Review: ‘Skylanders Trap Team’ offers great fun at a not-so-great price

It skylanders trap teammight be considered a family game, but Skylanders Trap Team is something of a homewrecker.

My daughter is completely in love with it and gets upset if I play without her, which poses a problem when you happen to review games for a living. My wife is in charge of paying the bills each month; at some point, she’s going to notice the hefty assortment of Toys ‘R’ Us charges on our credit card statement. The “it’s a write off!” excuse might not fly.

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Skylanders claims a trio of sales records

The Skylanders-SWAP-ForceSkylanders are quickly becoming one of Activision’s most valuable franchises.

As part of its earnings call yesterday, Activision noted that the franchise has crossed $2 billion in worldwide sales – a mark no series put out by an independent publisher has ever hit that quickly. But that was just the first of the records.

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Skylanders: Swap Force kicks off video game toy war

Even Skylanders-SWAP-Forcebefore the first Skylanders game hit shelves in 2011, the team at Activision was bracing for competition.

The concept — marry action figures with video games — was largely untested, and while the company bean counters were cautiously optimistic about the prospects for such a hybrid, there were no guarantees. But the developers had already started a countdown.

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Disney takes on toymakers with massive ‘Infinity’ game hybrid

Captain disney-infinity-preview-toyboxJack Sparrow attending Monsters University? Lightning McQueen racing The Lone Ranger? What the heck is going on at Disney these days?

Previously confined to the imagination of children, these sorts of mashups will become reality on August 18, when Disney’s long-awaited Disney Infinity hits shelves.

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Activision expands the Skylanders with ‘Swap Force’

Given skylanders-swap-force-top630how 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.

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Skylanders sales top $500 million

When skylanders-top-500-mil-top630Activision-Blizzard launched Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure in 2011, there were a lot of questions about its chances of success. A hybrid toy/video game based on an aging franchise? Would people be interested?

The answer, of course, was yes. Skylanders has been a hit for toy companies and Activision alike. A really, really big hit, as life to date sales have now topped $500 million, reports Activision.

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Rare Skylanders figures fetch over $1,200

You know a game is a hit when it sells on eBay for higher than its retail price. You know it’s a smash when pieces of that game are commanding premium pricing on the auction site. But when six of those pieces sell for well over $1,000? That’s when you’ve officially got a monster on your hands.

Activision is in that fortunate position as six Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure figures in the U.K. have sold for £797, roughly $1,260. And the winner will have to toss in another $50 or so for shipping.

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