Nintendo Co., Ltd (TYO:7974) announced a new type of product today called Amiibo, which are figurines that have an NFC chip and can be used in compatible games using a Wii U controller. During a presentation, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime referred to Amiibo is a “toys to life category.” Disney Infinity and the Skylanders Trap Team also have special NFC features for the Wii U gamepad that lets the figurines “come to life” in compatible games.
The character data from the Amiibo figure that you are using is downloaded to the game that you are playing. Data can go from the game to the figure as well. This means that the figure evolves as you play.
The first game to support Amiibo is Super Smash Bros. and the collectible figures are expected to arrive during the holiday season of 2014. Each figure can develop unique abilities and skills. Amiibo is being preparing for many other games like Mario Kart 8 as well.