Activision has partnered with 3D company Shapeways to allow players buy toys which resemble the heroes they create in Skylanders Imaginators, a game due to release Oct. 16. Fans will be able to choose from unlimited layers of combinations inside the game and transfer the data to the free Skylanders creator mobile app, which will be released Oct. 13 in Australia and New Zealand.
Supported by Android and iOS, the app relies on sound to receive the audio code from the character created in the console. Players also have the option to design their heroes directly from the app. Portal Masters will then have the chance to order a 3D printed Imaginator figure for $50. They can also buy a $15 custom trading card or a t-shirt for $25 to show everyone their custom-made hero.
Those who order the toy will receive it in full color, posed on a base and protected by a clear, plastic dome. Because the figures are not as stable or detailed as the pre-created toys, they should not be handed out to kids so they can play with them on the floor. These characters are exclusively designed to be played within the console game.
The great thing is that the unique figure and the collectible card will be completely playable with the upcoming console game. The items can be used to activate the character in the digital world of Skylanders.
Paul Reiche, co-founder and Studio Head Toys for Bob, said that fans have been expressing their desire to show off their love for the world of Skylanders, as reported by PC Magazine. He added that the new products would push their imagination to a whole new level.
“We can’t wait to see the millions of Imaginators that will be dreamed up by our portal Masters around the world,” he expressed, as quoted by PC Mag.
The first run of merchandise will be limited and only available in the United States and Europe. It remains unknown how many printings will be actually possible at launch.
The process of making a character from scratch
Polygon’s Brian Crecente had the opportunity to make his own hero with Imaginators’ character creator right next to I-Wein Huang, the game’s toy and character director. The journalist creates a swashbuckling luchador called “El Burning Loins,” as he describes in his article.
He wrote that the body, tail, head, arms, and hands are not exactly limitless. However, players can color each of the main pieces independently. According to Polygon’s report, Reiche told Crecente that there are more combinations in the creator then there are stars in the known universe.
Characters can also be given a unique personality, voice and a spoken catchphrase players can piece together with pre-recorded words. The journalist claimed that his creation’s animations and way to fight enemies looked like The Game’s creators made him. And his design took only half an hour.
Ironically, I-Wei Huang told him professional character design that studio usually takes weeks or months. An idea for a character sometimes took years to be fully developed. When asked whether he was helping to create a technology for the new game that could leave him unemployed, he said he was not completely obsolete because he was producing parts for the system.
A big month for the $3 billion brand
Activision will kick off October 24th a global contest to give away the key for a custom printing of their character, as reported by Polygon. Players will need to create a figure in the game or the free mobile app and share a picture of their character on social media channels with the hashtag #CreatorContest.
After a few days, Netflix will there be a Skylanders Academy on October 28th. The new animated show, made in Partnership with Activision Blizzard Studios, will feature the World created by the franchise in 13 episodes.
And the October 16 release will bring a line-up of 31 new Sensei characters in addition to the player-created characters, plus a Kaos Toy, a Crash Bandicoot toy, and a Dr. Neo Cortex toy. The Skylanders Imaginators starter pack comes with the game, two Sensei, a portal, a Creation Crystal, a poster, and a sticker sheet for $75. For $100, the Dark Edition includes the game and three dark Sensei, a portal, three creation crystals, stickers and a poster.
The other alternative is the hundred-dollar Crash Bandicoot pack, which comes with the game, a portal, Dr. Neo Cortex, Crash Bandicoot, Golden Queen, a creation crystal, and Master King Pen. This one is only available for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.