Each of the sixteen "Swap Force" toys has two parts - the legs and the upper body. The legs control the movement, the upper body decides the attacks. You can take them apart and then mix-and-match the two halves with any of the other Swap Force toys, the game will recognise what you've put together to give you up to 256 different combinations (once you have all 16 of the Swap Force characters).
In terms of new toys, as well as the 16 swappable "Swap Force" characters there are 16 brand new "core" figures, these are new regular Skylanders without the ability to swap parts. There will also be eight LightCore characters and 16 returning "Series 3" characters with new Wow Pows.
Also coming with the game is a brand new, completely redesigned Portal of Power that you will need to get, the old ones will no longer work with Swap Force. But never fear, all of the old characters, both the Orange and Green base varieties, will still be fully functional in Swap Force.
On the developer side of things unlike the last two games Toys for Bob will not be developing Swap Force, instead Vicarious Visions will be taking the mantle (they previously made the 3DS version of Spyro's Adventure, the Wii U version of Giants and all of the iOS games) for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U versions. The previous developer for the 3DS version, n-Space, will be resuming their development role on the 3DS version. And not forgetting the Wii, that's not being abandoned just yet and will be getting a version developed by Beenox.
The Starter Pack will come with two Swap Force characters (it'd not be much fun having only one) as well as a returning character and the brand new Portal of Power. No specific release date has been announced other than "this fall".
For further, more in-depth reading there are plenty of articles popping up all over the web following the press showing of the game, such as Wired, Engadget, Joystiq, Polygon, Giant Bomb, One of Swords, Metro.co.uk.
Skylanders Kaos Alliance
Skylanders Nano Force
Skylanders Super Force
Skylanders Swap Force
Whatever the name turns out to be we won't have to wait too long to find out as it should hopefully be officially announced during either the Toys R Us New York event mentioned in the news post below (Feb 5) or during Toy Fair 2013 itself (Feb 10-13). But of course that still leaves plenty of time for speculation...
This is all happening next week, on Tuesday the 5th of February at 4PM (make sure to get there earlier). There are also other exclusive savings on offer just in case you don't happen to be lucky enough for the Ninjini.
And, more importantly to those of us who won't be able to make it, the press release says that it'll be "months" before Ninjini will hit retail shelves, so it looks like it's time to get waiting all over again.
Full details of the event are in the press release below:
CALLING YOUNG PORTAL MASTERS:
CELEBRATE NEW YORK TOY FAIR WITH SKYLANDERS GIANTS™
TOYS"R"US TIMES SQUARE INVITES KIDS TO BE AMONG THE FIRST IN THE WORLD TO RECEIVE A COMPLIMENTARY, HOTLY ANTICIPATED SKYLANDERS GIANTS CHARACTER, NINJINI
WHAT: Months before the Skylanders Giants character, Ninjini, hits retail shelves, kids and their families are invited to The World's Greatest Toy Store™ to be among the first in the world to get their hands on the must-have Skylanders Giants character, while supplies last. To celebrate the annual International Toy Fair taking place in New York City this month, Activision Publishing Inc. and Toys"R"Us are partnering to host a special event at Toys"R"Us Times Square, the company's international flagship store. The first fans to line up along Broadway for the event will have an opportunity to receive a complimentary Ninjini figure before it is officially available for purchase in North America.
Consumers can take advantage of one-day exclusive, Toys"R"Us Times Square store offers: $25 off Skylanders Giants Starter Pack; "buy 2, get 1 free" Giant Skylanders figures until store closing.
Also at the event, kids will have the unique opportunity to meet their favorite Skylanders characters, experience the year's most popular game at in-store game kiosks and receive other fun Skylanders Giants giveaways.
WHEN: Tuesday, February 5
Activities and giveaways begin promptly 4pm
Toys"R"Us Times Square will be open during normal business hours (10am - 10pm)
WHERE: 1514 Broadway at 44th Street
New York, NY
(Media must enter through the 44th Street Associate Entrance)
ACTIVITIES: Gaming kiosks, displays and stations
Fun activities, games, giveaways and more!
• Visuals/interviews with excited kids and fans in line
• Costumed characters, fun activities and live giveaways
• Calendar and event listings as a fun activity for families
• Attend with your kids
There are also some brand new Triple Packs being released, however they're all Series 2 Skylanders that have already been available in singles. One pack has Eruptor, Stealth Elf, and Terrafin. The other has Prism Break, Lightning Rod, and Drill Sergeant.
The last of the Legendary Skylanders, Legendary LightCore Chill, is also apparently scheduled soon for release at Toys R Us but as of yet has not been spotted.
And finally, as well as the release of Hot Dog in the Battle Pack, for a short time at GameStop you will be able to get the Sidekicks from Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure (that's Whisper Elf, Terrabite, Gill Runt, and Trigger Snappy), supposedly through a spend $30 promotion but people have reported being able to just buy them outright. Stocks may not last long either way.
What it does have is the LightCore version of Shroomboom, a single pack release of Series 2 Cynder, the regular Series 2 releases of Eruptor and Prism Break (they're not LightCore so they do have their Wow Pows this time), the regular Series 2 Stealth Elf and the debut of a Series 2 Lightning Rod.
And, according to advertisements, January 9th is when the Scorpion Striker Battle Pack with Hot Dog (and Series 2 Zap) is released. In the US it will be a one month exclusive for GameStop before becoming available at other retailers too.
As the US flag indicates they're technically the NTSC versions of the games so they won't have any of the additional languages and Gateway to Glimmer is actually called Ripto's Rage in-game.
It also reveals several new versions of some of the characters, like the new Legendary editions of Slam Bam, Ignitor, Jet-Vac, Stealth Elf, Chill, and Bouncer as well as different looking skins for a few more both new and old.
For the Giants we have:
Ninjini, Hot Head
Tree Rex, Bouncer
And for new the regular sized Skylanders:
Flashwing, Hot Dog
Fright Rider, Shroomboom
Jet-Vac, Pop Fizz
You can check out the full sized photos of the poster to see the reposed originals as well as the LightCore poses. Water+Tech, Earth+Magic, Fire+Undead, Life+Air.
In other Giants news, the full list of Xbox 360 Achievements was recently posted so you can get an idea of what you'll be doing in the final game.
Quote: Toy World
The tour will offer fans multiple ways to get to know their favourite Skylanders, and a first look at Skylanders Giants, the new addition to the franchise set to come to homes this Autumn.
The Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Arena Tour kicks off in the UK on Saturday 11th August, making a first appearance at Birmingham's Bullring Centre before heading down to London for family festival LolliBop from 17-19th August. It will then travel to the Destination Jeux festival in France (22nd-23rd August), Breman and Centro in Germany (25th August and 31st/1st September), Stockholm (7-8th September), Milan (15-16th September), Madrid (22nd-23rd September), and Paris (29th September), before a final stopover in the Netherlands (6-7th October).
All of the Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Tour arenas will offer fans multiple gameplay opportunities, as well as a wealth of other interactive and entertaining activities.
See the official website for more details as well as a few games to play.
First up is the game's latest trailer, this features four brand new Skylanders (Jet-Vac, Pop Fizz, Tree Rex, Bouncer) and showcases a whole selection of others in a brief glimpse at the end.
Then we have loads of interviews with folk from Toys for Bob. G4TV has one, Coin-op TV did one, then there's one from ClevverGames, another by Machinima and one more on ScrewAttack.
For gameplay GameSpot have a vignette for the new Tech Giant Bouncer and XGNEntertainment have one for the Life Giant Tree Rex. Coin-op TV demonstrate a few of Tree Rex's moves and FanBoltGaming have posted almost ten minutes of a level playing as several different characters throughout. Wired too get their hands on the giants to play with for a short while. And the official Skylanders Facebook account has some exclusive gameplay footage too.
One of Swords brings a bit more info too, one thing is that the developer for the 3DS version appears to have switched from Vicarious Visions to n-Space. He also posted the prices for the Starter Pack ($74.99), the Portal Owner Pack ($59.99), a Giant ($14.99), a LightCore Skylander ($11.99), and a standard Skylander ($9.99).
The main four new Skylanders featured at E3 were:
Tree Rex, Bouncer
Jet-Vac, Pop Fizz
You can see some screenshots of them in the gallery. A few other Skylanders have also made an appearance at E3 including an Earth Giant named Crusher and a Life Skylander called Shroomboom.
Your original toys from Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure will be able to level up to the new cap of 15 in Giants but only the new reposed "Series 2" versions with an orange base will be able to make use of their new "Wow Pow" powers.
The game is due out this October on the Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and 3DS.
Oh and it's also the eighth anniversary of darkSpyro today, so yay for that.
These "Skylanders Sidekicks" work in-game just like the Magic Items that you get with Adventure Packs and they'll follow your Skylanders around like a pet.
Their names are "Whisper Elf", "Trigger Snappy", "Gill Runt", and "Terrabite".
The new packs you'll be seeing are:
- Triple Pack: Warnado, Camo, Ignitor
- Single Pack: Warnado
- Single Pack: Camo
- Single Pack: Wham-Shell
And the Toys R Us exclusivity of Dragon's Peak should finish towards the end of April.
Barring any surprises, that wraps up the release schedule for Skylanders until October when Giants is released.
Join TRIGGER HAPPY and the rest of the SKYLANDERS as they patrol the Skylands for escaped trolls! Grab your favorite Skylander and take to the skies in your flying gunship to put those troublesome trolls in their place - Skylanders style.
Look out for it soon on your own local internets.
Toys R Us have also recently released the fourth Legendary Skylander, Legendary Trigger Happy, as well as an increase in stock of the other three Legendaries.
Here's the make up of the new products:
- Triple Pack: Zook, Lightning Rod, Cynder
- Single Pack: Zook
- Single Pack: Lightning Rod
- Single Pack: Legendary Trigger Happy
- Adventure Pack: Dragon's Peak
Legendary Trigger Happy is a permanent Toys R Us exclusive while Dragon's Peak will only be a Toys R Us exclusive for 30 days, after that it should become more widely available.
Update: Wave 4 also contains the single pack of Ignitor.