Activision has been doing its best to keep its Skylanders series fresh from year to year, adding a gameplay twist with every annual release. So far, we’ve seen tweaks as mundane as larger figures, bizarre mix-and-match monstrosities, trappable baddies, and vehicles. This year’s installment, Skylanders Imaginators, lets players build their own hero from a huge array of different pieces. Today, the publisher has revealed that players will be able to work on their creations away from the game itself by using an app. That’s only part of the story, though. Once you’re finished, you can bring your new Skylander to life on a shirt, NFC card, or – for the die-hard fans out there – via limited-edition 3D printout.
Skylanders Creator is the app, and it’s coming to iOS and Android devices. After downloading it for free, you can get to work on your own creations, either by importing and tweaking the Skylanders you’ve already made in the console game, or completely from scratch. Once you’re done, you can transfer your finished Skylander over to the game. The transfer is made via a series of audio beeps and clicks, and we’re told it sounds a bit like a droid from Star Wars.
The app has a few things built into it that are designed to keep you coming back, including timed chests containing special weapons, gear, and parts. Players can also look at their creations in 3D and share their designs with friends and family. If you really, really like your Skylander, you can also order a T-shirt with the character, its name, class, and element type printed on it in color for $24.99.
You can transfer your creation from the app to the appropriate Skylander crystal, or you have a couple of other options. For $14.99, you can order a trading card of your character, called an Imaginator Card. The card shows off your hero, and it also serves double duty as a functional Skylander. Put it on the Portal of Power, and it will go into the game just like any off-the-shelf figure.
The truly devoted can order a 3D-printed figure of their Skylander for $49.99. They’re not meant to be played with (hence the glass dome) but they’re a faithful model of your in-game hero, complete with the cosmetic choices and weapons that you have equipped at the time of submission. It also works in the game. Both the 3D figure and Imaginator Card will take between 2-3 weeks to arrive, and the figure in particular is only available in limited quantities.
The app sounds like a great tool for people who play multiplayer, since you can work on your creation between sessions without tying up valuable game time. I had a lot of fun making my own (horrible) character a while back, but I did wonder how badly it would bring things to a screeching halt. While you might love trying out every possible hair combination, that kind of finicky fiddling is best done on your own time.
Skylanders Imaginators is set for an October 16 release date.