Not too dissimilar to the Lego games, the Skylanders series has reached incredible popularity amongst children and families, as you and a friend go bashing, smashing and crashing your way through a series of levels as your favourite Skylanders character. The twist of genius here, though, is that rather than having to buy new characters through some complex menu using points or credit cards, instead, new characters can be bought as toys. Placing your newly bought figure on the included Portal of power, thanks to a handy chip inside each figure, you can unlock that character for use in the game - and better still, each figure works as its own makeshift memory card, with your progress, and, even more crucially, what hat your character's wearing stored safely inside.
With a new game, the ominously named Skylanders Giants due to be released in mid-October, and given the money making potential of Skylanders, it should really come as no surprise that today, Activision announced they were partnering with another kids' toy classic, Mega Bloks to produce a whole series of blocky characters and playsets themed around the characters and locales found in the games, with both a series of figures, and a series of puzzle playsets in the works.
The first type of puzzles, so called "Blind Packs", contain a 50 piece jigsaw, and a mystery character - although the "mystery" part must get rather frustrating if you're trying to complete the set. For the older children who'd complete a fifty piece puzzle in the blink of an eye, comes come a range of increasingly complex puzzles - the Collect & Connect series, which is a collection of six eighty-piece jigsaws, which can all be connected together to reveal a single huge picture; a set of shiny, 100-piece foil puzzles; a range of huge 150 piece Panoramic puzzles which show every character in the game, and a set of 8 in 1 Multipacks with eight hundred piece puzzles to keep them going.
Hitting shops before the end of the year, the new range sounds like the perfect companion piece for young Portal Masters this Christmas - and with the agreement between Activision and Mega Bloks set to last for several years, we'd imagine the Skylanders toy range can only expand further. Get ready for pester power to start working its magic on these.