Ever since we found out that the Wii U's GamePad controller would support NFC, it's always seemed likely that Nintendo would use the technology to capitalize on the popularity of Activision's Skylanders — the dominating multiplatform franchise that gets kids to buy figurines which appear in the game on screen. It now appears that the first game to do so will be Pokemon Scramble U, a downloadable title due to be released for the Wii U on April 24th for 1,800 yen (about $19). The information comes from Japanese magazine Corocoro Comic, scans of which are floating around the internet.

Despite the potential to turn the full menagerie of several hundred Pokemon into NFC figurines, Nintendo appears to be starting small with Pokemon Scramble U, which will be called Pokemon Rumble U in the US: there will only be seven toys available at launch (including Pikachu), and they'll sell for 200 yen (about $2) apiece. Still, even with the Wii U suffering unimpressive sales so far, Nintendo could be sitting on a goldmine if kids prove as willing to buy miniature Pokemon as Skylanders dragons.