Today’s gamers see no difference between what is physical and what is digital; it’s all real to them. That may well be the reason that physical toy / console based games like Skylanders and Disney Infinity did so well in 2014. As a category, these types of products were up a big 70% in 2013. That's not all, Activision’s Skylanders, despite competition from Disney Infinity, was the number 1 selling children’s video game franchise in 2013.
The success of phygital play is resulting in toys (for the record, NPD does not calculate them as toys but as "video game accessories") showing up in some surprising places … like GameStop, whick keeps a significant amount of shelf space for Skylanders/Disney Infinity games and toys.
What is the lesson from all of this for traditional toy companies? It may be that the future will belong to those who understand that there is no difference to kids in whether a play experience is physical or virtual; they expect both. That means providing them with a play experience that spans both. Those who take advantage of this moment in play history may well be the winners of the decade.