Activision has just announced a new chapter in its popular Skylanders series; Swap Force!
Starting the day off was a special event at the very cool, and inspiringly massive, Toys R Us store located in the heart of New York’s Times Square. Fans began lining up around 7AM on a lightly snowy day to be among the first in the world to get their hands on the upcoming Skylanders Giants Ninjiji figure, and by the time the doors opened at 4PM the line had already stretched down the block and rounded the corner onto 45th Street.
Kids in line were greeted by a number of their favorite characters who took a break from their busy lives stopping Kaos’ evil plans to take photos and hang out with their fans. A number of unannounced freebies such as Skylanders themed fleece blankets were also handed to dedicated fans who had arrived there early to help keep them warm.
Once the event started at 4PM the kids were lead downstairs to the R Zone area where they were able to take family portraits in front of a green screen and also gaming stations were set up allowing them to demo their new Ninjini figures before they got home. There was also an incredible life-sized Skylander constructed entirely out of Mega Blocks
After fun at Toys R Us winded down, press were invited to join Activision at the NASDAQ MarketSite just two blocks over for a special announcement.
Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg came out to a packed room and spoke a little bit about the rich but very short history of the Skylanders franchise and how it has skyrocketed since its first appearance at the New York Toy Fair just a couple of years ago. He was also ver proud to announce that since the game’s release there have been over one hundred million figures sold world wide, and joked that about half of them belong to his children.
With this he was excited to introduce a new game to be released lated this year titled Skylanders Swap Force. The third game in the franchise now allows you to customize your figures in a new, creative way; you can combine the tops and bottoms of each toy and the game will sense the change made to reflect the character you are playing as in the game giving you new abilities and powers! But that’s not the only thing new to the game, as jumping has now been introduced.
Fans and parents will be happy to know that the game will support and update all of the SKylander character figures from past releases as well as the upcoming ones, so kids can continue to play as favorite characters they already own should they choose.
Shortly after a game live demonstration highlighting the swappable characters Toys R Us CEO Gerald Storch took the stage and announced his company’s continuing support of the Skylanders franchise world wide. He also stated that despite critics noting a decline in both toy sales and video game sales, Skylanders has reached heights that some thought were unthinkable, quickly surpassing several of the more established franchises and manufacturers to become a top earner.
Look for more news on Skylanders characters to be released in the coming year during our Toy Fair coverage next week!