Spyro on the Portal of Power

Spyro on the Portal of Power

There is a video game called Skylanders that was released in 2011.   Games in the series are played by placing character figures on the “Portal of Power”, a device that reads the figures’ tags through NFC and “imports” the character represented by the figure into the game as a playable character.  Essentially, an interactive, action figure collecting, video game.  Please pardon my ignorance if I get some info wrong but I’m old.

 

Where have I been?

“Wait…this is only PART of an OLD collection!?“

“Wait…this is only PART of an OLD collection!?“

Activision (the creator of Guitar Hero and Call of Duty) has apparently nailed another dream for younger (and older nerdy) gamers.  As of February 2015, the Skylanders series has crossed the threshold of $3 billion in sales, with 175 million toys sold since 2011, making the series one of the top 20 highest-selling video game franchises of all time.

 

Toys as characters?

4 years after the release I’m finally learning that gamers are purchasing action figures, standing them on the “Portal of Power”, and having the character interact with the video game.  Let me see if I can nail down the allure without ever having played the game or saw a figurine.

  • Don't mess with this fucker.

    Don’t mess with this fucker.

    Figurines are seen as collectibles.  The same way a rare “magic” card was desirable; harder to find figurines are worth spending for.

  • My assumption is some figurines are better than other figurines and thus worth more money?
  • The ability to purchase and collect weapons.  The same way Diablo had better, more unique weapons, this game does as well.
  • Ability to brag that your character is better than your friends.  So not only is he better in the game, but you can bring him over to your friends’ house and show off how much more kick ass he is in real life.

Even McDonalds has gotten into the craze offering free toys.  I’d guess these are shitty version but hats off to smart marketing to the 10+ year old gamers.

 

News Travels Slow to the Old

Bulwinkle J. Moose

Bulwinkle J. Moose

When I see this I wonder how this is the first I’ve ever heard of a craze so rampant amongst the younger generation? This has been going on for years and 175 million action figures of only this game have been sold. I have to imagine there are other consoles offering competing versions and the demand for “cool” characters like Batman, Scooby Doo, and Bulwinkle exist. What a concept. It just shows how easy it is to be out of touch with a generation when you never interact with them.