Ok, so the questions I get on a daily basis are a bit overwhelming, this is my attempt to answer the most commonly asked and hopefully save everyone some time.
A few basics: I am in North America. Anytime I list prices or say a Skylander is "exclusive" it applies only to the North American, and particularly the U.S. Market.
Also, a good source for general info and where to buy Skylanders in your country is the website:
About the Game
First off, Skylanders: Spyro's Universe is a game from Activision, developed by Toys for Bob, that is available on every major system.
The "Starter Kit" is a box that includes: the game, the Portal of Power, a Master Sheet, and 3 Skylanders.
-The Wii, PS3, XBOX, and MAC/PC Starter Kits all feature Spyro, Gill Grunt, and Trigger Happy
-The 3DS Starter Kit features Dark Spyro (exclusive), Ignitor, and Stealth Elf
--Also note the story line is different for the 3DS Version. The others are the same.
Elements and Skylanders
There are 8 Elements. Each of the 8 Elements has 4 Skylanders. That means there is a rough total of 32 Skylanders to collect. That said, there are actually more, 37 to be exact when you include: Dark Spyro, Legendary Spyro, Legendary Bash, Legendary Chop Chop, and Legendary Trigger Happy. There are also collectible Skylanders in Silver, Gold, Translucent Blue, Crystal/Clear, and Glow-in-the-Dark (all of which you have a legitimate chance of finding...Toy Fair stuff is listed later on).
Each Skylander will come with a card, sticker sheet, and web code.
There are a total of 8 Elements, as mentioned...here they are:
Skylanders by Element with Slogan
-Lightning Rod (One Strike and You're Out!)
-Sonic Boom (Full Scream Ahead!)
-Warnado (For the Wind!)
-Whirlwind (Twists of Fury!)
-Bash (Rock and Roll!)
-Dino-Rang (Come Rang, or Shine!)
-Prism Break (The Beam is Supreme)
-Terrafin (It's Feeding Time)
-Eruptor (Born to Burn!)
-Flameslinger (Let the Flame's Begin!)
-Ignitor (Slash and Burn!)
-Sunburn (Roast and Toast!)
-Camo (Fruit Punch!)
-Stealth Elf (Silent But Deadly!)
-Stump Smash (Drop the Hammer!)
-Zook (Locked and Loaded!)-Changed to (Bamboo-Yah!)
-Double Trouble (Boom Shock-A-Laka!)
-Spyro (All Fired Up!)
-Voodood (Axe First, Questions Later!)
-Wrecking Ball (Wreck-N-Roll!)
-Boomer (Bring the Boom!)
-Drill Sergeant (Licensed to Drill!)
-Drobot (Blink and Destroy!)
-Trigger Happy (No Gold, No Glory!)
-Chop Chop (Slice and Dice!)
-Cynder (Volts and Lightning!)
-Ghost Roaster (No Chain, No Gain!)
-Hex (Fear the Dark!)
-Gill Grunt (Fear the Fish!)
-Slam Bam (Armed and Dangerous!)
-Wham-Shell (Brace for the Mace!)
-Zap (Ride the Lightning!)
Regular Skylanders by Element with Availability
-Lightning Rod (Single Pack and Triple Pack G)
-Sonic Boom (Single Pack, Triple Pack D )
-Warnado (Single Pack and Triple Pack H, Glow-in-the-Dark)
-Whirlwind (US Single Pack aTarget Exclusive...Thanks to false advertising by activision, Whirlwind was released in Triple Pack F, AND Single Packs elsewhere)
-Bash (Single Pack, Triple Pack C, Legendary Triple Pack, Translucent Blue Single Pack)
-Dino-Rang (Single Pack, Triple Pack E, Silver)
-Prism Break (Single Pack, Triple Pack B)
-Terrafin (Pirate Seas Adventure Pack Only)
-Eruptor (Single Pack, Triple Pack C, Silver)
-Flameslinger (Single Pack, Triple Pack A, Gold)
-Ignitor (3DS Starter Pack, Single Pack, Triple Pack H)
-Sunburn (Dragon's Peak Adventure Pack Only)
-Camo (Single Pack and Triple Pack H)
-Stealth Elf (3DS Starter Pack, Single Pack, Triple Pack D, Crystal Clear)
-Stump Smash (Single Pack, Triple Pack A, Frito's Flocked Stump Smash)
-Zook (Single Pack and Triple Pack G)
-Dark Spyro (3DS Starter Pack Exclusive, Possible Later Single Pack)
-Double Trouble (Single Pack and Triple Pack F)
-Spyro (All Starter Kits except 3DS, Dark Spyro=3DS Only, Legendary Triple Pack)
-Voodood (Single Pack, Triple Pack B)
-Wrecking Ball (Single Pack, Triple Pack D, Glow-in-the-Dark)
-Boomer (Single Pack, Triple Pack B, Silver)
-Drill Sergeant (Single Pack Only-Walmart/Sam's Club Exclusive and thanks to activision false advertising and deceptive practices Single Packs Elsewhere and Triple Pack F)
-Drobot (Single Pack, Triple Pack A)
-Trigger Happy (All Starter Packs, except 3DS, Legendary Single Pack a Toys'R'Us Exclusive)
-Chop Chop (Single Pack, Triple Pack C, Legendary Triple Pack, Gold)
-Cynder (Single Pack, Triple Pack G, Crystal Clear, Metallic Purple)
-Ghost Roaster (Dark Light Crypt Adventure Pack)
-Hex (Single Pack, Triple Pack E, Pearl)
-Gill Grunt (All Starter Kits except 3DS)
-Slam Bam (Empire of Ice Adventure Pack)
-Wham-Shell (Single Pack, Crystal Clear)
-Zap (Single Pack and Triple Pack E, Glow-in-the-Dark)
-Bash (Legendary Triple Pack, Toys'R'Us Exclusive)
-Chop Chop (Legendary Triple Pack, Toys'R'Us Exclusive)
-Spyro (Legendary Triple Pack, Toys'R'Us Exclusive)
-Trigger Happy (Legendary Single Pack, Toys'R'Us Exclusive)
Regular Skylanders by Triple Pack
Triple Pack A-1: Drobot, Flameslinger, Stump Smash
Triple Pack B-2: Prism Break, Voodood, Boomer
Triple Pack C-3: Eruptor, Chop Chop, Bash
Triple Pack D-4: Wrecking Ball, Stealth Elf, Sonic Boom
Triple Pack E-5: Zap, Hex, Dino-Rang
Triple Pack F-6: Whirlwind, Double Trouble, Drill Sergeant
Triple Pack G-7: Lightning Rod, Cynder, Zook
Triple Pack H-8: Camo, Ignitor, Warnado
Legendary Triple Pack: Bash, Spyro, Chop Chop
Regular Skylanders by Single Pack
Everyone with the exception of: Spyro, Gill Grunt, Trigger Happy, Terrafin, Ghost Roaster, Slam Bam, Sunburn, and currently Dark Spyro are available in Single Pack offerings. I would expect that those of us in the US and Canada will see Dark Spyro singles some time before Giants comes out. Keep in mind, the Legendary Triple Pack Skylanders are not available as singles at this time either.
Adventure Packs (The Only Retail Way to Land These 4 Skylanders)
-Darklight Crypt: Ghost Roaster, Darklight Crypt, Healing Elixir, Time Twist Hourglass (Chapter 25)
-Dragon's Peak: Sunburn, Dragon Peak, Sparx the Dragonfly, Winged Boots (Chapter 26)
-Empire of Ice: Slam Bam, Ice Cave, Anvil Rain, Sky-Iron Shield (Chapter 23)
-Pirate Seas: Terrafin, Pirate Ship, Ghost Pirate Swords, Hidden Treasure (Chapter 24)
Skylanders by Wave
It is often asked, "What is a Wave?" or "What do you mean by Wave __?" Here is the answer. A "wave" simply refers to the staggered release order. In October, at the launch of the game, you had access to quite a few Skylanders, but not all. Later in the fall Wave 2 came out...You still couldn't get Lightning Rod (Wave 4)...Here is the complete breakdown for your convenience:
Wave 1 (20 Base Skylanders, Dark Spyro, and Legendary Triple Pack): Spyro, Gill Grunt, Trigger Happy, Dark Spyro, Ignitor, Stealth Elf, Voodood, Drobot, Booomer, Drill Sergeant, Eruptor, Flameslinger, Stump Smash, Bash, Prism Break, Terrafin, Chop Chop, Ghost Roaster, Sonic Boom, Whirlwind, Zap, Legendary Spyro, Legendary Bash, Legendary Chop Chop.
Wave 2: Wrecking Ball, Dino-Rang, Hex
Wave 3: Double Trouble, Cynder, Slam Bam
Wave 4: Lightning Rod, Zook, Sunburn
Wave 5: Camo, Warnado, Wham-Shell
Collectible Skylanders: Rare, Not Part of the 37
Translucent Blue Skylanders
-Bash (Toys'R'Us Exclusive)
Cystal "Clear" Skylanders
-Wham-Shell (First seen in Australia)
Translucent Red Skylanders
-Drill Sergeant (Walmart Exclusive)
Exclusive Skylanders (Toy Fairs, E3 etc)
-Single Pack Trigger Happy (E3 2011)
-Metallic Purple Cynder (Nurumberg Toy Fair 2011)
-Chrome Spyro (E3 2012)
-Spring of 2012 (Promotion April-May)
--Flocked Stump Smash
-Summer of 2012 (June 18th-July 13th estimated run time)
Shown with Frito Lay Promo Sheet Name and (Coded Game Names)
---Mega Stealth (Whisper Elf)
---Super Trigger (Trigger Snappy)
---Big Grunt (Gill Runt)
---Mighty Fin (Terrabite)
We now know that the promotion runs July 8th, 2012 through November 2nd, 2012. The names are the "Coded Game Names" from above
-Trigger Snappy (Trigger Happy)
-Whisper Elf (Stealth Elf)
-Gil Run (Gill Grunt)
Wii: Weapon Master Glitch
I strongly suggest you ready my blog post regarding this aggravating issue:
Weapon Master Glitch Blog Post
You can check out various Skylander Ranks in one of my other blog posts:
Skylanders Overall Ranks
Skylanders: Elemental Ranks by Trading Cards
My Complete Collection
Some of you may enjoy this video showcasing the complete collection (32/32 and 37/37) as well as touching on most of the major information contained here. All info in the video was accurate as of the recording date (May 21st, 2012):
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure Complete Collection
That basically wraps it up. There are still a few uncertainties and unknowns, but you can get the geneal idea here.
Enjoy, hope this helps a lot of ya'll out.
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