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June 2015 Retro Gaming Article

June 13, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Interactive Gaming Toys -VS- Toys To Life, where do you stand?

The first time I read an article using the term "Toys to Life" I had no idea what they were talking about. Some new AI toy? A robot? What the Hell are "Toys to Life"? It sounded Frankenstein inspired! They were referring to the trend started by Activision with their Skylanders Franchise in which 3D figures are placed on a base that brings them into the game. It's not just game discs anymore - now you have to buy action figures. This successful trend has spawned Disney Infinity figures and amiibo.

I saw NPD recently refer to these gaming figures as "Interactive Gaming Toys" which I much prefer. No one is bringing toys to life.

Amiibo, Infinity, Skylanders, Tank Girl Each of these type of figures are used a little differently, although they all use similar Near Field Communication (NFC) to allow a toy figure to initiate some occurrence within a video game. I feel Skylanders has done the best job of integrating the experience within the contest of each video game. Both Infinity and amiibo have weaker ties to game play as the Skylanders' Portal is part of the storyline rather than an accessory.

Regardless which of these games you play, each new release entails buying another expensive starter pack and a new set of characters. If you're like me and somewhat of a slave to these purchases, at least you can voice an opinion about whether toys are being brought to life. They're interactive gaming toys!! :)

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