in development for Amiibo functionality include:

  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U
  • Mario Kart 8
  • Yoshi’s Woolly World
  • Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker
  • Mario Party 10

Expect more information on Amiibo’s capabilities to surface in the coming week.