Toy Fair 2013 – Skylanders: Swap Force – Toys and Video Games in One!

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When a video game or toy company stumbles upon a golden cross-marketing opportunity, it's like a lightning bolt to the face.

Kids love video games. Kids love toys. Find a way to combine the virtual world of action and adventure with the real world collectibility of beautifully designed and detailed figurines. Throw in some humor and kick it off with a name brand character like Spyro the Dragon and you have a hit on your hands.

The mechanics for the game are simple enough. Plop a figurine of any character onto the console connected Skylanders platform and they instantly appear within the game. For little ones, this appears to be some kind of magic, bringing their favorite toy to life, even if only on their TV screen. Sure, we adults know what’s going on, but who cares? The simple joy of playing the game brushes aside any cynical toy and video game marketing synergy talk in an instant.

Since its inception a few years ago, Skylanders has come into its own as a force in the gaming community, not just for kids, but for adults too, whether they have kids or not. It’s easy to see why, with the focus on simple, fun, but oddly non-violent combat, healthy doses of irreverent humor, and intricately detailed characters., Skylanders doesn’t have to work hard to open the wallets of hardcore fans and gamers alike. But with the latest iteration in the series, Skylanders: Swap Force, Activision seeks to mix things up. Literally.

This time around, your Skylanders figures are meant to be broken in half. Okay, not broken, but with a pair of magnets embedded in the top and bottom portions of each figure, they can easily be split apart and swapped with the tops and bottoms of others in your collection, opening up new play options, new abilities, and new ways to combat foes through the expansive worlds of Skylanders.

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