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October 2014 Retro Gaming Article


October 5, 2014 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Skylanders Trap Team went on sale today with more options than former releases

Skylanders Trap Team logo Like in years past, the ushering in of another Skylanders game had me at my local Toys R Us, but this year I slept in for a while. The store opened at 8:00am. Prior years, I was glad to have arrived when the store opened as there were some Skylanders items that sold out quickly. This year, I arrived around 11:00am and much of the fanfare had died down, but they did attract a lot of gamers at 8:00.

Toys R Us opened at 8:00 am for Trap Team As usual, the entry was loaded with Skylanders Trap Team as well as figures from the former games. They'd also expanded the Skylanders' aisle, in the video game area, to fill both sides of the aisle. This Skylanders expansion displaced Disney Infinity to another aisle. There was a lot of Skylanders stuff!

Toys R Us often has a cardboard archway inside the entrance festooned with Skylanders imagery. They repeated the archway this year too, but it was Ninja Turtle themed - what? Hey, TMNT are cool too ;)

Regardless, I snatched a shopping basket and began filling it with Trap Team stuff. The Starter Pack with the portal and game was obvious, but as I mulled over the figures I discovered they had the standard ones, minis, 3-packs, single-packs, and additional traps that came as a 3-pack or single. Yikes!

I realized that I was under-prepared for this expedition. The magazine ads and TV commercials made it seem simple enough, but when you're faced with shelves full of options, questions arise. I forged onward...

The Skylanders display in the entry of Toys R Us The Skylanders display in the entry of Toys R Us.
The Skylanders aisle at Toys R Us The Skylanders aisle at Toys R Us.

Skylanders Trap Team lets you "trap" villans and use their powers for good. OK. I had a lot of questions about this release. They offer the standard characters, but you can also buy additional traps - which look like random hunks of cheap plastic. The Starter Pack has the game disc, Trap Team Portal, 2 characters, and 2 traps. Do I need more traps? They sold 3-packs and single-packs. Fortunately, my local Toys R Us game area is run by a gamer who knows such things and is a great resource.

I'm sure the mechanics of this will become more apparent once I've played with it, but Activision has not done a great job in marketing this to customers who want to know what they need to buy. Your old characters can play along with the new Trap Team and they even have Mini characters that resemble the sidekicks from the Frito-Lay contest, but I believe the minis are playable as opposed to simply following the other characters.

Skylanders Trap Team in-store kisok I wound up buying two 3-packs of extra traps. I'm not sure if that was the smart thing to do or if I wasted money on too much stuff. Traps are specific to the various elements. The Starter Pack comes with "Water" and "Life" traps and the two 3-packs gave me one of each element without duplicating anything. Time will tell if that was wise.

My Skylanders Trap Team Dilema

Since 3 out of 4 yearly releases have required a new portal, I wasn't sure if I was going to jump in as usual this year and buy everything in sight. Overall, I get the sense that a lot of folks are wondering how many more figures they really need around the house. Which is similar to wondering how much more money do we need to spend on plastic figures. We have close to 100 of them and usually play with 5 or 6. As ratios go... that isn't too good.

I think each game they have released could easily have supported another title before requiring us to buy another starter pack with another new portal. The transition from the original Spyro to Giants was fun. It was just what I wanted - the next game in the series with new characters and it supported all the previous characters.

Activision could easily have released another Giants game and certainly another one making use of the Swap Force figures. I feel as though I'm not done with the figures when I complete the game. I want another game in which to play with them!

I'm sure when my son gets his hands on the Skylanders Trap Team game, all will be well in the world of Skylanders :)

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