So, Skylanders, Disney Infinity and now Lego Dimensions.
The horizon seems more like an infestation than a boon. I won’t lie or pretend like I haven’t played it, don’t own it, etc – because I do.
The appeal of Skylanders, at first, was two-fold:
- My wife agreed to play it with me if I bought it (and better yet, she ended up splitting it and the supplementary characters I bought).
- I am a collector. The thought of having physical DLC that I could handle, display and appreciate – was pretty appealing.
The unfortunate truth, though, is both of those reasons were fleeting.
So, with 1, my wife had enough. Understandably. I put out a lot of time and effort in hunting these things, well after she lost interest. The truth is, when the figures were about 8$, it seemed okay. Grab the ones you want, pay a bit at a time, not a big deal. But then Skylanders: Giants came out. The Giants, of course, were huge and thus more expensive. 14.99$ was a hefty price tag for a small toy, but hell, there were only 8. Grabbing one at a time over a period seemed reasonable. But then Skylanders: Swap-Force came out. I kept it up. The prices, they also kept up. In other words, they got more and more expensive. Which seemed okay, again (you know, we can justify just about anything to ourselves), because the figures had new tech and were built a little better. But then the figures were 16.99$ and two per element…I kept it up, and I basically ended up buying almost all of them – mostly on the secondary market because the scalpers scalp well.
Then Skylanders: Trap Masters came out. So now it’s mini figures, regular figures, Trap Masters and traps. I knew the whole time that all of these things were a cash grab – and I didn’t care. But a man has his limits. You can imagine my opinion of the new annual release – Skylanders: Superchargers. I can only imagine what accessories you’ll have to buy beyond the vehicles.
The problem is, a game like this is tantamount to a virus. Once it settles, it spreads and multiplies. Which is way people convince themselves it’s okay to buy in droves, and in turn, sets a dangerous precedent for the publishers and developers.
So while I was busy buying and collecting a legion of Skylanders figures, Disney was hatching their own bundle of cash-grabbing monsters. Their concept, slightly different, but “compelling” enough to find a place for it in the market. With Disney buying both Lucas Arts and Marvel in a short period of time – it was obvious that they’d be making their Infinity debut eventually.
And then, like a classic 80’s wrestling match, a third contender is running down the isle to vie for the title.
Lego Dimensions. I get the appeal. The Lego games are way more fun that I’d have likely given them credit for before I’d engaged in a few of them. I was fortunate to be able to grab one of the Lego: Harry Potter games, I think I got Years 5-7 before 1-4, but I knew the series well enough to justify it. They’re easy, but compelling.
So, on that basis, I get why people would be interested. But the market is so saturated now with these toy/games. Something has to give. Given how little I see come into the store, and how little I see go out – I feel like the rug is about to be pulled out from under their collective feet.
It looks like the early fall is going to be a rumble in the jungle. All three games will be out within the same thirty day period. That being said, I feel it in my gut. I think this is going to be the year where the camel’s back is finally broken. Shelves are stocked and interest is waning. Hopefully we can all get back to business. Oh, and don’t get me started on Amiibos.
– The Ego