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11:43 PM - Tuesday the 15th of October, 2013 - by dark52
According to an email alert from Toys R Us the second wave of toys for Skylanders Swap Force is officially due out in the US tomorrow. It will be made up of the following figures:

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Boom Jet, Fire Kraken

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Grilla Drilla, Night Shift

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Rip Tide, Scorp

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Star Strike, Twin Blade Chop Chop

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Anchors Away Gill Grunt, Knockout Terrafin

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Big Bang Trigger Happy, Heavy Duty Sprocket

Some have reported finding them already at Toys R Us and Sam's Club and that quantities may initially be more limited than that of Wave 1.

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The method to get the glow-in-the-dark Rattle Shake variant "Quickdraw Rattle Shake" has been revealed. The toy will be given away by Frito-Lay in much the same manner as their current Fright Rider sweepstakes. It starts at the beginning of November so look for the specially marked packs in US stores soon.
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12:42 PM - Tuesday the 15th of October, 2013 - by dark52
Skylanders Swap Force has launched in the US and Canada to positive reviews.

Quote: Joystiq - 4.5 Stars

It's easy to think of Skylanders' collectible figure component as a cynical cash-grab, but in practice it meshes well with the series' beat-'em-up gameplay.



Quote: Forbes - 9/10

In fact, at almost every turn Skylanders Swap Force seems intent on over-delivering both features and fun. Playing the game with (my) children who are more than a little Skylanders saturated there was still a sense of surprise and excitement. The Swap Force figures caused the biggest buzz, both in and out of the game.



Quote: Venture Beat - 90/100

While the inclusion of the jump button certainly makes for more varied gameplay, it also may add more challenge for the younger gamers in your household. Many of these leaps require good timing and placement (lining up at the very edge of a gap), and the bosses have some particularly damaging ground attacks that quickly exhaust the health of your Skylander if you don’t hop over them at just the right time.



Quote: Metro - 9/10

The game’s combat is still relatively simplistic, but the variety of abilities and attacks - and the ability to chop and change them at will - does encourage kids to think about what they’re doing a lot more than any combo system or other traditional contrivance would have. And you can now at least jump, which may sound like an odd thing to celebrate but it again shows the franchise stepping back from the enforced simplicity of the earlier games.



Quote: Game Informer - 8.50

No matter what bizarre creature you craft, Skylanders: Swap Force handles the empowerment of playing god convincingly. The amalgamated beasts that now roam Skylands open up new combat and traversal possibilities, and also add another much-needed wrinkle to this series’ well-worn gameplay formula.



Quote: Gaming Trend - 85

But what about the game? Yes, well, much like the toys, the game is aimed squarely at kids in Elementary school - that isn’t to say an adult can’t have fun with it, but expect it to be a kid’s ride. The game certainly contains mild cartoon violence, but it’s not something I would be uncomfortable in having a child play.



Quote: Destructoid - 8.5/10

Not only do the new Swap Force toys and in-game models have a ton of detail (Wash Buckler's squid legs are a highlight), but it also allows an unprecedented amount of customization as you search for your favorite playstyle.



Quote: IGN - 8.2

Skylanders Swap Force delivers almost everything fans could want. There are fantastic new characters, a funny story, and a complete disregard for the boring rules that say robots and wizards shouldn't be part of the same world.



Quote: Games Radar - 4 Stars

While the narrative sticks to a simplistic stop-the-bad-guy's-evil-plot theme, the cutscenes have gotten a noticeable upgrade in quality. The CGI scenes and voice acting on par some of the best computer animated cartoons you might see on a Saturday morning and the leading characters, like Flynn and Tessa, are charming and humorous.



Quote: Official Xbox Magazine - 7.5

Developer Vicarious Visions did a fantastic job crafting a tightly-knit, varied adventure in which you'll - just for starters - sneak past alarms disguised as a sheep, sniff out a full list of goofball collectibles, and take out a wide range of foes. With a seemingly endless number of things to see and do, this is no quick jaunt.



Quote: Kotaku - Yes

Each Swap Force character also has a travel power that unlocks mini-game challenges scattered through the story levels, and two of those are absent from the launch lineup. Puzzling.



The reviews for the 3DS version of the game were a little more mixed.

Quote: Gaming Trend - 82

My recommendation? If you’re into Skylanders, or your kids are, this one is a no-brainer. It’s a fantastic supplement to any existing Skylanders game as it adds value to your collection of toys.



Quote: IGN - 7.1

Skylanders Swap Force for the 3DS is a fun but short addition to the franchise. It's an acceptable substitute to the console experience, mostly on the strength of its interesting villain and original story.



Quote: Nintendo World Report - 6

While each level does consist of plenty of platforming and combat, nothing other than the variety of Skylander skills makes a remarkable impression. The platforming, while enough to not bore adult gamers, becomes rather repetitive as jumping is the only real mechanic.



Quote: Financial Post - 5.5/10

The missions are a lot shorter - around only 15 minutes each as opposed to the hour-long quests in the console versions - and Moneybone’s minions are even less cunning than those employed by Kaos, which is saying something (they basically just charge at you until destroyed).



To go with the launch of Swap Force, Skylanders: Lost Islands has an update on the App Store to bring in (nearly) all of the Wave 1 Swap Force Skylanders.

WARNING: Do not use the Bluetooth Portal to load any characters into Lost Islands, it will completely wipe the data on the toy and all their progress in the console games will be lost. This applies to the new toys from Swap Force and the old ones from Giants and Spyro's Adventure. The issue has since been corrected.

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  • The first wave of Swap Force characters has arrived. DO NOT USE THE PORTAL! The swappable characters cost 300 gems while the new cores cost 200 if you don't own the toys.
  • You can now level your Skylanders up to 15. No new companion is required, they'll just start earning experience straight away.
  • A new type of random enemy has appeared, the Evilized Sugarbats. They hover in the air between your islands and require use of a swappable Skylander to clear. You can swap the halves to try to match the two elements it asks for, each matching half gets you a bonus gem.
  • Hyde has been updated to now also appear in other people's kingdoms.
9:24 PM - Monday the 7th of October, 2013 - by dark52
In this week's Skylanders: Lost Islands update the last of the sidekicks squeezes in and the boys set up their own HQ.

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  • Just in the nick of time Barkley makes his debut and rounds out the Giants Sidekicks only days before Swap Force is due to be released. If you don't have the toy he'll cost you 300 Gems.
  • The Scouts HQ provides a house for all of the boy Skylanders, complete with a 200 Gem price tag. The output is just like the Sky Cadettes HQ that the girl Skylanders got last week.

Last Friday the official Youtube channel posted the first in what looks to be the start of a series of weekly videos, the Skylanders Boomcast.


Quote:

Skylanders Boomcast brings you the latest in Skylanders SWAP Force news. Host Zachary Gordon reveals the story behind the SWAP Force team and shares his favorite new combination when he swaps WASH BUCKLER with STINK BOMB to form: STINK BUCKLER! And Fryno makes a special appearance.

New Skylanders VIDEOS EVERY FRIDAY featuring the latest NEWS, TIPS & FAN ART of your favorite characters in Skylanders SWAP Force.

8:53 PM - Monday the 30th of September, 2013 - by dark52
Or SWAPtober if you prefer. There are a few things going on to mark the launch of Skylanders SWAP Force, first up is that during the whole of October the official Skylanders twitter account will be giving away a single SWAP Force Starter Pack each day.

Quote:

Fans can then tweet their favorite SWAP Force character combination along with a suggested catchphrase using the hashtags #SWAPtober and #Skylanders for the chance to win one of the daily Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack giveaways, which will be available after the game's launch.



On Thursday the 10th from 3-6 PM there will be "celebration" in Times Square dubbed SWAPtoberfest where "fans will have the chance to be among the very first to play the game before it's available at retail" (the game launches on the 13th).

Quote:

SWAPtoberfest will feature Skylanders SWAP Force-themed activities, photos with Skylanders costumed characters as well as chances to win a Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack and special Skylanders-themed merchandise from top companies like MEGA Brands, Rubie's Costume Company, Hybrid Apparel and Power A.



And on the 12th and 13th at the Toys R Us flagship store in New York City you'll find "one-of-a-kind in-store experiences, including game demos and giveaways" to celebrate the launch of the game.

Skylanders: Lost Islands gets its weekly update with a new house and a new companion.

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  • A new house just for the girls, the Sky Cadettes HQ which costs 200 Gems and can be used by any of the female Skylanders
  • A new companion Batterson who ups the number of kudos invitations can send in another kingdom from 3 to 6, he costs 200 Gems
  • Super Tuesday tomorrow will be to get a chest every time you clear a troll/sheep/chompy pod so try to save them up if you can!
  • And October's Alter-Ego is Skeletal Cynder, you'll be able to win her in the Wishin' Well from the 1st all the way through to the end of the month
12:51 AM - Tuesday the 24th of September, 2013 - by dark52
The official Skylanders website has been updated with all of the artwork, videos, back stories and a few screenshots of each of the new Skylanders SWAP Force characters like Punk Shock and Wind Up below.

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Several new trailers for the game have also been posted on the official Youtube channel like this CGI trailer introducing us to a new villain.


A few new alternative decoration toys have been discovered recently including a new Enchanted Hoot Loop, the first visual of Nitro Magna Charge, and an odd looking Jolly Bumble Blast. The first two you can find on the official website but Jolly Bumble Blast remains elusive.

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Frito-Lay have launched a new sweepstakes to win a special orange and black Fright Rider. You find a code inside the large packs and enter it online for a chance to win one of the Fright Riders. It runs until the middle of November but remember it's just a chance to win unlike with the Sidekicks.

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A fairly large update has hit the Lost Islands this week, you'll need to go to the App Store to update the app this time.

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  • A brand new type of currency called Kudos that is earned from the social objectives and used to buy a few things.
  • Admiral Thumpback is a new Alter Ego but not from the Wishin' Well, instead he'll cost you 2000 Kudos.
  • A new companion, Capybara King, costs 150 Gems but then causes all of your chests to have a bonus gem inside.
  • Gurglefin is another new companion, he costs 400 Kudos and adds the chance to get Wishstones from gifts.
  • The penultimate Sidekick Thumpling also sneaks in, he'll cost you 300 Gems if you don't have the toy.
  • You can get Thumpback's House for free until the 29th.
  • It's also Water Week which means Water Skylanders get +25% gold just like the Dragon Skylanders did last week.
  • And finally there's a new bunch of decorations as well as a house for you to spend Kudos on.

Super Tuesday is a free gem each hour that you have to collect from Orville and 33% off Shrines.
7:42 PM - Monday the 16th of September, 2013 - by dark52
All this week is Dragon Week in Skylanders: Lost Islands.

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  • A new "Dragon Lair" house for all of the dragon Skylanders to use. It'll cost you 1200 Gems though.
  • The Dragon Week event gives all of the dragon Skylanders 25% extra gold until Sunday.
  • And level 40 has a new "Stage" community building.

Oddly no new sidekick this week.
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2:28 PM - Monday the 9th of September, 2013 - by dark52
Later this week will apparently see the release of a special variant of the giant Eye-Brawl, it's already been spotted in a few places in Canada.

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The "Special Halloween 2013 Edition" Eye-Brawl, more commonly referred to as Pumpkin Eye-Brawl thanks to his distinctive orange pumpkin-like eye-ball, is not an in-game variant and will appear exactly the same as a regular Eye-Brawl when playing just like the Glow-in-the-Dark editions of characters like Cynder and Sonic Boom that you might already own. It does however have the same "Special" tag that makes it distinct in the collection screen even if it doesn't look or behave any differently.

A quiet one for Skylanders: Lost Islands this week, Eye-Small is more widely available and the month's Alter-Ego gets his Hut.

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  • Eye-Small joins Lost Islands properly, you can now buy him for 300 Gems.
  • Autumn Stump Smash gets his own Hut for 350 Gems.
  • A new Wood Stack House for level 39 that can house 3200 Mabu.

And in news for a related game, the previously exclusive to iOS Skylanders: Battlegrounds has been announced for the LG Smart TV platform and is due out "this holiday season". Here's hoping they remember to finish it off this time.
3:09 PM - Wednesday the 4th of September, 2013 - by dark52
Whisper Elf gets her house and Mini-Jini turns up to play.

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  • Mini-Jini kicks off the Giant Sidekicks with her arrival. Use your toy or buy her for 300 Gems.
  • Whisper Elf is the second Sidekick to get a house, as usual it'll cost you 350 Gems.
  • Level 38 gets a new building, a Park.
  • Eye-Small also makes an appearance but only if you buy the most expensive 7500 Gem Pack (for half price).
  • All the Giant Houses are back for a very short time.
  • And we bid farewell to Flynn as he's leaving this Sunday.

Don't forget the new Alter-Ego that arrived on Sunday, Autumn Stump Smash, who you can win in the Wishing Well all month long.
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9:47 PM - Friday the 30th of August, 2013 - by dark52
A poster containing almost the entire lineup of Skylanders: SWAP Force has been found by supernicmax. The poster finally gives us the pictures and elements of the last remaining new Skylanders "Dune Bug", "Scratch", "Wind-Up", and "Punk Shock" who had until now been known only by their names.

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It also confirms the return of Camo in some capacity as well as showing the new looks for a few other returnees.

And in other news, Skylanders: Cloud Patrol hit the regular Android Google Play store today, so no longer is it exclusive to the Kindle Fire (and iOS).
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11:36 PM - Thursday the 29th of August, 2013 - by dark52
Activision today revealed some new information and screenshots for the Nintendo 3DS version of the upcoming Skylanders SWAP Force.

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It will be developed by n-Space, the same company that made the 3DS version last year's Skylanders Giants, and will again have a completely different storyline to that seen in its console counterpart.

Quote: Press Release

The story of Skylanders SWAP Force on Nintendo 3DS begins in Boomtown, home of Skylands' favorite pilot, Flynn. As the town is celebrating Flynn as their hometown hero, a new villain known as Count Moneybone sneaks his way into Boomtown to kidnap Cali, long-time friend to Flynn and the Skylanders. Now it's up to Portal Masters everywhere to assemble the Skylanders and SWAP Force to save Cali and defeat the evil Count Moneybone.



The game will be released alongside the console versions in October and comes with two swappable characters, Free Ranger and Rattle Shake, as well as the exclusive Volcanic Eruptor.

Also playable on the 2DS!


[User Posted Image] Infinity Guru: Disney adds a new selection of Toy Boxes to Infinity and an Incredibles Walkthrough posted.
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8:00 PM - Monday the 26th of August, 2013 - by dark52
Another new house for an old alter-ego, a new Sidekick and an upcoming event mark this week's Skylanders: Lost Islands update.

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  • Terrabite joins the other three Sidekicks to fill out the original set of four. 300 Gems to buy him if you don't have the toy.
  • Buddy Wrecking Ball gets his own Hut for 350 of your Gems.
  • This weekend will be a Wishing Weekend where you can win previous alter-egos as Top Prizes, the Wish Stones that you earn will be doubled and you'll be able to get the companion Ermit who reduces Sanctuary time by half.
  • A new Boat House for your Mabu to live in too, if you can get to level 37 that is...

An update late last week upped the Kingdom's level cap from 35 to 40 so it's time to get collecting that Kingdom XP again!

And Super Tuesday is the forewarned Chompy Invasion as well as 25% off last week's new companion, Cape Girl.
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7:11 PM - Friday the 23rd of August, 2013 - by dark52
At this year's gamescom in Germany Activision have shown off a few of the new characters for Swap Force that we've been getting glimpses of recently.

The four main Skylanders they've been focusing on are two swappers, Boom Jet and Grilla Drilla, as well as two core Skylanders, Slobber Tooth and Zoo Lou.


FamilyGamerTV were at gamescom and have been busy interviewing a few key people like Guha Bala from the developers Vicarious Visions in the video above.

You can check out some new screenshots, artwork and toy photos in the Swap Force Gallery here on darkSpyro.
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5:43 PM - Monday the 19th of August, 2013 - by dark52
This week's Skylanders: Lost Islands update sees the addition of a brand new companion, a new Sidekick and a new house.

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  • Cape Girl, a new companion who can instantly complete Sheep, Troll and Chompy Pod invasions. Costs 150 Gems.
  • Gill Runt, the third of the Sidekicks is now available. Costs 300 Gems (or of course free if you have the toy).
  • Trigger Snappy's House, a new house for Trigger Snappy. Costs 350 Gems.
  • And the usual new timed quests for premium items, one of the quests involves both of the Sidekicks from last week.

[User Posted Image] Infinity Guru: Disney Infinity launches to positive reviews.
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7:52 AM - Tuesday the 13th of August, 2013 - by dark52
A special $100 edition of the Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack has been announced, the Dark Edition Starter Pack will be exclusive to GameStop and feature five Dark versions of some Skylanders.

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The main attraction is the five dark Skylanders: Dark Wash Buckler, Dark Blast Zone, Dark Ninja Stealth Elf, Dark Mega Ram Spyro, and Dark Slobber Tooth. And along with all the usual stickers and cards you'll get a special poster featuring all of the characters from all three games.

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Lost Islands this week sees the introduction of the first two Sidekicks, Trigger Snappy and Whisper Elf. They behave just like the other Skylanders but they can tackle the new Chompy Pods when they're fresh, other Skylanders must wait for it to empty. The other six Sidekicks are likely to be rolled out slowly like they've been doing with the variants. Super Tuesday this week has a double gold bonus.
12:36 PM - Thursday the 8th of August, 2013 - by dark52
Today we get out very first glimpse of the new Core Fire Skylander "Smolderdash", the Toys R Us exclusive Legendary versions of a few of the other new characters and a closer look at even more new figures from Skylanders SWAP Force.

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LightCore Smolderdash
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Legendary Night Shift, Legendary Free Ranger
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Legendary LightCore Grim Creeper, Legendary Zoo Lou

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Boom Jet, Zoo Lou
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Scorp, Slobber Tooth

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LightCore Warnado, LightCore Flashwing
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Super Gulp Pop Fizz, Anchors Away Gill Grunt
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Heavy Duty Sprocket, Twin Blade Chop Chop


We've also got images of the packaging that a few of the single characters are going to come in for SWAP Force:

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