When my older kids were younger, I was actively playing the game. Heading to events, making lists, testing them out. I had my figures out a lot during this time, and being cool looking monsters and stuff, the kids were very interested in them. At first i was reluctant to let them do more than look, but they quickly learned that these weren't action figures that you could bash into each other...at least not for long, not without daddy packing them away again.
So they got to play with them. Mostly lining them up, sometimes telling little stories. Xavy would attack bases and destroy things, Neva would declare one monster to be the mamma monster, and some units to be the baby...this works best with Pteradax and Pteradactix, clearly. But everyone got to play, after a fashion.
Most of my figures have been in the basement for the past year, pretty much untouched. While recently moving my painting station upstairs, some of my Monpoc figs came with me. And it wasn't long before I started letting 17 month old Xander play with them. He can be a little rough with them, but I play with him the whole time. With the older kids, I felt fine letting them play on their own, but Xander can't reliable remember not so smash them together, put them back in their case, or not deposit them into a laundry hamper.
It may not be another player ready to drop dice, but it's a (baby) step in that direction.
Now, excuse me, I need to re-attach Alpha Defender X's right arm...toddler play can be rough on a giant robot.