*Article Updated with More Information July 10th, 2013*
The answer is soon...very soon! Like today, or the 30th...the flyer lists both dates:
The official promotion begins June 30th, 2013, but several folks across the country have reported seeing the specially marked Frito Lay Multipacks at local stores, which would explain the date in the fine print at the bottom...
It is the same set-up as last time as best I can tell...
Buy the chips, enter a code online, pay shipping, and get a Sidekick.
The Skylanders Giants Sidekicks are as follows:
Barkley (Tree Rex)
Eye Small (Eye Brawl)
Despite being cute and collectible, it is unlikely these Sidekicks will do anything more than just follow you around like the original SSA Sidekicks. They are best suited to hardcore fans of the given character, or to big-time collectors and fans of the Skylanders series.
I am fairly close to Frito-Lay's distribution center, but despite how many of their products are on the shelves, I have a heck of a time finding the special packaging...That was the case last year, and seems to be the case this time around as well.
If possible, my plan this year is to just locate 4 of the "Flavor" packs and buy them ASAP. The chips will last awhile and work good for lunches and travelling. I simply could not find the packages last time after the first two runs...Hoping that changes this time!
Again, the official date is the 30th (1 week from now), but some folks are already finding them...I was in 2 Walmarts tonight looking for S2 Drobot and neither had the special promo packs.
The picture shows you what to look for and gives you an idea what the characters look like...
Should I locate some, I will get a video up ASAP to show you what they look like and what the procedure is this time around...I believe the "Shipping & Handling" has gone up from $2.00 to $2.50.
Anyway, it is 4 AM...if you make the grocery runs for your house hold be on the lookout!!
*Here is an update from 7/10/2013...I also added a few ITALICS up above to reflect more info.*
Skylanders Giants Sidekicks: Frito-Lay Promotion: Opening and Information on the Promo
I was out-of-town on a trip over the 4th of July. Having had no luck finding the specially marked variety packs, I got lucky running into a Walmart around San Antonio. They had TONS of them...being on the road, I only picked two of them up...Mainly to get them opened up, see how the promo worked, and relay the information to you...I can only hope that I can find 2 more locally.
That said, here are some instructions and screen shots to help you out:
1. Find the Specially Marked Frito-Lay Multipacks
2. Find the 13 Digit Code Printed Inside
3. Surf over to www.skylanderspromo.com/fritolay
4. Enter your Date of Birth and Zip Code
5. Enter Your 13 Digit Code
6. Enter Your Mailing Address
7. Select Your Sidekick
8. Enter Payment Info (You Do Not Need a PayPal Account)
9. Complete the Transaction
10. Wait on Your Sidekick(s)...Might clip the Starter Pack Coupon!
Here is what the Flavor Mix Variety Pack Looks Like:
Enter Your 13 Digit Code
Printed Inside the Packaging
Enter Your Mailing Address
Select Your Sidekick
Enter PayPal Info
Complete the Transaction...Check for E-mail Receipt
and WAIT for your Giants Sidekick
A few things of note...The 13 Digit Code is tough to locate at first...once you get it down, you are home free. Despite using PayPal, you do not have to sign up for a PayPal account...you can just fill in all the info each time. There is also a limit of 1 Sidekick (of each character) per house.
I am not sure how they police this if you want Thumpling and they ship Mini Jini only to find that you have another order for her and have Eye-Small and Barkely while Thumpling is still out-of-stock etc. It is based on available stock, so I don't know if they will hold out in those cases or what...Hopefully they have plenty of stock, especially here early on in the game.
It is sad that they made the "upgrade" to online payment and we see no change in the estimated shipping time...That said, perhaps we will start to see them a little sooner this time around due to not having to wait on checks to clear etc.
Similarly, as I usually advise, if you want any of the Sidekicks, or the complete set, I would suggest you get in on it now while it is a known commodity. I have no reason to doubt we won't see them again in some form (think SSA Sidekicks at GameStop), but that could be a ways off and might cost a bit more in the long run...
I do plan to pick up all 4 Giants Sidekicks and will video their opening, compare them to their Giant counterpart, and highlight what they do in-game as soon as they arrive!
This promotion runs from June 30th, 2013 thru October 20th, 2013. The Single Character Coupon ($1 Off) Expires "9/31/2013" and I will assume they meant the end of September, which would be 9/30/2013. The Starter Pack Coupon ($5 Off Giants, $10 Off Swap Force) Expires "11/31/2013" which I will once again assume was meant to be the end of November, or 11/30/2013. Pretty funny what all you find when you read the FINE PRINT.
Good luck finding your Skylander Giants Sidekicks! If you have any further questions, just let me know!
*BIG, er, LITTLE UPDATE: Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
-7/31/13: Thumpling and Eye Small arrived!! Did not expect them this early!
Here are their blog posts...you'll find the unboxing video and plenty of pics on each: