Skylanders Giants Wave 1 Figure Play-Through

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With Skylanders Giants hitting stores on October 19, my children have been making endless lists of which characters they wanted to buy for the game — they’ve been saving up for a while. I had to break it to them today that not all the figures will be available from day one.

As with Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, the different Giant, Lightcore and normal Skylanders will be released in waves. Visiting the studio last week I was keen to discover which characters would be available in Wave 1. They went one (or perhaps ten) better than providing the list I was asking for, and sat me down with studio head Paul Reiche to play through the game with each of the Wave 1 characters.

As we talking and played we made our way through the first wave of the Skylanders Giants (Treerex, Bouncer, Crusher and Swarm), Normal Skylanders and Lightcore characters (Prism Break, Drobot and Eruptor). It was interesting to see how the physical figures themselves are now a closer match to the-in game character.

We also grasped the Soul Gem nettle, which I was glad to see was less frequent in Skylander Giants than in Spyro’s Adventure. These are the tokens you collect that trigger informational (some have said advertisement) videos for characters you haven’t got. In Giants these only exist for the 16 new characters, as opposed to all 32 of the original game.

Perhaps the biggest tension here is that the original Skylanders figures won’t get the ability to switch upgrade path or the new Wow-pow — although they do get an increased level cap. My kids have decided to focus on new characters, or ones they don’t have yet, which neatly side-steps this issue. Other elements of the game I hadn’t seen before were the ability to switch difficulty level — something my youngest will appreciate — as well as a new card-based mini-game called Sky Stones.

While this is obviously a money making enterprise for Activision, I think that Toys for Bob’s history (recently outlined by Anton Olsen) has stood them in good stead here. Holding off on the Soul Gem videos and offering level upgrades for the original figures all make the prospect of buying additional characters much more palatable. Not much longer to wait now!

Skylanders Giants is available for pre-order via Amazon. $59.99 without a Portal and $74.99 with a Portal.

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