The Money Pit Known As Skylanders

Have you heard of a video game called Skylanders? It’s been around for a while and Disney even mimicked the idea with their Infinity video game.

I knew there would be a time that Adam would beg and plead for a game, I expected it to be in a few years even though he loves looking at all the characters when we go to the store.

For those who don’t know it’s a video game with little figurines. You place the figurine on the “portal” that comes with the game and it ports and comes alive in the game. Each character has different abilities and can play in different areas. I won’t lie, some of the characters I think are awesome –

FoodFight FunnyBone

This is a guy named Food Fight and his buddy Funny Bone. There are honestly hundreds of these guys out there for the various versions of the game. One of the things that has always rubbed me the wrong way with Skylanders is that not all the characters will work for every game. There are some that will work across some or all of the versions of the game but generally speaking the figurines are pretty much purchased for the current game you play. If a new game comes out you have to buy all new figures for that game.

Kids are crazy over this game and the licensing is nuts. You can get everything Skylanders from clothing to bags and everything you need for school. The companies are making a fortune on this.

So it happened shortly after Christmas, Adam spent 2 whole days giving us reasons why he wanted this game. Reasons varied to “it’s so cool and I need it”  to “it would be a great game for us to play as a family” which we couldn’t argue with because either Brian or I have to sit and play it with him. He’s not quite good with the controller yet.

He finally realized that he didn’t spend all his Christmas money and that he really wanted to use his Christmas money towards it. He even agreed to do chores, and pretty much anything we said to get the game. We also made it very clear he wasn’t getting every single character ever sold.

Parents spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on these games and it’s honestly not very hard to do. I just sat and did the math. If you are a die-hard player, and need to collect every single thing for the game to complete it 100% the cost will shock you.

The game itself is $84.99. That comes with two figures and two traps. This version of Skylanders up the stake because you can capture bad characters and use them to battle with you. You need a trap that plugs into the portal. You can buy just one of each element which requires you to buy 6 more traps minimum. Then you need at least one trap master from each element to open all the areas. That is another 7 characters. This is just the minimum that they sucker you into. You will not be able to complete the game 100% with just those.

Here is the break down if you bought everything on the market as of today.

There are 18 Trap Masters @ 16.99 each = 305.82
Then there are 23 core characters which you can purchase individually or in packages of three. You would need 8 sets to get them all @ 29.99 each = 239.92
Follow that up with the mini characters (I’m not even sure what they do). There are 16 of them sold in packages of two. 8 sets also @ 16.99 each = 135.92
The final kicker is the traps. There are a total of 55 different ones. Some traps can only capture exclusive characters so if you wanted to capture EVERY bad guy and have all the exclusive ones in all the corresponding traps you would need them all. 55 of these @ 7.99 each = 439.45

So if you went all out and purchased EVERYTHING your total would be $1,206.10!

Twelve hundred dollars for a video game (and I didn’t even include taxes)! People will buy their child every singe item that relates to this game. They also bring out new characters in waves so later this year you will see new characters and traps be released so this number goes even higher.

There is no way that we will be spending that much to get everything for him. It is such a waste of money, however I can see how easy it is to drop several hundred dollars on the game. And when you purchase things one at a time like one character today, one in a few weeks it eventually all adds up.

Now with all this being said – I am really enjoying the game. The captured bad guys add funny commentary from the portal. It’s cute and easy for adults but I know when Adam figures out how to work the controller it will be challenging for him. Brian is also really enjoying the game. To hear Adam speak about the characters and what they do he gets so animated and so excited when we play it.

It leads to moments like this –

20150110_125250_resizedIt’s moments like this where I quickly forget the cost and the enjoyment of listening to the boys cackle and talk about which character to use and which one to capture melts my heart.

But then reality kicks back in and I think. . .  really $1200+

Skylanders, a great big franchise that will suck as much money out of you as possible.

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One thought on “The Money Pit Known As Skylanders

  1. I’ve heard of it, I know what it is and I feel bad for the parents that need to put up with it. Well in a way its just an action figure… with no action. Like a statuette. I think its a dang good way to eat up shelf space. If Skylanders have their own section, that’s just a higher percentage than one little game in a section.

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