Saturday, June 29, 2013

Skylanders Giants: Giant Upgrade Paths

You know the drill by now...This post will highlight all the Upgrade Paths for the Giant Characters in Skylanders Giants.  Luckily, I either have an extra of most, there was a variant/special character which allows us to check out both paths!  Where that is not the case, I plan to add another to the arsenal so we can check out the other path...I will just wait for the right sale!

If you are curious about the Newlander Upgrade Paths, click here:

If you want to see the Series 2 Skylander Upgrade Paths, check this link:

Skylanders Giants Part 121: Swarm's Barberous Avenger Upgrade Path

Skylanders Giants Part 122: Crusher's Rubble Master Upgrade Path

Skylanders Giants Part 123: Granite Crusher's Rock Grinder Upgrade Path

Skylanders Giants Part 124: Hot Head's Burninator Upgrade Path

Skylanders Giants Part 125: Hot Head's Oil Baron Upgrade Path

Skylanders Giants Part 126: Tree Rex's Tree Folk Charger Upgrade Path

Skylanders Giants Part 127: Tree Rex's Lumbering Laserer Upgrade Path

Skylanders Giants Part 128: Ninjini's Ancient Djinn Magic Upgrade Path

Skylanders Giants Part 129: Scarlet Ninjini's Swords of Might Upgrade Path

Skylanders Giants Part 130: Bouncer's Robot Rocketeer Upgrade Path

Skylanders Giants Part 131: Legendary Bouncer's I-Beam Supreme Upgrade Path

Skylanders Giants Part 132: Eye-Brawl's Eye Brawler Upgrade Path

Skylanders Giants Part 133: Thumpback's Up Close & Personal Upgrade Path

Friday, June 28, 2013

Underwater Beyblade Battle Tournament

This is something my Nephew, thewalkthruking, and I had thought would be pretty cool...We came up with the idea quite some time ago, but just recently got to put it in practice.

We did a simple setup that he selected: 16 Blades vying for the title of Grand Champion.

Obviously the 16 Blades meant we would have a First Round consisting of 8 Matches...8 Blades would emerge as Winners and 8 Blades would be expose as Losers.  Not wanting to end it there, thewalkthruking decided we needed to have both a Winner's Bracket and a Loser's Bracket with both sides producing one, lone winner who would be destined to compete in the Grand Championship.

However, this is one catch...The competition would be in a stadium partially filled with water!  This adds an entirely new dynamic to the matches and really served to spice things up...

The Battle Tournament is broke down into 6 Parts:

We had a great time!  The plan is to continue to record more Beyblade Battle Tournaments as time allows...

If you have a request for a showdown matchup, or ideas for playoffs/tournaments feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you'd like to see.  If possible, we will try to make it happen!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Skylanders Giants Sidekicks Promo with Frito Lay: Barkley, Eye-Small,Minijini, and Thumpling

This has been a hot topic basically since Giants launched...when will we see the Giant Sidekicks?
*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)

Minijini (Ninjini)

Thumpling (Thumpback)

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
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:

$1 Off SSA or Giants Single Pack Character
$5 Off Giants SP, $10 Off Swap Force SP

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 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'll find the unboxing video and plenty of pics on each:

Skylanders Giants: Unboxing Series 2 Drobot

What?  Series 2 Drobot
Where Did You Get Him?  Walmart
What Was the Cost?  $9.96 plus tax
What Was Stock Like?  One store had no traces, the other had the one I got.

Unboxing Series 2 Drobot

Quick Info:

Tech Element, Series 2

Slogan: "Blink and Destroy!"

Card Stats

Power/Strength: 65/150
Defense/Armor: 95/150
Speed/Agility: 70/150
Luck: 65/150
Totals:  295/600

Defense/Armor is +15 over LC Drobot
Speed/Agility is +5 over LC Drobot
Luck is -5 under LC Drobot

Finally!  The middle-end (that makes sense, right?) of June is when we saw Series 2 Drobot descend on stores and become available for purchase!  This is a big deal for several reasons...First, S2 Drobot is basically the last "Series 2" character we need to wrap up collections.  Second, his WowPow is supposed to be killer.  Third, and this is speculation, he could be tough to find..the more time you have to dedicate to it the better!

It was around this time of the year in 2012 when Wham-Shell started to appear...We all know how that went.  Wham-Shell, to date, remains harder and more sought after than several of the store exclusives and in-game variants.  We don't know if Drobot will follow along those lines, or within 2-3 weeks he will be falling off pegs at every store.  Doubt is a big deal in collecting and it serves to drive up demand and price, thus aggravating the run-of-the-mill collectors and fans of the series.

My advice, as always, is to start looking for him now, and purchase him the first time you see him...this eliminates any issues and future expenses (ie paying 3x retail).  That said, if he wind up being common place, you could save by waiting it out...That said, the gamble is in your hands...Spend time now and get him for retail or barter a 1/2 off sale with paying 2-3x what you should have.  I err on the guaranteed thrifty side of those equations.

I have to say, his pose has really grown on me in this Series 2 rendition...he looks great!  I am glad to have him in time for the Tech Element Upgrade Series!

Plus, I can now, finally move on with the collections video folks have been requesting!

Skylanders Giants Unboxing Polar Whirlwind

What?  Polar Whirlwind
Where Did You Get Her?  GameStop
What Was the Cost?  $10.99 plus tax
What Was Stock Like?  Local store had 6, still had several when I went late in the evening
Anything Special?  Yes!  Polar Whirlwind is an in-game variant and looks great!

Unboxing Polar Whirlwind

Quick Info:

Polar Whirlwind, In-Game Variant
Air Element, Series 2

Slogan: "Twists of Fury!"

Card Stats

Power/Strength: 70/150
Defense/Armor: 40/150
Speed/Agility: 65/150
Luck: 95/150
Totals:  270/600

(Same Card Stats as S2 Whirlwind)

At this point in time it is still unknown if Polar Whirlwind will be a true GameStop exclusive, or just a timed exclusive.  As of right now I am inclined to believe she will be a true store Exclusive.  Although the stickers are not printed on the packaging, they were put on...which is more effort and branding than we saw with the other timed exclusives.

I personally had forecast that Scarlet Ninjini would be the GS Exclusive, but Polar Whirlwind wasn't too far off...Although, I must admit, it makes more sense for Polar Whirlwind to have gone to Target, but whatever...

She showed up early this week and some stores were actually selling Polar to customers, despite the street date.  I tried my luck Wednesday night and was delighted to hear they had just stocked her...I got up to the store and found 6 of them:

Sadly, she rang up as a street date...I told the manager of the promotion and he said he would try  to hold onto them for me, and went ahead and got me the Swap Force Poster and Flyer early due to the mix-up etc.  All-in-all, not a bad deal!

Here are some shots of Polar Whirlwind:

If you want her, I would suggest you move quick and land her ASAP from GameStop.  If she winds up as a timed-exclusive, she will still be most desirable in the original GS form with their sticker.  That said, if she follows the path of other "in game variants" and store exclusives this time around she could be quite difficult to find (think Granite Crusher, Jade Flashwing, Molten Hot Dog, etc).

To help you out, here is the link to her listing on

Boxshot: Skylanders Giants Polar Whirlwind Individual Character Pack by Activision

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Random Skylanders Swap Force Clips from Nintendo's Booth at E3

As the title implies, this is really just a conglomeration of three quick clips shot at the Nintendo Booth's Swap Force demo...

I was loaded down with stuff at this point and this is where I shot the gameplay for wdrumz on his camera.

I had a little downtime and used my free hand to shot a few clips...If you don't want the voice intro explanation, just skip ahead to roughly 6:10 for the clips themselves.

You get a feel for a few key things:

-The look of the portal
-Wii U Controls
-Night Shift background
-Night Buckler
-Fish Fishing Bonus Mission
-Insights on How to Win Hot Dog

I will get a similar, but better, compilation of Swap Force vids from the actual Activision Swap Force Booth up tomorow!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Skylanders Swap Force 3DS Big Improvements Revealed at E3

This is big news...

Really big news...Super convenient news.

News that makes the exclusive Eruptor, Rattle Shake and Free Ranger perks of the 3DS Starter Pack even better!

Nintendo 3DS Owners and Skylander fans everywhere will appreciate this one:

At the Swap Force Booth one of the first things I learned was regarding Swap Force on the 3DS...

Archive Your Entire Collection

I saw Elemental Logos lining both the Left Hand and Right Hand sides of the touch screen (lower half).  I assumed this was so we could have one Skylander of each element stored in the game, making our lives so much easier.

I was wrong...Pleasantly wrong.

The guy running the 3DS demo was super cool...He was just as into Skylanders as those of us who were brought out to attend E3 and check things out first hand!  We had a lot of good conversation, but when I commented how cool it was we could have one of each element he calmly corrected me, "No, not just one...the entire collection!"

I thought he was joking, but soon realized by the proud smile he was serious.  I asked "All of them?"  And he said, "All of them."  I think he was as excited to share the news with another 3DS gamer as I was to learn it...

The only real drawback and downside to the 3DS version was having to switch characters for the elemental bonus and each level etc.  While it was cool to have the "oh, you need Magic and Earth for special areas in this level" I would much rather just enter the level, find the hidden area, and swap instantly to whatever element I need...Having the ability to pick from any character is just that much better...I'm still shocked by this one!

After recording, he did caution he wasn't 100% sure it applied to EVERYTHING, but I kept that in mind and asked 2 other VERY HIGH UP people and they confirmed what he said...If there are any issues (no Legendary or in-game variants showing up etc) they are unaware.

Swap Force Selectability: Your New Power Really Is Choice

Gotta say, once again I am very impressed.  Activision and n-Space nailed it here.  If you have all 16 Swap Force Characters you can simply cycle through the list of your collection and select combination 249 of 256 and jump back into the game...No portal, no fumbling around with halves of a character, just simple and user friendly touch screen selectability!

Same Length, Different Story

When I asked about the length and different story line I was told it would be roughly the same length as past 3DS entries and that the story line would once again be completely different from the console version.

I am looking forward to getting my hands on Swap Force 3DS...and I can not wait to register the collection to the game and go about truly enjoying the visuals and gameplay after equipping my 3DS for the ultimate journey!


It is 6 AM and I am beat...that said, just typing this out got me excited...I can't believe we get to archive our ENTIRE collection to the 3DS!  It is going to be awesome!  Thanks to Activision and n-Space for coming through with a great improvement!

What Happens When You Just Put Half of a Swap Force Skylander on the Portal of Power?

One of the questions posed for me to investigate at E3 was, "What happens if you just put part of a Swap Force Skylander on the Portal?"

At first I thought it wasn't a good question and pictured a screen either telling you to up a character on, or saying you there is an error etc.

However, the more I thought about it, the more it bothered me...I didn't just want to know what would really happen, I needed to know.

Personally, I had grown akin to the concept of having the selected half stumble about on screen looking for the missing half...This was well received by a few people I ran it by...but the developers had a different take.

Their vision, particularly with the regular testing from kids, is to keep it simple.  Kids like to switch characters a lot and they didn't want anything like that to distract them from getting back to the game itself (ie focus on seeing what happens with all the different parts etc).

However, I still think it would have been pretty cool, regardless of how pointless it might be...

In the video we investigate things with Hoot Loop and Wash Buckler...We had Loop not registering...Added Wash to make a registering Wash Loop...and then pulled Loop and made Wash "stand" solo, but to no avail.

The game simply asks you to put a character on the portal.

Still, we now know the true answer and I can sleep easier at night..It really was a pretty good question and I am on the record as being partial to the idea of having something funny happen.

I've got a lot more exclusive E3 Swap Force content headed your way!

Skylanders Day at GameStop Saturday, June 22nd, 2013: A First Look atthe Limited Poster and the Swap Force Flyer

If you saw last night's video where I highlighted some great Skylander deals from Toys'R'Us and GameStop, you are good to go...If not, skim back (or find it via the above blog link) and check it out.

I actually made the call this evening and found that my regular GameStop had just gotten Polar Whirlwind in and stocked her.  I asked if they could hold me one as I would head straight there from work and the response was that they'd have one for me...This made me think there must have been quite a few.

I rushed up after work, despite it looking like storms were coming, and headed in...There she was on the wall...Polar Whirlwind!  Just below her I saw a few regular Ninjini figures (which for many has been harder to find than Scarlet).  But speaking of Scarlet, the variant, ninja genie was no where to be seen.

I took 2 Polars to the register and they rang up as "not for sale" with the street date of 6/22.  I explained the promotion and that some stores were selling them and since I had called I figured it would be good to go...

Since I'm a regular they apologized, quickly pulled Polar and Ninjini off the shelf and said they'd save a Polar for me and appreciated the cooperation.  With an uncertain schedule for Saturday they went ahead and hooked me up with the poster AND a generic info sheet that I assume they will have a lot of...The poster is pretty cool, but it is the info sheet we focus on in the video...In addition to having nice artwork for S3 Terrafin, we saw a new Adventure Pack:

It looks to be the Tower of Time with Pop Thorn:

Here is a look at the flip side of the info sheet:

And lastly, here is the 12" x 16" poster for the first 25 guests Saturday:

I can tell you that some GameStops will sell Polar (and everything else) early, but they should not do so...That said, it doesn't hurt to check your local store in the event you can for sure land Polar and avid the rush and potential headache to get her later on...

I will give you this info...

It looked like this particular store had 6 Polars and 6 Ninjinis.  The flyer explicitly mentions Scarlet, so there is a good chance she could come in another shipment possibly with more Polars.  Giants are generally 6 to a box and if Scarlet is up in limited quantities there should be 6.  Ninjini was pulled because her SKU rang up to be street dated as well.  I mention this for the simple fact I still know a lot of people who have Scarlet, but not regular Ninjini...this event may help you out.

I did ask if Polar was a timed exclusive, or a dedicated, store exclusive (ie Jade Flaswhing at Target, Royal Double Trouble at GameStop etc), and the answer was unknown.  I will lean towards Polar being a dedicated exclusive given GameStop is due something special in my mind (if you recall I had predicted Scarlet would be their exclusive).

The poster is pretty cool and measures 12" x 16" while the flyer is standard 8.5" x 11" just of a better stock.

There were no signs of S2 Drobot and I can attest to Ninjini being new as she was not in store Monday when I pre-ordered the 3DS Starter Pack for Swap Force.  By the time I headed out the storms were about to hit and I had to abandon my initial plan to check Walmart for S2 Drobot...

So, in conclusion Skylander Day should be a big hit...great deals on Starter Packs and Battle Packs, posters, Polar Whirlwind, and a few Ninjini or Scarlet Ninjinis hanging around the shop!

Good luck this Saturday and Happy Skylanders Day in advance!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Skylanders Swap Force Pre-Order Bonuses at TRU (LC Hex, Poster, Free Skylander) and GameStop's Skylander Festival

If you have not yet pre-ordered or reserved your copy of Skylanders Swap Force, now is a great time to do so!  In addition to the already known LightCore Hex, there are a few add-ons from Toys'R'Us and GameStop to sweeten the pot!

At TRU, thru Saturday, June 29th, 2013 you can reserve your Swap Force Starter Pack for $1 and get an exclusive Swap Force Poster, Lightcore Hex, and any single character!  If you don't have a TRU nearby, you can still get the free LC Hex AND FREE Shipping.  Check it out:

If TRU isn't your cup of tea, consider GameStop's newest promotion...although it is only for a few hours this Saturday, June 22nd, 2013.  It is a very nice set up as well!  Same known offer of LightCore Hex, but they also claim to have a poster for the first few fans in the door AND they tout limited supplies of the "GameStop Exclusive Polar Whirlwind" and Scarlet Ninjini...

If that is correct, it looks like Polar Whirlwind could be a GS Exclusive, which is what I had predicted for Scarlet Ninjini.  It could be just the way they worded it, it might be a timed exclusive, or it could legitimately be their own exclusive...I will try to get some answers.

Castaways vs Newlanders: Stage II Castaways vs Castaways and Newlandersvs Newlanders

Well, for those of you following the series you know that along with our Camo vs Pop Fizz Sudden Death Showdown, we ran a poll asking if you'd like to see the series go straight to the final tournament, OR continue with Castaways vs Castaways and Newlanders vs Newlanders...After the votes were tallied, most sided with me and want to see the epicness that is Castaways vs Castaways and Newlanders vs Newlanders!

So, we essentially have 7 more matches (a total of 15 overall) before the tournament gets seeded for the final showdown.

That said, I will archive the new additions here...on this post.

If you are curious about how "x" Skylander wound up with their current record etc from Castaways vs Newlanders, be sure to check this link for the video and poll archive:

For everyone else, we will start this installments archive here!  The polls will run one week, closing at 11:59 PM Friday Night, with the exception of this First Round which will run 10 Days.

The polls can be found on the Right Hand Side of the Blog, just below the Twitter Feed.  Spread the word and pull for your favorites!

Castaways vs Castaways and Newlanders vs Newlanders Archive

Round 1 Matches

Round 1 Results

Round 2 Matches

Round 2 Results

Round 3 Matches

Round 3 Results

Round 4 Matches

Round 4 Results

Round 5 Matches

Round 5 Results

Round 6 Matches

Round 6 Results

Round 7 Matches

Round 7 Results

Currently Playing

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