What is Skylanders?
Skylanders is a video game with a twist. The game requires you to place collectible figures on a “Portal of Power” in order to use those characters in the game. The starter pack gives you a few characters to start with, but you need to buy the rest. This is either an evil gimmick or marketing genius, depending on your point-of-view. Regardless, the game is a lot of fun. You can play one or two player and the game is fine for little kids. I play with my three year old. He actually likes playing with the figures more than playing the video game.
Are the Skylanders games popular?
Yes! It was the number one console game during the period of January-September 2012, based on revenues earned from the game and figures. It’s currently one of the hottest kids franchises in the world.
What systems can the Skylanders games be played on?
You can buy versions of the games for Wii, Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, and the 3DS. Make sure you buy the right version! Note that the 3DS versions are very different than the others.
Which game should I buy?
There are two Skylanders games. Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure came out in October 2011 and Skylanders: Giants was released in October 2012. You can start with either game, but the new figures from Skylanders: Giants won’t work in Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure (with the exception of reposed (series 2) versions of the original characters). However, all figures, including the series 1 figures, will work in Skylanders: Giants.
We already own Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure. Which version of the Skylanders: Giants game should I buy?
While the Starter Pack is more expensive, there are two benefits to spending the extra money. First, you get two extra figures. And second, you get an extra portal, in case one breaks. But even better is that the new portal connects to your game system with a wire instead of using batteries that need to be replaced frequently. (The original Xbox portal was already wired, so this is no big deal if you play the Xbox version.)
Which characters should I buy?
You don’t NEED to buy more figures, but if your kids like the game, they’re going to want more characters to play with. If you’re going to buy a bunch of figures, consider that the game has special areas restricted to certain character types. So buying one of each type could make sense. The eight types are: Magic, Water, Tech, Fire, Earth, Life, Air and Undead. (Remember that the starter pack comes with three figures, so you won’t need to buy eight more to have all eight types.)
Will the Series 1 figures from Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure work in Skylanders: Giants?
Yes, they’ll work and they’ll get the boost in the level cap from 10 to 15. However, they won’t have the new “Wow Pow” upgrade power and won’t be abe to choose more than one upgrade path.
Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure featured 32 different figures (33 if you count Dark Spyro, which comes with the 3DS version). Skylanders: Giants adds 49 more figures: 8 Giants, 8 brand new regular-sized Skylanders, 8 LightCore Skylanders (which light up while on the portal), 24 reposed versions of characters from Spyro’s Adventure, plus Punch Pop Fizz, a red version of Pop Fizz exclusive to the 3DS version.
Wait, what about the Legendary figures and the color variations?
Yes, it’s true. There are even more figures than those mentioned above. The “Legendary” versions of characters are exclusive to Toys R Us and are painted differently and have slightly better stats in the game. There are also color variations of many characters such as red, blue, clear, glow-in-the-dark, etc. (Although the characters don’t have these colors in the game itself.) Unless you’re a serious collector with a lot of money, you don’t have to worry about the color variations.
How much do the figures cost?
Regular-sized Skylanders cost about $10 (some older figures can be found for as low as $5), Giants are about $15, and the LightCore Skylanders are about $12.