The newest gaming video game released by Activision, and aimed at the children’s market, is Skylanders Giants. Skylanders Giants is the highly anticipated sequel to the original Skylanders game, called Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure.

Skylanders seems to have conquered the world, but what is the secret of its success? ‘Toy’s for Bob’ is the Activision studio responsible for both games, and the huge success their new franchise has achieved seems to be due to the fact that they have managed to integrate a real world toy with a video game. To understand this, you need to know how the Skylanders games work.

Each Skylander Starter Pack contains the game itself, a selection of Skylanders figures, and a Portal of Power. The game’s backstory is that the evil character Kaos has banished the Skylanders from his home in Skylands to Earth. Here they are frozen as toys, and players must place their figure on the Portal of Power to transport the character back to Skylands to fight Kaos and save Skylands. I think the flawless way the characters appear in the game, after placing them in the glowing portal, is key to the success of the game. If two people want to play, just add another Skylander to the portal. If you want to change characters, just delete one figure and replace it with another.

Skylanders figures have technology inside them that records any leveling up or customization you do to your character. A person can take the figure of him to a friend’s house and even play on a different game console, and the stats and customizations will remain. Again, this adds to the feeling of being able to link your own toy to a video game.

Skylanders characters are divided into 8 different elements: earth, fire, undead, life, magic, technology, water, and air. Characters belonging to different elements will have different strengths and weaknesses in different parts of the game. In the original Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure game there are 32 characters in total, 4 of each element.

Skylanders Giants is a brand new video game, and its release has caused some confusion among parents buying characters for their children. The new Skylanders Giants are 8 real Giant Skylanders, which are about twice the size of the normal ones. These cool figures feature LightCore technology that causes them to light up when placed on or near a Portal of Power. In the game, Giants have brute strength and can hit, smash, and move things that other figures cannot. However, they may not be suitable for other tasks, which a normal character can more easily perform. Unfortunately, some parents have been buying giant figures and expecting them to play in their old Spyro’s Adventure game, much to the disappointment of their children! None of the new characters will work in the previous game, however 24 of the original Skylanders have been rested and released as ‘Series 2’ Skylanders Giants figures, and will play in the Spyro’s Adventure game.

In addition to the LightCore-powered Giants, there are 8 other normal-sized LightCore Skylanders, one each of the 8 elements. Four of these characters are brand new and 4 are returning characters from the first game. Lastly, there are a total of 8 new full-size Skylanders characters in the new Giants game.

The popularity of the Skylanders franchise shows no signs of slowing down. In addition to introducing new characters, Giants, and Lightcore figures in the new Giants game, Activison also added several difficulty levels, which will likely appeal to more mature players who found the first game lacking in challenges. There’s even a Nightmare level, for those hardcore players, though it can only be accessed after beating the game in one of the usual ways.