Toys & Video Games Merge

Activision is betting big this coming Christmas on a new convergence video game-slash-toy set called Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, which brings the popular purple dragon Spyro into a whole new realm. The $70 title comes with a full video game, a “Portal of Power” device, and 30 collectible toy figurines that can interface directly with the game.

The key to the experience is the toys, which are more than just standard action figures. The toys have memory chips inside that allow them to interact with the game on multiple gaming platforms, including handheld devices and major consoles, and even the Internet, remembering achievements and your game history wherever they go. Activision has dubbed the Skylanders toys, which are being manufactured by Activision’s wholly-owned toy company Toys for Bob, “Inter-action figures.”

But lest you think it’s all about the toys, the game itself is getting plenty of high level attention as well. Screenwriters Alek Sokolow & Joel Cohen, who worked on the first Toy Story movie, wrote the game’s story, and prolific film score writer Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight, Inception) provides the music.

The key to the experience is the personalities and powers of the toy characters, each of which is unique and brings different experiences to the game. The game offers drop-in/drop-out capabilities via the toy characters, of which you can use as many as you like in a single game. Kids can play in co-op with friends, or against their friends in PvP mode.

Specific platforms haven’t been announced yet, but with this much money and marketing muscle being pumped into what’s clearly being positioned as the start of a franchise, I have to assume that Activision is planning a full blitz, with versions of the software available for every conceivable device. Toys R Us is even partnering with Activision to market the game. The game will also get a huge push at the annual International Toy Fair, which is set for February 13-16 in New York.

Activision offloaded a slew of screenshots and images of the toys, which you can check out below. Also, the video above gives you an idea of how the game and toys work. The game’s website is at skylandersgame.com.

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Robin Parrish
@robinparrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

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