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Activision expands the Skylanders with ‘Swap Force’

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Skylanders Swap Force (Credit: Activision)

Given how phenomenally successful the Skylanders franchise has been for Activision, it was just a matter of time before the company accelerated its expansion.

Last year’s Skylanders Giants supersized the "toys meet video games" figurines. This year, you’ll be able to mix and match their components.

Skylanders Swap Force will be the series third installment, and it’s definitely a big shift for the brand. Kids (and adults who might not so readily admit to enjoying the game) will be able to mix and match the figurines’ pieces, creating new characters with new abilities.

The company plans to introduce 16 new characters with the game’s release this fall, but players will be able to create over 250 combinations with those figures.

"The idea that kids can customize their own characters in the physical world, and have their unique combinations recognized in the virtual world, is an idea as big as the concept of bringing toys to life itself," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing.

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Skylanders Swap Force (Credit: Activision)

The pieces of the figurines are held together by strong magnets, meaning kids won’t have to worry about breaking off tabs and ruining the toys.

It’s not just toys that will look different. Activision says Swap Force will be the first time the series has been built with high-definition onscreen graphics as a priority. The company has also redesigned the “portal of power” – the device players put their Skylanders on to import them into the game world. (Take note parents: that new portal will be required for this new installment in the franchise, meaning the one you bought last year will quickly be obsolete.)

There’s even going to be DLC, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has bought an Activision game in the past few years. Vicarious Visions is handling the development on this installment in the series, giving Skylanders creator Toys for Bob a year off to look further down the road.

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