As the buzz winds down around the most recent iteration in the award-winning toys-to-life Skylanders series, it seems Activision have a new plan to help drum up some interest in it's popular figure-centric game. You see, the Skylanders - a fictitious band of heroes called upon to save their world from danger - are set to invade the Happy Meals at McDonalds, purveyors of chicken nuggets, oversized burgers and frankly rather rubbish soggy 'chips' - at least in the US. While the figures sadly won't do anything in your Trap Team game (although they will unlock mini-games in the McDonalds 'McPlay' app), we're still rather jealous of those 'muricans, and would happily shell out two English pounds for the toys.
But why is this news for us, we hear you cry? Well, when we spotted the Twitter post, and saw the selection of characters that had been chosen to get a toy makeover, something struck us as a little bit odd about the figures that had made the cut - and it could give us a bit of a hint as to where the Skylanders series is going to go next.
Looking at the line-up, you have the green tomato-throwing Food Fight, and three elemental Trap Masters - the mallet-wielding Earth type, Wallop, fiery Wildfire the gold-plated lion, and Snap Shot, the crocodile water type from the Starter Pack. All of them are figures you can buy for the game, so nothing out of the ordinary there. But it's the final two that has us interested, as the last two characters are what Trap Team refers to as 'Villains'. The main draw of Skylanders Trap Team, the villains you encounter in game must be captured inside little plastic traps before you can play as them, and only really exist in the virtual world - you can't buy them as figures in your local toy store. So why would Activision include two of them - the brightly-coloured Painyatta and the guitar-playing Wolfgang - in Happy Meals?
Well, perhaps the reasoning behind the move is that you can - or rather will be able to - buy figurines of the villains soon. With the biggest event in the game's industry's calender, E3, on the horizon, where oodles of new game announcements are made every year, the next Skylanders game is pretty much certain to be among them. And with the whole story behind Trap Team being how you reform the villains and bring them over to your side, it wouldn't surprise us if many of them make up the next generation of Skylanders figures for the fifth game. After all, the dev team's already gone to the effort of modelling the characters, coming up with moves, and even theme songs to boot, so all the pieces seem to be in place. We wouldn't mind ourselves a Painyatta to be honest - or a Brawlrus. And who doesn't love the Chompy Mage?!
Of course, it could just be that Painyatta and Wolfgang are simply the most popular villains in the series, and that's why they're included. But that's not as interesting an idea, is it? Either way, with any luck, we'll know for sure when E3 rolls around - so keep checking back!