Pikachu and Link will be among the first characters coming to "amiibo."

Nintendo says 12 characters will be part of its upcoming toy-game line set for release later this year. The initial line-up will include Mario, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Samus Aran, Kirby, Marth, Fox McCloud, the "Wii Fit" Trainer and the Villager from "Animal Crossing."

The figures in the "amiibo" toy-game line will each cost $12.99 and work in tandem with such upcoming titles as "Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker" and "Super Smash Bros."

The characters' virtual histories will be stored on the plastic figures and transmitted through the touchscreen controller for the Wii U console, similar to "Skylanders" and "Disney Infinity."

Nintendo is hoping the new toy-game line will help boost sales of its beleaguered Wii U console.