Post contains affiliate links, but all my own opinions.

The Boy turned 10 in August, and for his birthday my parents got him the Skylanders Giants Starter Pack -Xbox 360. My kids love the display at Wal-mart and Target where you can put the figure on the Portal and see it’s demo. I have to admit there are some really cool characters!skylanders

We were torn on buying it. We were afraid it would be like pick the one with the best prize. He would only want the characters not play the game, but he is getting harder and harder to shop for him. I also had a $10 coupon for the game I got from a chip bag or something. I thought for $40 (after coupon) plus it came with a few figures that we would try it. We gave him some birthday money to buy a special character or two. There are too many for me to pick for him!

Got the game, and they had a blast playing that whole weekend! We even went and bought a second controller, since two Skylanders can go on the same Portal you can have two-player cooperative games. This sometimes ends in a fight and tears when they don’t keep their characters together and get stuck.

He hasn’t played it as much in the last couple months. He really loves PC based games. That’s what he grew up with and enjoys the most. What I was most surprised by was The Girl (who is 5) and how she loves playing the game. And for the most part she can very easily. There is a strategy game called Skystones that took her a little bit, but now she’s a pro at that. There are different game levels, and we are on the Easy one so your character doesn’t die (it does have to rest sometimes) and you don’t fall off stuff. It is easy for a kid to navigate. This is the one she wanted that took a bit to find, Ninjini.

Now The Hubs likes to have his Skylanders time as well. It’s a game when he gets home and has 20 minutes to unwind. It doesn’t take a whole lot of concentration, but does have goals and items to collect in it.

I also have started playing some. I finally got the Hex figure I wanted so I have played a couple times. One day when they are all gone I am going to just sit here on the couch and play all day!

Hints and Tips

1. Check ebay for figures. You can get some good deals there. I bought quite a few plus Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure. With a new game coming out you may get deals too.

2. Coupons. There are variety packs of Fritos chips that have Skylanders on it and have coupons inside. $10 off the new Skylanders Swap Force coming out.

3. Sales. Target will have Buy 2 Get 1 Free sales on the figures at times. Wal-Mart has bundle deals like this one for Skylanders Swap Force Bundle, which is the newest Skylanders game coming out. It is already on my list for Christmas. Wal-Mart also will have bundle deals on Skylander figures like this Skylanders Figure Bundle.

We did have a broken toy, and I was super impressed that Activision had a warranty on it and replaced it at no charge to me. I don’t know if they do this with all the toys. New figures come out with each new game, but they replaced my Giant, Thumpback! Look at the detail on these!thumpback

Big Questions

This gets asked a lot about the games and portals etc. It is backwards compatible! So if you have Skylanders Giants like us that means you can use any of the Giants or Spyro’s Adventures toys in your game. You can NOT use a¬†Swap Force one in your Giants or Spyro’s game, and you can NOT use Giants in the Spyro’s game.

Series One figures have a green base, and Series Two and Giants have an orange base. Different series do seem to have some extra features.

The portal works with Giants or Spyro’s (I assume Swap Force will be the same). So if you have a portal that came with Giants like we did, and then buy jus the Spyro’s game disk you are fine! It will work.

Two people can play on one portal. You need two controllers. Press A and it will ask you to put your character on, and Press B to leave. It should be big enough to hold two characters and a power up.

You will need a character from each element: Fire, Water, Earth, Life, Air, Tech, Magic, and Undead. Some areas in a game can only be unlocked by a certain element.

Adventure Packs work with other games, but some features may be missing.

I highly recommend this game. It’s not gory or bloody. It has fighting, but it’s not scary at all. The biggest thing, our family ages 5-38 can all play it and enjoy it!

Update: Skylanders SWAP Forcewill be coming to my household at Christmas! The kids are very excited to get this one, and each of them asked Santa a for figure for Christmas. The Girl wants Bouncerfrom Giants (it will work on Swap Force) and my son wants Zookfrom Spyro’s Adventure (it will work on Swap Force and Giants)

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