Sunday, April 22, 2012

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure: Adventure Pack Time Goals

Not much to see here...just Stealth Elf flying through the Adventure Pack Chapters.

I wanted to make the blog post for these four chapters just in case someone had questions...they  can post here as opposed to the more generic, "Ask 1ofWiisdom" post.

I have to say, none of these were particularly challenging...I think you get a break on the card games, lock puzzles, and maybe even some of the "boss fight" segments.  A leveled up Stealth Elf is all I need to complete the Time Goals and garner the 3 Star Ranking for each chapter.

Chapter 23 Empire of Ice Time Goal
-Clear in Under 10:10



Chapter 24 Pirate Seas Time Goal
-Clear in Under 5:35



Chapter 25 Darklight Crypt Time Goal
-Clear in Under 12:30



Chapter 26 Dragon's Peak Time Goal
-Clear in Under 10:35



Weekend Update: April 21st, 2012

Here is a weekend update for you...

Wave 5 Pre-Order

Well, good news and bad news...

The bad news first...I still don't have Warnado, who I have eagerly been awaiting since October, Camo, or Wham-Shell.  They are, however, becoming easier to find...just the last few days I've seen several folks finding 2-3 sets at their local Walmart or reporting that their GameStop has been getting them in regularly etc.

The good news is I have them on order!  Having missed out on the GameStop unveiling for Camo and Warnado I was a bit disappointed (I missed their Wham-Shell earlier this week as well).  When I found out that Walmart had the trio up I was miffed...mainly because I filled out their "email me when this items is in stock" form long, long ago.  I'm not sure, but it could be the system just can't get e-mails out before the stock dissipates, or perhaps they knew it wasn't enough to justify a full listing etc.  Still if you are someone who relies on "email me when this is in stock" you may want to be a bit more proactive...I'm pretty sure I did something similar with GameStop, but oh well.

The bad side of good aside, my order is coming from Amazon!  I have never had an issue with Amazon damaging anything, I get to pay retail, and I get free shipping.  This is a win-win-win.  First off I'm not having to (although I'm sure I'll continue to look locally) hunt for Wave 5 like a possessed lunatic.  Second, I am paying less than singles cost at TRU or GameStop.  Lastly, free freight!  GameStop ships quick, but that is another few bucks that could have been something else.  Toys'R'Us has the nuttiest freight charges and their penchant for using "Sure Post" basically costs me 3 days of transit time with every order.  Amazon will come free via UPS, not bent-up, and at $8.99 per Skylander!

The only downside here is they have yet to say when they will ship, but still, I can rest a little easier knowing that the final three will be on their way shortly.  Special thanks to Jon, octaneblue, for the heads-up on the pre-order!

Here is a shot from Target...well stocked, just nothing "new" (ie Wave 4 or Wave 5):



Recordings

Last night, well technically this morning, I recorded the time goals for Empire of Ice, Pirate Seas, Darklight Crypt, and Dragon's Peak. They are being edited and uploaded as we speak!


Progress

With the time goals done, I have 3-Stars on every chapter, except for Darklight Crypt.  Apparently I am not doing something right on the Enemy Goal.  I went thru it last night and literally decimated everything (made it a point to take out 5-6 of the Stump Demons around Occulous) and still came up empty...I'll work on that and getting Wrecking Ball up to Level 10 (he is at Level 8 and the only Skylander not currently at 10).

What I plan to do now is simply take the fleet thru Heroic Challenges.  Obviously I am going to do my favorite Skylanders first.  As of right now I feel like I've gotten the hard challenges taken care of (ie Boomer and Eruptor on Double Trouble etc).  I am a little leary of doing the mass upgrades until I know if Warnado, Wham-Shell, or Camo will have a similar challenge to Double Trouble or Drobot etc.

I will work on that and should I get it wrapped up to my liking I'll record mass upgrades and pick paths etc.

I will record the unboxings, introductions, and Heroic Challenges of our final three Skylanders as soon as they come in...

Currently Playing

I am currently playing Wii Fit Plus, Gold's Gym Cardio Workout Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure (Wii), and Professor Layton and the Last Specter (DS).

I am really enjoying Professor Layton and the Last Specter and will likely pick up the previous installments in the series.

For whatever reason I've been playing Gold's Gym Cardio Workout about 2-3 times a week.  I really enjoyed it when I picked it up, just haven't had much time to play after I was going at it daily.  That said, I'm a big believer in working out and it helps me sleep better...so with that said, I've picked it back up...Aced an exam tonight and then took on a new lesson, with very nice results:



*If I wrap up upgrades on Skylanders I will start recording Mario Kart Wii.

Blog

A couple of big additions to the blog will be:
-My Favorite Skylanders
-My Selected Upgrade Paths

Earlier today I was able to get the "Fire Element Upgrade Path" poll results blogged and I also added Blog Poll #26 "Who is Your Favorite Skylander?"  It is going to be a very nice poll in my opinion!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Blog Poll #26: Who Is Your Favorite Skylander

Blog Poll #26 is all about going big, or going home.  This poll asks, "Who is Your Favorite Skylander?"

You have 32 options and you can vote once.  I'm letting the poll run 40 days and 40 nights...you can cast your vote just below the Twitter Feed.  This poll should be EPIC.

I was originally going to launch a battle tournament, but I will hold off.  I really want Camo, Warnado, and Wham-Shell to be more readily owned before having something else that has a possible tinge of bias permeating.

That said, I have polled "What is Your Favorite _____ Element Skylander?" before and in some cases we didn't have all of the line-up out.  I might break that back down later this summer to see if things have changed and if so, how and why they changed.

But this...this is something entirely different.  You've got one vote.  Love Spyro and Sunburn, you've got to pick  one of them.  I know this could result in low vote totals and I encourage you to vote for your absolute favorite and not be swayed because your favorite, Wrecking Ball for example, is well down below say Spyro, and you don't want to "throw your vote away.  There will be no such thing.  If we have 200 votes and 100 are for Spyro, 50 for Trigger Happy, and you were the 1 of the remaining 50 votes and the only to vote for Gill Grunt, so be it.  I want a true sampling here.

I am very excited to see how this one pans out and I'll probably even include it in weekly updates to hopefully encourage more voters.  So spread the word and cast your vote now!

I will make a stand-alone blog post and add it to the sidebar with the final results.

*Please not I am not including any special (ie Gold, Silver, Clear, Glow in the Dark etc), nor will you see any Legendaries...Dark Spyro is also getting the boot on this poll...However, if your favorite is Dark Spyro, cast your vote for Spyro.  Similarly, if Legendary Chop Chop is your all time favorite, just vote for Chop Chop.

You are more than welcome to reply to this post with who is your favorite, why they are your favorite, and if you prefer another version (ie Dark Spyro, Legendary Bash etc).

Thanks in advance for voting and please spread the word...I'd like to get as high a vote count as possible to see how everyone ranks the Skylanders in terms of their absolute favorite.

Blog Poll #24 Results: Fire Element Upgrade Paths

Blog Poll #24 asked, "Which Upgrade Path Do You Prefer for Fire Element Skylanders?"  We had a ton of feedback on this one with a sum total of 639 Votes!  Many thanks to everyone who chimed in and cast their vote.  Also, it was unique in the fact that we had 3 Skylanders who were very close compared to most of these polls.  Let's take a look at the results:




What I liked best about this poll was the vote count.  Flameslinger and Eruptor,who have been available the longest and are thus the most likely to be owned, had the most votes.  Granted, Ignitor has been available since Day 1 in the 3DS Starter Pack, but a lot of folks didn't have him until recently, or are still looking for that illusive single pack.

Flameslinger netted the most votes and we saw a narrow 11% margin of victory for Marksman.  In all honesty, Flameslinger is one of the few Skylanders who has two upgrade paths that are both very solid.  In the end, more folks seem to select the option to upgrade his primary attack.  This is probably because it is quicker to deploy and offers more "instant" benefits than Pyromancer.  That said, Flameslinger can be devastating going down that path and either will serve you well.

Eruptor, who is slightly less popular than Flameslinger, netted an impressive 164 votes.  He also joins the ranks as one of the very few Skylanders who you have selected as having a better secondary upgrade path with a 15% margin of victory. I think the reason for this is twofold.  First, Eruptor's early upgrades make his primary attack, the lava balls, do a crud ton of damage as is.  The complaint about his secondary attack would have to be it is slow.  Well, Phase 1 of Magmantor takes care of that with "Quick Eruption."  Follow that up with more damage, and then the extra, small volcanoes and you have a totally unique upgrade path that compliments the already lethal base upgrades.

Fittingly, Ignitor came in 3rd with 154 votes...a likely reflection of his 3DS status and of course the fact he has just started to become attainable for retail prices in single pack form.  He follows the status quo with 63% of voters agreeing that his Blademaster path is the one to pick.  I think this is attributable to the fact having a flaming sword is pretty freaking awesome on its' own merits, but having the chance to upgrade that is probably a bit too tempting to resist...That said, I believe his secondary upgrade path, "Soul of the Flame" could be just as good, but isn't as flashy (see also, long, burning sword).  Again, I don't think you can regret either path here, and he might be worth getting a second figure of just to have both.

Sunburn, who is scorching the "Favorite Adventure Pack Character Poll" came in with 153 votes...a fitting spot given the fact not everyone has gotten to land Dragon's Peak.  His results were much more one sided with a whopping 7 in 10 voters selecting his "Blaze Dragon" path.  I will be honest here, Blaze Dragon just seems to be far better than Flame Lord.  With the base upgrades you get the "after fire" effects seen post teleportation.  Flame Lord just basically expands on that.  Oh, and the fact that you have INFINITE Flamebreath as your first upgrade on Blaze Dragon kind of says a lot too...That is limitless, never ending, etc.  Imagine just getting to hold the A-Button down with other Skylanders primary attacks and never having to wait for a reload etc.  Pretty hot...and most everyone agrees.

I was very pleased with the voting on this one not only for the great sampling, but also because it reflected the likely vote totals based on how long the Sklyanders have been out and their attainability.  That said, the Fire Element Upgrade Paths are very close as we have three characters with compelling cases for both...one that wound up "secondary" and the other two that are honestly great paths either way you go.

Thanks again to everyone for voting.  I'll get some new polls up soon...likely based on the "most popular" by element categories etc.  I may even deploy a Tournament Poll soon...more on that later.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Nintedo Wii Library

I have wanted to make this post for quite some time....Chances are, if you stumble across this blog, we probably have similar tastes in games.

I might have something you don't which sparks your interest, or your personal library might have a game you know I'd like etc.  Hopefully this will pay dividends for everyone.

There are some games I know I'll like (Mario anything), games I take a chance on (Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident), and even a few gifts etc here and there.

I'll try to do these in chronological order (by purchase, not release...sometimes if I am busy, I'll let the brand new $49.99 pass by so I can land it cheaper later on, or catch a buy one, get one sale etc).  Anyway, here is my Wii Library:


  1. Wario Land Shake It
  2. Super Mario Galaxy
  3. Wii Play
  4. Wii Fit
  5. Need for Speed Undercover
  6. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  7. Wii Sports Resort
  8. Mario Strikers Charged
  9. Wii Fit Plus (October 4th, 2009)
  10. New Super Mario Bros Wii
  11. Mario Kart Wii
  12. Need for Speed Nitro
  13. Decca Sports 2
  14. Family Fun Football
  15. Super Paper Mario
  16. Chrysler Classic Racing
  17. Gold's Gym Cardio Workout (March 31st, 2009)
  18. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (May 23, 2010)
  19. Madden 2011 (August 10th, 2010)
  20. Namco Museum Remix
  21. Gold's Gym Dance Workout (August 17th, 2010)
  22. Donkey Kong Country Returns (November 21st, 2010)
  23. Kirby's Epic Yarn (October 17th, 2010)
  24. Sonic Colors (November 11th, 2010)
  25. Super Mario All Stars (December 12th, 2010)
  26. Mario Sports Mix (February 7th, 2011)
  27. Dodge Racing: Charger vs Challenger
  28. NFL Training Camp 
  29. Nerf-N-Strike/Nerf-N-Strike Elite
  30. Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident (June 27th, 2011)
  31. Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure (October 16th, 2011)
  32. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (November 20th, 2011)
  33. NBA 2K12
  34. Mario Party 9 (March 11th, 2012)
  35. Mario Power Tennis
  36. Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition (Release Date)
  37. Skylanders Giants (Release Date)
  38. Sonic and the Black Knight (Christmas 2012, Gift for My Nephew)
  39. Sonic and the Secret Rings (Christmas 2012, Gift for My Nephew)
  40. Sonic Riders Zero Gravity (January 2013 to get free shipping on Skylanders via Amazon)
  41. Skylanders SuperChargers Racing (September 20th, 2015)
  42. Animal Crossing City Folk (Late 2015)

Nintendo 3DS Library

It's 3 AM and this is something I've wanted to do for a while...

While this serves no immediate purpose, I think it is cool to have this stuff documented so folks that come across the blog can skim my library and see what we have in common.  You might find something I have that you don't that sparks your interest, or you might know from what I have and what I enjoy a game you've got that you think I would really enjoy.  It is a 2 way street and hopefully it'll pay dividends for everyone.

I don't really have rhyme or reason to some stuff...

There are certain titles I know I'll like and others I take a gamble on...

Anyway, here is my 3DS (DS) library in order of purchase:


  1. Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
  2. Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
  3. Madden Football (3DS)
  4. Driver Renegade (3DS)
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (3DS)
  6. Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure (3DS)
  7. Pilotwings Resort (3DS)
  8. Professor Layton and the Last Specter (DS)
  9. Mario Tennis Open (3DS) 5/24/2012
  10. Mario Kart DS (DS) 5/24/2012
  11. Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS) 5/31/2012
  12. Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (DS)
  13. Plants vs Zombies (DS)
  14. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)
  15. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS)
  16. Skylanders Giants (3DS) October, 21st, 2012
  17. Professor Layton and the Unwound Future
  18. Paper Mario Sticker Star (3DS) November 11th, 2012
  19. Wario Ware DIY (DS) December 6th, 2012
  20. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (3DS)
  21. Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  22. Skylanders SWAP Force
  23. Pokemon Y
  24. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
  25. Yoshi's New Island
  26. Mario Party Island Tour
  27. Brain Age Concentration Training
  28. Skylanders Trap Team
  29. Mario Golf World Tour
  30. Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
  31. Super Smash Bros.
  32. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
  33. Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
  34. Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
  35. Skylanders SuperChargers Racing
  36. New Super Mario Bros. (DS)
  37. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
  38. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekly Skylanders Update: Found Something Local?!

Well, it is now 3:38  AM and I'm not really up for investing a lot of time into this post...right now anyway, lol.

I made the rounds tonight, except for Best Buy (have I mentioned here lately that I don't like that place?).  I bring them up not just to mention once more I am not a fan, but because I saw online where an employee reported getting a drop shipped box from UPS that consisted of 15 Wham-Shells...and yes, it was someone in the US.

Target was well stocked and I am finally getting the picture up, only 2 days late:


Enjoy the picture fuzz for no charge.  My phone camera has been doing that a lot lately...and oddly enough it isn't motion related.  If you move much at all you just see streaks, that is with me holding it still.  I'm not sure what the deal is...it seems to be certain lightning conditions.  I took two shots today (Sat) one was perfect, the other was fuzzy.

Walmart had a few more than usual...notably the likes of Hex, Drill Sergeant, and Wrecking Ball...apparently my local scalper is not making enough profit on these anymore...they were joined by the usual Boomer, Chop Chop, Drobot, and Prism Break.

Toys'R'Us still had a lot of stock...of everything but Wave 4 and Wave 5.  I do want to mention they have sold all (well the three they had last week) their second round of Dragon's Peak.  The Empire of Ice, Pirate Seas, and Darklight Crypt assembly  from last week was reduced to 3-4 Darklight Crypts.  I honestly think parents just seem to be more inclined to buy a shark and pirate ship, or yeti and ice fortress as opposed to a skulled guy that hunts ghosts and has a mace.  Shockingly, the Legendary Trigger Happy stock was probably down to 100 or so...only took about a month to put that dent in the collection.

On that note, I have heard that the Legendary Triple Pack is coming back.  I really wish it wouldn't.  I'm sure round 3 will be more on the scale of LTH where they are flooding the store (unlike Dragon's Peak).  That will basically mean that the only real collectibles will be the gold/silver/blue/crystal etc Skylanders.

My local brand-x store that carries Skylanders impressed me.  They have gone from two clips, to the overflowing two clips I showcased last week, and have now graduated to an end cap!  Sonic Boom, Whirlwind, Drill Sergeant, Double Trouble, Chop Chop, Boomer, Drobot, and a few others highlight the find.

Oh and that bit about finding something local....yep, it happened.  As you recall I just got my TRU.com Triple Pack of Lightning Rod, Cynder, and Zook in on Monday.  I had to run some work errands and took the time to run into Walmart...this store is not impacted by the psycho scalper and in addition to having a nice assortment of Wave 1-3 (none in mass quantity) I did land the only two Wave 4 they had: Lightning Rod and Zook in single packs!


I was pretty excited...these will likely wind up with my nephew, but if not I will use them for whatever upgrade path I didn't pick for the originals.  It bothers me that the Triple Packs don't feature slogans...singles do and I promised to relay to two folks what Zook's slogan is...

It is definitely "Bamboo-Yah!" not the originally planned, "Locked and Loaded" which I kind of like, although both work.

Anyway, I am beat...I'll add some headings and pictures tomorrow, cough, later today.

I will also mention, I asked an employee at every stop about Wave 5...none of them acted like they had even heard of or seen Warnado around, but most were familiar with Zook or Lightning Rod.

My immediate plans for Skylanders is two-fold:

1. I really want to upgrade my fleet...I've been playing with base powers, or basic upgrades to the point of picking a path for far too long on many champions.

2. BEFORE I run in and recklessly upgrade Skylanders I want to complete some of the harder Heroic Challenges...that is likely what I will be messing with this weekend.

ONCE I have everyone through at least the tough ones (when powered up) I will come in and record another mass upgrade video where I just stick Skylanders on the portal and see what we can do.

SHOULD I land Warnado or Camo before then you better believe they will be unboxed, introduced, and recorded in game play.

Well, hope everyone has a great weekend.  I will also get a few more posts and new features up on the blog soon...if time allows I'll start hitting some YouTube comments too.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lightning Rod and Zook: Heroic Challenges and Gameplay in Dragon's Peak

Well, with finally landing Triple Pack G (which I have yet to see in stores locally), I am able to introduce Lightning Rod and Zook.

As mentioned, I wasn't really that interested in Zook or Camo for that matter, until I saw Zook in person.  He sort of has that same appeal Stump Smash does for me...hard to explain, but I know what it is when I see it.

Needless to say he did not disappoint.  Nor did Lightning Rod...he was great right out of the $5 higher TRU Triple Pack.

Here you can take a look at Lightning Rod's basic powers, his virgin stats, and of course his Heroic Challenge which is #6 Fight, Teleport, Fight:


We next do the same introduction for Zook...we take a look at his base stats, standard attacks, and his Heroic Challenge #26 You Stole My Hearts, which is set on the islands and quite time consuming, but luckily not too difficult:





After their intros I took Lightning Rod and Zook thru a few of the tougher Heroic Challenges, including all the Speed Challenges.  Zook is a total nightmare on Double Trouble's HC on the Wii.  I would painstakingly line up my shots to be ahead of paintings and right in line with trolls only to see a painting vanish.  I finally got burned out and just went and upgraded him anyway for the gameplay video.

Speaking of that, since I needed the Dragon's Peak Enemy Goal...and since it is Wave 4, I opted to dispatch this duo that direction.  A little tip on the Enemy Goal is that both the Legendary Treasure and Earth Elemental  area have enemies you will need to get...there are none in the Air Element Gate.

I also leveled up Wrecking Ball just in case we lost either Lightning Rod or Zook.  He is one of the very few (Cynder and maybe L-Bash) that isn't a Level 10 Skylander.  I've used him countless times in Quicksilver Vault only to have him get extinguished, so I figured I'd treat him to a few upgrades.

For those that care, only Lightning Rod and Zook were used to obtain the Enemy Goal for our gameplay feature in Chapter 26: Dragon's Peak:



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure Unboxing Triple Pack G: Lightning Rod, Cynder, and Zook

Well a little over a week after ordering, my Lightning Rod/Cynder/Zook Triple Pack from Toys'R'Us.com finally came in the mail.  Aside from the slow transit and a corner being bent, all was well.  Here is the unboxing:






As always, I try to include as much information as possible in the video for one simple reason: the more info that is included, the fewer questions that have to be asked...that saves time for everyone.

If you want a quick unboxing, without commentary, I'm sure you can find it.  I go into a lot of detail to really show what you get for the money and there are many people that prefer that method. 

The video covers:

-Where I Got It: Toys'R'Us Online
-What it Cost: $24.99+Freight+Tax
-What is Included: Lightning Rod, Cynder, Zook, Web Codes, Cards, and Stickers
-The Stories on Lightning Rod, Cynder, and Zook
-Lightning Rod's, Cynder's, and Zook's Card Stats

-In Game Stats for Lightning Rod, Cynder, and Zook
-The Other Air, Undead, and Life Skylanders-Wave 5 Information


When I refer to Skylanders Rankings, I am referencing my blog post that factors in Health and Power Stats...you can find it RIGHT HERE

First off let me say...I really would have preferred singles for Lightning Rod and Zook.  I know that is almost the price of the triple pack at non-TRU stores, but it would have made for a better video as I'd have done Lightning Rod and Zook separate...As is, I felt obligated to include Cynder's info, despite unboxing her single pack, because prospective buyers of this Triple Pack will want insights on her as well.  That said, if you really want to focus on Cynder, please watch Cynder's Unboxing .

Cynder is the last of the Undead Element to be released following Ghost Roaster, Chop Chop, and Hex.  Lightning Rod is the 3rd Air Element to be released coming in the wake of Sonic Boom and Whirlwind and just before Wave 5's Warnado.  Zook is also the 3rd Life Element to be released following Stealth Elf and Stump Smash with Wave 5's Camo hot on his heels.

This Triple Pack is a great pick-up if you still like Cynder, or already have her and would like another to do her other upgrade path etc.

Let's take a look at the stats:

Lightning Rod "One Strike and You're Out"
#14 in Skylanders Overall Rankings

In-Game:
-Health 290/580
-Speed 43/91
-Armor 18/48
-Critical Hit 30/80
-Elemental Power 25/100

Card
-Strength 65
-Defense 60
-Agility 60
-Luck 65

Cynder: "Volts and Lightning"
#33 in Skylanders Overall Rankings



In-Game:
-Health 260/520
-Speed 43/91
-Armor 18/48
-Critical Hit 30/80
-Elemental Power 25/100

Card:
-Strength 55
-Defense 75
-Agility 85
-Luck 45

Zook "Bamboo Yah!"
#32 in Skylanders Overall Rankings



In-Game:
-Health 260/520
-Speed 43/91
-Armor 30/60
-Critical Hit 20/70
-Elemental Power 25/100

Card:
-Strength 70
-Defense 85
-Agility 20
-Luck 70

Wave 5 Insights

I will close with a little info on Wave 5.

Wave 5 will consist of Camo, Warnado, and Wham-Shell.

Camo is the last of the Life Element Skylanders and will come in both Single Pack and Triple Pack H.

Warnado, who I am really looking forward to, will be the final Air Element Skylander and can be found in both Single Pack and Triple Pack H.

Wham-Shell is the last man standing if you will and as best I know will only come in single pack format.  He will be the final Water Element Skylander and the last Skylander to be released for Spyro's Adventure.

Triple Pack H will feature Camo, Warnado, and Ignitor (who has been out since Day 1 in the 3DS Starter Pack and as a quite hard to find Wave 4 Single Pack).

As of this posting, Warnado and Camo are being found in the US at Walmart and a few GameStops.  I imagine Toys'R'Us and Amazon will get them soon.  Wham-Shell, as of right now, has only been found in Australia and a few have found a crystal/clear variant of him.

Conclusion

I am currently looking for the final three Skylanders and will naturally unbox them, introduce them, and record their Heroic Challenges as soon as possible.

I am hoping to try out Lightning Rod and Zook early this week...I'll record when that happens.

Good luck tracking down not only these featured Wave 4 Skylanders, but Wave 5 and any others you might be missing!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Weekly Update 4/5/2012: Skylanders and Scalpers: Case Solved

Well, another week...another Skylanders hunt.

#Streetpassing

First off, let me say I don't know if that is used by anyone else on Twitter, but I plan to start making use of it...Sadly in my #streetpassing attempts tonight I came up empty.  I could really use a light blue shirted Mii right now.  I guess I"ll keep trying until other people realize they need to drive the streets with their 3DS in sleep mode to land some Street Pass Tags.

Nintendo Week

Well, there was no pleasant surprise here.  I clicked on the Nintendo Channel to find some new vids on Mario Tennis Open and nothing from Nintendo Week.  I really enjoyed the show and think they would be wise to bring it back in some form, perhaps how I mentioned it in last week's update post.

Skylanders Hunt

First stop was Target...they had a lot of the same ol' stuff: Eruptor, Boomer, Wrecking Ball, Stealth Elf, Drobot etc.  Nothing new at all.

Toys'R'Us on the other hand...they were once more well stocked.  I saw every Triple Pack with the exception of the newest one (Lightning Rod/Cynder/Zook).

There were still more Legendary Trigger Happy singles than anyone knows what to do with and I'm sure the back is overflowing with them as well.

The real kicker here was the Adventure Packs.  They had ALL ADVENTURE PACKS IN STOCK.  This marked the very first time I had seen Empire of Ice at Toys'R'Us and the second time I have seen it locally (the first being last week when GameStop just had a shipment...with one of them):



And keep in mind, this is right after I ordered Empire of Ice for my friend 2 weekends ago AND got Dragon's Peak from TRU online 3/25, with it arriving on Monday.  However, there were 3 Dragon's Peaks in the store.  They are still not really getting to cash in on the "exclusive window."  This was the first time I actually saw DP for sale and not being held for someone etc.

Blue Bash

As I talked with an employee I learned that I did get pretty lucky with that "Blue Bash raincheck."  Keep in mind my store got 12 of them last Sunday (some stores had 6, most had 12, a few reported 18, and some of you with employees holding stock back for themselves would have seen numbers not divisible by 6).  What I learned was that my store was allowed to issue 15 rainchecks.  That would total 27 Blue Bashes allocated to our store.  I don't know if that would be nation wide (US), or applicable based on sales/population numbers etc, but it is what it is.  That makes me feel pretty lucky getting the raincheck, although I still have no guarantee the figure will get produced, lol.

Walmart had Drobot, Eruptor, a stashed Boomer, and maybe a few Wrecking Balls.

GameStop wasv very well stocked with singles and Triples, basically Wave 2 and earlier.  I did see a few "used" figures in plastic bags hanging behind the counter...they were all Boomers...poor guy.  What do people have against a troll that has a penchant for blowing stuff up?

My local store that sometimes has Skylanders actually had the most I've ever seen...They had Chop Chop, Whirlwind, Double Trouble, Drill Sergeant, and an assortment of earlier characters:



Now it is time for my awesome purchase...I shelled out around $30 to land this and I think it was well worth it:



Yeah, Professor Layton and the Last Spectre.  Skylanders?  No, but I am looking forward to it.  This is the prequel to the series and I figured I would just get it first.  I like to go chronologically, but The Curious Village will be a pain to find and almost assuredly have to come used to avoid paying some crazy price for a game that should be $15 new, so I opted to just start here.  This should be the most refined game in the series, so if I like it I can hunt for Curious Village, if I don't, I can't just assume I can live without the others.

This isn't really something I'd typically see myself playing, but I like to change things up a bit.  I got Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident for the same reason and really liked it, even thought it was a bit quirky and I had no freakin' clue what  I was supposed to do half the time (that putty knife serving as an ice scraper still gets me).

But for those who care, Unwound Future can be sourced pretty much anywhere for around $19 and I spotted the Diabolical Box for $15 at TRU.  This would be one of those, buy one get one half off deals that you could really score a sweet bargain on...

I think I'll enjoy the game, and I wanted to play tonight, but I am beat...I'm sure I'll get in bed and turn it on though.

Scalpers

Oh, and you remembered seeing "Scalpers: Case Solved" in the title and wondered where it was...well here you go.

As some of you know, Wave 5 is here...and no, this is not an April Fool's Joke.  Camo and Warnado (who I am looking forward to playing) have both been seen across the US and are of course making their way to ebay.

Wham-Shell has been spotted in Australia, along with a pretty sweet looking clear variant (I told folks they wouldn't be done with Blue Bash).

Anyway, one of the first ebay listings was in my town (see, I don't make up the ebay pirate stuff for the heck of it...it is true).  I first heard of the "lady and her friends" raiding GameStops every morning at opening...then at shipment times from a manager this fall.

It became such an issue at my local TRU that they imposed the "One per Customer" limits.

Walmart has not done anything and you can tell...note that it is the only place that I only seem to find Eruptor/Boomer/Drobot...you know, the ones that scalpers can't make much money on anymore.

Well, as I was talking with an employee at TRU I was told the story on our local limits.  A guy was coming in and cleaning the shelf, much like many of you have seen at Walmart.  He did this regularly AND he had a track record of doing it (how about 28 Wiis back when they were super popular and almost impossible to get a hold of locally).

One day the store employees and manager told him he couldn't buy it all, just one of each...he got mad and wrote a letter to corporate.  Corporate investigated and when they heard why they did it and saw the transaction history, they agreed with the local store and sent the guy a similar letter.

Well, guess where his wife works?  If you said Walmart, you are correct!

That means, that she opens the cases in the back...pulls what she wants, knows that the other stores stocking Skylanders will have the same shipment, sends someone over there, or has an associate hold them for her, and then she and her husband list everything on ebay to make a killing.

I've said before, if a store gets something in that an employee wants, I'm all for them holding it back and buying it.  If this lady was a huge fan, sure...take the first Camo and Warnado.  The thing is, she takes them all every time! If  Drobot would fetch more than $9 on ebay I know he wouldn't be on the shelf at Walmart.

And keep in mind right now it is Walmart that is the place getting the Wave 5 Skylanders.  So, where I run in and find Drobot, you might head in and find Camo and Warnado.  I'm not a huge Walmart fan and knowing that an ebay pirate works there, takes advantage of the system, and does it for huge profits from those afar and at the expense of local players, I'm pretty ticked.  Like I said, if they get 2 shipments a week and she is the "First" to get the new stuff, fine...enjoy it...I'd like some perk if I worked at Walmat too.  But to literally have this job just to advance your second, and probably more lucrative job, is pretty sad.

This is why I NEVER buy from scalpers and refuse to pay over retail for anything.

With that said, I know some of you face similar situations with your Walmart, Target, GameStop, or Toys'R'Us.  However, you can take solstice in my recent research findings.  GameStop.com has added the LRod/Cynder/Zook Triple Pack as well as Camo and Warnado to their website.  The "Add to Cart" buttons lit up today, but they come up as an error when you click them, nonetheless that means they will soon have the Wave 4 and 5 Skylanders up for grab:


Well, that wraps it up for this week.  If TRU shipped by UPS I would have the Lightning Rod Triple Pack today, but since they stick it with the post office I'll likely see it Monday.

Hope everyone has a great Easter...Keep your eyes out for the Wave 5 Skylanders!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure Unboxing Dragon's Peak

Here is the unboxing of Dragon's Peak complete with an overview of what is included and a few insights on some Wave 4 information:



As always, I try to include as much information as possible in the video for one simple reason: the more info that is included, the fewer questions that have to be asked...that saves time for everyone.

If you want a quick unboxing, without commentary, I'm sure you can find it.  I go into a lot of detail to really show what you get for the money and there are many people that prefer that method.

The video covers:

-Where I Got It: Toys'R'Us Online
-What it Cost: $24.99+Freight+Tax
-Exclusive Window: 30 Days at Toys'R'Us
-What is Included: Sunburn, Dragon's Peak, Sparx the Dragon Fly, Winged Boots, Web Codes, Cards, and Stickers
-The Story on Sunburn
-Sunburn's Card Stats
-Sunburn's In-Game Stats
-The Other Adventure Packs
-The Other Fire Element Skylanders

And since inevitably questions about other recent Wave 4 Releases (Ignitor Single Pack, Lightning Rod and Zook Single/Triple, and Blue Bash) are bound to come up, I touched briefly on those topics towards the end of the video.

Again, my logic is to cover as much as possible without spoiling anything that might happen "in game."

I must also stress that you please refrain from paying ridiculous prices to scalpers.  If they wind up having to sell for retail or $5 over, they really aren't making enough to justify the effort...that means good things for Skylander fans at retail stores.

Dragon's Peak debuted, or should have debuted, Sunday, March 25th, 2012 at Toys'R'Us in the United States.  They kind of botched that and some folks bought them early on the 3/21 event, while others had them 3/21 only to find they wouldn't ring up.  It was truly a debacle.

What really amazes me, and makes finding Dragon's Peak a royal pain, is that despite their exclusive "30 day window" my TRU (and many other TRUs) have only had that initial shipment.  That is really failing to take advantage of the cornered market you know?

I and many others missed out locally, but were able to order it online through their website (which has been sold out roughly since the same time the stores went dry).  The Dragon's Peak APs on Amazon and ebay are extremely over priced and I would encourage you to wait for TRU to get more in, or simply give it a little more time till all retailers have it and save $5.  I enjoy the game as much as anyone, but I refuse to pay over retail for anything like this.

Ignoring the botched launch and inability to stock an item during an exclusive window, this is a big deal for Skylander fans.

Dragon's Peak is the LAST CHAPTER in the game and since all the other APs are out, you can now complete a few collections to work on the Accolades (Story Scrolls, Hats, Legendary Treasures, and Soul Gems).  I'm very excited about that aspect of it.

I have also heard that this level is pretty challenging, so that should be fun.

Sunburn has a huge fan base right now and  I am personally looking forward to checking out his teleportation ability.

Again, the only downside to Dragon's Peak is finding it for a fair price.  I had hoped that TRU would have a solid stock of these to really take advantage of their exclusive sales window...clearly that isn't happening at the moment.  I would expect at least one more shipment before the 30 days expire, but who knows the way things have gone lately.

If you can look past the hassle, there is a lot to look forward to about Dragon's Peak (Chapter 26).

I will introduce Sunburn and record his Heroic Challenge as soon as possible.  That will of course be followed by the blind playthrough of Chapter 26: Dragon's Peak!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ask 1ofWiisdom

This is something I've intended to do for quite some time.  I get asked a lot of questions and in making this blog post I will let readers generate their own FAQ if you will.

Basically all you need to do is ask me a question, whatever you want, and I'll post it here with my response.

I've been asked some pretty strange stuff, but as long as it isn't too invasive or personal (ie you won't be getting my phone number or social security number etc), I will do my best to answer it.

So go ahead and ask what you want, there are a few ways to do it...

1.  Ask here on the blog (preferred method).
2.  Ask on Twitter
3.  Ask on Facebook

I don't really want to bring YouTube into this because there are so many questions...if you really want to know or see it here, just take the time to post to the blog etc.

I think this will come in handy and since most people have the same questions, it'll hopefully save myself and some of you time.

So go ahead...

Ask!

Here are some of the more common questions from this blog post and the reoccuring YouTube questions:

Q: Will you do Skylanders Giants?
A: Yes, when it comes out.  I will do unboxings, reviews, and a blind playthrough.

Q: Why do you do "blind" playthroughs?
A: I honestly like them.  If I've mastered a game I will do a walkthru (and yes, that is how I like to spell it), but a "blind" run makes the video, in my opinion, relate better to most...and eventually you'll get all the extras/unlockables.

Q: Who is Your Favorite Skylander?
A: Terrafin.  This is a tough question, and if you add a variable into the mix it could change, but right now and overall I would give him the edge.

Q: Will you ever show your face in a video?
A: Probably not...it has never really been applicable thus far.

Q: Where do you live?
A: I live in the US.

Q: Are you Australian?
A: No.

Blog Poll #25: Which Skylanders Adventure Pack and AP Character is Your Favorite?

Blog Poll #25 technically consists of 2 Polls.  It is also really hard to title without being extremely redundant.  That said, what I came up with was the best at the time, lol.

This one should be very interesting and to give everything a fair shot (ie Dragon's Peak and Empire of Ice still being pretty hard to come by), I have left it open for over a month.  This should give us some very solid vote totals to analyze.

We first want to look at, "Which Adventure Pack is Your Favorite?"


-Darklight Crypt
-Dragon's Peak
-Empire of Ice
-Pirate Seas

Yeah, this is going to be tough to pick...

We will then counter that with, "Which Adventure Pack Character is Your Favorite?"

-Ghost Roaster
-Slam Bam
-Sunburn
-Terrafin

Even tougher is it not?

That is also reason for leaving it open.  I have also noticed that a lot of the time the "new" or "hot" item tends to dominate.  For example if I was doing "Who is Your Favorite Life Element Skylander?" right now, folks would be more inclined to Zook it up instead of considering an old favorite, or giving consideration to a future release.

By letting the poll run this long I really just hope that more of you can get the Adventure Pack(s) you are missing and will give it an honest vote.  By having it divided between chapter and character, someone that loves Slam Bam, but didn't like Empire of Ice can vote for each unbiased.

I am really looking forward to monitoring this poll and hope that you will spread the word and tell your friends so we can have a really high vote count.  I think this could be one of the tightest polls we wind up running for Skylanders.

Spread the word and vote now...

Blog Poll #23 Results: Which Upgrade Path Do You Prefer for Life Element Skylanders?

Blog Poll #23 asked, "Which Upgrade Path Do You Prefer for Life Element Skylanders?" and we had a nice 60-70 vote total for each (the poll was only open a week).

Here are the results:


Once more, no surprises...readers definitely seem to prefer upgrading the primary attack.

Stealth Elf led the way with 78 total votes and sported a +34 margin for Pook Blade Saint.

Stump Smash's Smash'N'Bash was +52 over Nut Crafter.

Zook, who not a lot of us would have had when the poll closed, sported a +44 for his Artilleryman.  I could see a few people honestly liking the Floral Defender route, but the question of course is will the base Floral Defender be weak enough and the promise of the Artilleryman path be marginal enough for folks to follow through.

Camo is the real wild card here as none of us have him.  Note that Melon Master was the Primary Attack despite it being listed second.  That didn't catch anyone off guard by the looks of the votes, however he was only +14.  I'm sure we'd get a better sampling if there were some gameplay vids folks could consult...and of course, first hand experience can not be beat.

But, as you can see, the Life Element Skylanders seem to be another segment that is overwhelmingly preferred on the Primary Attack Upgrade Path.

Thanks to all who voted!

Blog Poll #22 Results: Air Element Upgrade Paths

Blog Poll #22 asked "Which Upgrade Path Do You Prefer for Air Element Skylanders?"  It didn't run as long as some of the others, but nonetheless we had a nice sampling and I offer my thanks to those of you who voted.

Let's take a look at the results:



Let's analyze things by votes.  I have to say I am surprised Whirlwind had more votes than Sonic Boom, but both were ahead of Lightning Rod, who not many of us have yet, and Warnado who is yet to be released.

The trend was once again upgrade the primary attack.  Sonic Boom's was listed with Siren Griffin last, but it didn't fool anyone.  The results for the Air Element were overwhelmingly in favor of going down the primary attack upgrade path.

I will say that I am looking forward to Warnado and I hope he doesn't disappoint.  I always look at turtles as underdogs and am into weather so a Turtle/Tornado is pretty awesome.  I think, provide he is at least solid, he could easily be my favorite Air Element Skylander, and quite possibly one of my Top 3.

I have yet to play as Lightning Rod, but as of 3 AM or so this morning (4/2) I made the order on TRU.com and have him and Zook headed this way.  Not really sure what to do with that Cynder, but I guess I'll hang onto her in case I can trade for a Wave 5 release or something.

Thanks to everyone who voted!

Blog Poll #24: Which Upgrade Path Do You Prefer for Fire Element Skylanders?

Blog Poll #24 asks, "Which Upgrade Path Do You Prefer for Fire Element Skylanders?"

This will actually wrap up this series of polls as the Fire Element brought up the rear in the first "What is Your Favorite Element" poll we ran back in the day.  You can find these 4 polls just below the Twitter feed on the RH Side of the blog.

The Fire Element Skylanders are:
-Eruptor
-Flameslinger
-Ignitor
-Sunburn

I know some of you may not have Ignitor yet or are still working on tracking down Sunburn, but again I feel like the Spyro wiki, a few fan sites/forums, and of course YouTube will help you figure out what you'd prefer for those characters.

The GOOD NEWS is that for once I can say, "If you don't have them, keep your eyes peeled as they were just released!"

Ignitor single packs are very tough to find, but if you have a 3DS that is a non-issue as he has been around since the beginning...I'm actually surprised they took this long to package him separately.  Sunburn is of course the Skylander you obtain with Dragon's Peak...

As of right now, Toys'R'Us is the only retailer able to sell Dragon's Peak (30 Day Window), and I would advise you to monitor their website and ask managers when your store will get them in etc.  Otherwise, just wait it out until it goes to Walmart/Target and save some cash.

I'll let this poll run 10 days to hopefully give folks more time to find Ignitor and Sunburn.  The poll will close April 9th, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST.  Thanks in advance for sharing your opinion!

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