Written by Troy Benedict Friday, 21 October 2011 11:00
Have you heard about the new Spyro game -- that might turn out to be a total craze amongst kids and adult gamers alike? The game Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, from Activision, for the Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 has the chance of being the next Pokemon-style game, by incentivizing toys purchased to enhance and improve the gaming experience.
The Skylanders starter package is priced at $69.99 retail. What you get with that is the game for the system of your choice, a “portal of power” (which we’ll talk about in a second), and 3 Skylanders figurines, and some additional non-console gaming merchandise (posters, trading cards, and codes to use on the web site).
Using the Portal of Power, which plugs into your console’s USB port, you can bring your figurine into the game, and store your character’s data within the figurine, as something of a memory stick, which you can bring over to your friends’ homes and “summon” the character into their game. Apparently, the figurines are cross-platform, too, meaning that you can play Skylanders on the Wii and bring it over and play on your friend’s Xbox 360 version. Pretty cool.
Conveniently, Skylanders is here just in time for the holiday season. Playing (and enjoying) Skylanders to it’s fullest is going to cost you -- and cost you a lot! For one, the start pack is already $20 more than usual Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (and $20 more than the retail cost for Wii games). Character packs are sold individually or in packs of 3. For one figure the retail cost is $7.99. For the 3-pack you’re going to have to shell out $19.99.
I don’t know how many figures are available for purchase currently, but right now it’s “manageable” but likely to cost you at least $200 to acquire all of the current figures. I’m assuming also that as the popularity (and demand) grows, new figures will be able to be added to the game, which means more money for you to spend.
As a technology enthusiast, I think the concept of Skylanders is a really neat idea. I especially like the fact that you can play with your friends no matter which console they’re playing it on. Activision is definitely getting word about this game out before the holiday season, which would be huge if the craze grows to the “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” like that of Pokemon.
What I do know is that, as a parent and a gamer, if we do pick up Skylanders for the kids, I’m going to have to know when the kids want to actually play with the figurines rather than using them with the game, like intended. Which means that they’ll likely spread the toys out amongst the various corners or the rooms throughout the house, under the couch, or in one of our bazillion toy boxes.
I can’t help but laugh thinking about the whole Beanie Baby craze back in the late 90s and how it might apply today with “serious gaming parents” and their kids; where parents would go so far as to buy their kids Beanie Babies but not let the kids actually play with them, as intended, because there was a strong possibility of them becoming a collector’s item and worth a lot of money some day. I can see a lot of frustrated younder hardcore gaming parents explaining to the children that they Skylanders toys are not to played unless they’re being used on the Portal of Power.
Congratulations, Activision. If this catches on, you’ll have caused quite the craze amongst gaming enthusiasts and parents, and the kids!