New York's American International Toy Fair February 5, 2013
Early Report from our pal Nik Sardos! Twitter Web Site
For the last couple of years Skylanders has gone from a gimmicky Spyro spin-off to the most relevant toys to television line since Captain Power. First up, fans attending an event held at Toys R Us Times Square on February 5, 2013 received the Ninjini figure, "Any Last Wishes?"
The real scoop comes from a separate press event. The next game in the series is called Skylanders: Swap Force, which in no way involves fish bowls or car keys. Hot off of Skylanders: Giants, Activision said their figures outsold Star Wars last year... which Star Wars collectors can probably tell you wasn't too hard given the availability of new characters.
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The new big change this time is you can actually customize the figures. The top and bottom halves of the figure can be exchanged, allowing you to alter the figure as well as the in-game character. But how? Surprisingly strong magnets will connect the figures. Nik's hands-on time with the figures revealed that they were "not too hard where kids can't swap, but are strong enough they won't fall apart if the kid wants to play with them."
Video - Skylanders: Swap Force Magnet Demo
CEO Jerry Storch was quoted as saying it was a "breakthrough [in] innovation and creative excellence," but you'll just be happy that each chunk of the figure will be recognized by the game portal so that you can get a unique look with different powers. The bottom piece will control travel abilities, while the top handles the battle functions. Nice! With 16 new "Swap Force" characters, the math says we should be looking at about 250 unique combinations. With a new octopus-like sea captain creature named Wash Buckler, a sensible magnet-headed being, and an explosive knight who packs cartoon-style bombs, this should prove a popular series.
There will also be 16 new core characters thrown into the mix.
An entirely new graphics engine is fully backward-compatible, according to Vicarious Visions developer Guha Bala. All of your old figures can still be used in the game, and we're being told they can now jump, too! New Swap Force figures will not, however, work in previous installments of this series.
Swap force zones will use the specific travel ability of lower half of your figure. Rocket zones have new flying mechanics, plus ground, dig, climb and other zones will be present for your amusement.
The game is expected in Fall 2013 on the usual platforms like the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, Wii, 3DS, and... maybe something new as well.
--Copy by Adam Pawlus, Reporting and all Photography by Nik Sardos
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