It seems you can’t turn your back for two minutes without some Skylanders news creeping up on you. I took some time to round up the latest details in this Family Gamer TV episode as I had a flick through the first three Skylanders books. What I discovered (as well as the Skylanders Character list) were three pretty well thought textual spin offs.
Skylanders Book of Elements
Book of Elements ($6.99) provides more detail into two particular elements. The one I was looking at in this episode was for Magic and Tech, but the others will also be available in due course. My six year old has enjoyed reading through the stories and finding out more behind these two elements.
My older daughter (9) preferred the parts of the book that relate more directly to the game. These include lists of each Skylander in these elements (although this is without the new characters for Giants) as well as information about all the elemental gates. She moved onto the Skylanders Annual quite quickly as it also provides this information, as well as more projects (see below).
Skylanders Sticker Books
Skylanders Sticker Books ($20.00) is the title my youngest son (4) enjoyed the most. As well as having information about all the Skylanders the main feature here are a huge number of pull out sticker sheets in the middle of the book. Since getting his hands on these he has been covering the house in them top to bottom.
I’ve been encouraging him to use the blank pages in the Sticker Book to stick the stickers on. This also means you can move them around and use them multiple times. He doesn’t seem to be convinced yet (I literally had to peel a sticker off my keyboard before writing this).
Skylanders Annual 2013
The Skylanders Annual ($11.00) offers players (of around 8-10 years old I’d say) a whole of Skylanders games, activities and challenges. A particular favorite in our house currently is the “Which Element are You?” that provides a flow-chart of choices. Everyone who comes to the door (even the postman today) is forced into answer a series of questions. Landing on a particular element results in fits of laughter from the kids — although I’m still not 100% sure why.
The annual also includes other useful information for the game. The “Here be Dragons” page has set my son off collecting Skylanders dragons (no bad thing as you get a bonus if you have them all) even though he had just traded away both Camo and Sunburn at school.
The Annual offers the most variety out of all the books. Even though it costs a little more is pretty good value for money. Although it will still lag behind the game this Holiday time (not including the new Giant and Lightcore characters) there is enough relevant information here and fun games to justify the price.
As with any of these sorts of product it really comes down to what sort of child you have as to whether you will get value for money. There is tension here by the age the books are aimed at. Although the game is for 10+ the books will be enjoyed mostly by those 4-10.
If you have grandparents or more distant relatives looking for something to buy your youngsters at Christmas these tick the Skylanders box without getting into the complexities of tracking down particular characters or games — something our grandparents spend over a week doing only to find they had bought the wrong figures.
Wired: More Skylanders trivia and games.
Tired: A little young for fans of the video game.
These and other Skylanders books are available from Amazon from around $6.99.
[The books were provided for this review by Penguin.]