Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Skylanders Collection Vault iOS App Announced & Available

Blogging from my cell phone, classy...I am on the road, but I will try to download this tonight and review it this weekend.  Here is the press release for the meantime.  If I had to guess there will likely be an Android version in the works, but don't hold me too that.  I will update that as possible.

Also be sure to check out the Thanksgiving Channel Update video and look for Ch. 1 of Skylanders SWAP Force.


Free iOS App Helps Fans Manage Their Collections and Unlock
Original Skylanders® Content

Skylanders Celebrates the New App with Holiday Wish List Sweepstakes

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Nov. 26, 2013 - Skylanders fans vying to become the ultimate Portal Master can now download the Skylanders Collection Vault application in the iOS App Store today. The new app lets players easily manage their Skylanders toy collection and explore new Skylanders toys from the palm of their hands and on the go.  Fans can also share and compare their Skylanders collection with family and friends - all for free.  To celebrate the holiday season, Activision will be granting Skylanders collectors' toy wish lists via a Holiday Wish List Sweepstakes.

For the first time via the Skylanders Collection Vault app, Portal Masters can discover Skylanders characters and learn more about their backstories all in one place. Optimized for tablet and mobile devices, the app also allows fans to keep track of their Skylanders collection and their character wish list, browse images and videos, unlock special content and challenge their friends to see whohas the most robust collection.

In honor of the new Skylanders Collection Vault app, Activision is launching the Holiday Wish List Sweepstakes to help fans complete their collections. Starting today at 12 p.m. PST, Portal Masters that download the app and create a wish list in the Skylanders Collection Vault can send their list to SkylandersCommunity@Activision.com by Friday, December 6. Five lucky winners will be awarded their wish list collection of up to 25 Skylanders SWAP ForceTM toys available at retail.  The complete rules for the Holiday Wish List Sweepstakes can be seen at www.skylanders.com/sweepstakes.1

"Skylanders SWAP Force isthe highest-rated game in the Skylanders franchise to date, andthe Skylanders Collection Vault app will be the perfect mobile companion for all Portal Masters looking to learn more about their favorite characters and get to know new Skylanders characters ," said Josh Taub, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Activision Publishing, Inc.  "Skylanders continues to be the #1 kids' video game franchise of 20132 and we have an ongoing commitment to provide our fans the best experience possible.  We're excited to offer Skylanders fans the ability to immerse themselves in a completely digital version of their collections."

Players can now download the free, official Skylanders Collection Vault here and bring their digital Skylanders collection wherever they go. Fans can also enjoy Skylanders mobile games -- Skylanders Lost IslandsTM, Skylanders Cloud PatrolTM and Skylanders BattlegroundsTM - available in the App Store.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

First Look at Skylanders Giants Special Edition Halloween Fright Riderfrom Frito-Lay

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 will go down as a good day for Skylanders!

Earlier today the Frito-Lay Promo for "Pumpkin," or Halloween Fright Rider as I called him, came to an end as the goods were delivered!  Here is the video I shot after work this evening:

First Look at Frito-Lay's Fright Rider (FLFR)

I was able to make this post on the fly before getting home to do the video...This is where I linked to the pic from my Twitter feed.  Any time something pops up like this you can find the quickest updates via Twitter.  If you aren't on Twitter and can't Follow Me, simply come to the blog and check the right hand side bar...you'll get to see my latest Tweets that way! #/1ofWiisdom


He looks cool, but the color on Rider is certainly not "orange" as the pictures and promotional artwork led everyone to believe, it is actually more of a "copper" or "gold" like we saw on E3 Hot Dog.

That said, he does look pretty cool, so I can't complain too much.  I once again have to thank Tim out in California for hooking me up with a code for FLFR (Frito-Lay Fright Rider).  It was that night I finally found the promo bags at Toys'R'Us and as best I know my local stores never had any stock.

What are your thoughts?  Do you like this color scheme?  Would you have rather had it be the "as presented" orange and black?  Feel free to sound off in the comments and VOTE in the blog poll!

Frito-Lay Fright Rider, Front Side

Frito-Lay Fright Rider, Backside

Frito-Lay Fright Rider:
Left: Spear Parallel, Right: Spear Angled Down

FLFR, My 2nd Fright Rider for the Joust Jockey Path, and FLFR

2 FLFRs, Fright Rider (Sealed), and Fright Rider (Opened)

Again, personally I think I would have preferred a true ORANGE on Rider, but despite me always talking about not liking gold that much, it looks pretty slick here, especially with the contrast provided by the black on Fright.  The white eyes really get emphasized on both Fright and Rider in this color scheme.

As best I know all the figures shipped Thursday, November 14th, 2013 so if you don't already have your FLFR he should be showing up very soon.  Just look for the slim box as seen in the video.  Again, props to Frito-Lay for at least shipping decently.  This promo was fine, aside from the lack of promo bags in many regions.  Regardless, it remains far superior to the debacle that is the QDRS Promo.

For more information on this promotion, check out these previous posts:

Frito-Lay Spearheads Halloween with Special Orange and Black Fright Rider

Checking Out Frito-Lay's Halloween Fright Rider Promotion:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Unboxing the Fit Meter for Use with Nintendo Wii Fit U

What? Fit Meter
Where Did You Get It?  Toys'R'Us
What Did It Cost?  $19.99 plus tax
What Was Stock Like? 2 in stock...More details below

Unboxing the Fit Meter for Use with Nintendo Wii Fit U

First off a few issues here lately...Biggest issue here was a time crunch and serious battery issues (more on that later).  Having to start and stop a video this short (by my standard anyway) due to multiple battery issues kind of causes some trouble.

That said, I have now been using the Wii Fit Meter since Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 and really enjoy it.

Fit Meter Display

The unit is slim, compact and the clip has yet to fail...I could see it potentially breaking off, but you'd have to be REALLY rough with it.  There isn't a lot of "give" in it, but that is good because it has really stayed in place.

Packaging and Clip on Backside

The concept is pretty simple...this serves as an advanced pedometer if you will.  It measures the number of steps you take, but can also factor in elevation and pace...which is used to determine intensity, which in turn calculates the calories you have burned.  This is possible thanks to the same MET formula used on Wii Fit U.  The Fit Meter is sync'd to YOUR profile so it has height and weight to go on...

Case in point, clip the Fit Meter to your belt and walk a set distance around your house, at work, or somewhere else.  At the pre-determined end point, stop and document the steps and calories burned.  Now, continue back to where you started from via the same path (same distance etc), but jog or run this time.  Stop at the initial start point, check the steps and calories burned, subtract the "Walking" totals from the "overall" totals and you will have the steps and calories counted for your jog/run.  They should be different...I have tested this and my results confirm things (*If there is enough interest I can film this in the backyard or something, lol*).

Before you ask, I have tested the "elevation" aspect as well...It is very hard to that where I live because it is extremely flat...you can literally see for miles.  I used a ladder at work and some stairs just to make sure it does translate.  The results do confirm this!

Now, why do you want the Fit Meter?  Well, two answers here...

First off, if you have a Wii U you can download a trial version of Wii Fit U for FREE.  This runs until January 31st, 2014.  I download mine the day it was available...I checked at midnight and it was not available...So I had to wait until later in the day after work.

The catch is, IF you buy a Fit Meter before your trial terminates (31 Days I believe), you get to keep the download for FREE.  This is a big deal as you are saving a lot over buying the game and Fit Meter bundle, let alone the packaged deal with another Balance Board.  Please note that you will need a Balance Board to utilize the trial version...it does actually make you sync one up despite many exercises and activities NOT needing it.

If you are a Wii Fit veteran, this is not a big deal....If you want to get into the series, you might be well served to pick up a Wii Fit Plus bundle, or find a used Balance Board in good condition.  I am honestly at a point where my original Balance Board ( from Wii Fit) is worn and has a crack on the LH Side and might actually pick up the bundle if it isn't priced too high...Sadly, Nintendo doesn't seem to have plans to sell a stand alone Balance Board that I am aware of...

Second, you want the Fit Meter because it is really cool and can help you monitor your activity level and possibly get into better shape!

When you open the Fit Meter you simply pull the plastic tab to allow the battery to contact and power on the device...Then you open up your Wii Fit U game, log in to your profile, and go to the Fit Meter Data section...point the IR sensor from the Fit Meter and GamePad together and you are golden.

IR Sensors, Look like Black Glass

Rough Alignment for IR Connection

You can register up to 12 Fit Meters to the game...this works well for families and groups of friends.

The Fit Meter Data actually integrates quite well into the game....You can submit your date each day/night and then apply your steps and elevation info to various challenges (climbing Mount Everest or running Long Island etc).  It isn't too fancy, but it is cool nonetheless!

I am currently trying to switch over recording methods and trying to take care of the previously mentioned battery issues, but rest assured I will showcase those aspects to you in video walkthroughs.

Packaging to Look for

What's Inside

Now, for many of you the biggest challenge may be finding a Fit Meter.  I had been looking since the start of the month and finally found 2 of them at Toys'R'Us after I left the dentist.  I was up there again tonight and the other was gone.  My local GameStops, Target, and a few other outlets have yet to get any stock (or so they claim), and if they had stock they are no where to be found...Online these are available at a few retailers but go very fast.

Sadly, I don't think they are being picked up by hard core Wii Fit fans...Unfortunately, the scalpers and ebay pirates of the world are at it again.  Knowing that people will want to buy these as opposed to shelling out for the game and Fit Meter bundle, they are cashing in and clearing stock to pirate them on ebay.

My advice would be to check with your local stores, see if anyone will hold you one, or just monitor site like Amazon.com from work etc.

Outside of that depressing side note, the Fit Meter is a very neat, user friendly device that will bring the fun of Wii Fit U into your daily routine outside actual play time.  Again, stay tuned and once I am comfortable with this new setup (or get burned out and go back to my old system) I will upload walkthru vids not only for the Fit Meter, but the entire game with a few dedicated to the differences between Wii Fit U and Wii Fit Plus.

Fit Meter Unboxed, Front Side

Good luck landing a Fit Meter!  The defaults seem to be Black and Silver, but I think "bundled" Fit Meter's might be the classic White and Green color combo.  As always, DO NOT buy from the ebay pirates at prices higher than retail.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Unboxing PowerA's Skylanders SWAP Force Over-the-Door Storage

What: PowerA's Over-the-Door Storage
What Does It Cost?  $29.99 plus tax
What Is Included?  SWAP Force Door Mat with Zippered Pouch, (2) Door Hangers, (2) Adjustable Straps

Unboxing and Installing PowerA's Skylanders SWAP Force Over-the-Door Storage

The great accessory spree continues as we take a look at PowerA's Over-the-Door Storage.  I have never had experience with something like this, but I have to say it is pretty cool and I definitely would have enjoyed having this option back in the day with my Ninja Turtles and GI Joes.

The concept is pretty simple...PowerA took a nice backdrop of Skylands (literally, several different Skylands) and placed them across a durable, padded piece...They then added 7 Staggered Rows of 7 elastic bands to hold literally any Skylander in place...I know as  I tried Sidekicks, regular sized Skylanders, Giants, SWAP Force characters, and even Chase McCain.  It worked very well.

At the bottom there is an oversized zippered pouch that will house more characters, controllers, portals, pretty much anything game related.

Up top, the over-the-door pad has fixed straps that are fully adjustable up and down.  You can almost bottom the zippered pouch out on the floor surface.  Raised up all the way, it is very manageable as well.  The beauty here is the infinite adjustability to cater this from "adult" size on down to the smallest Portal Masters.

The other great thing is simply strength in numbers...The PowerA Over-the-Door Storage will hold 60 Figures!  Keep in mind that is "advertised" and I am confident you can actually fit more than that if you were so inclined.

I can see this product best serving families with younger kids...This adjustability allows for younger Portal Masters to have full access to not only the zippered pouch, but the entire spread.  This means, if you are trying to teach responsibility, you can turn the kids loose to pick out their desired Skylanders and then be responsible for putting them back in place.  Honestly, having something this cool to "put the toys up" might take care of that in and of itself!  As with Flynn's Ship and the Skylands displays, you can have a lot of fun with this while also having a practical, low-profile storage solution.


Middle, Main Skyland

Bottom, with Zippered Pouch Open

You can find this anywhere Skylander accessories are sold for $29.99.  It is a few dollars more than the Stackable Tackle Box, but offers an entirely different option versus conventional storage.  I enjoyed staging the characters for photos (btw, Chase McCain is hidden in one of the photos as well!) and I'm sure anyone else would do the same...

This is yet another fun, practical, and very functional product from PowerA that even makes storing your Skylanders fun.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Skylanders SWAP Force Unboxing Legendary Night Shift

What?  Toys'R'Us Exclusive Legendary Night Shift
Where Did You Get It?  Toys'R'Us
What Did It Cost? $16.99 plus tax (BOGO40% Still Going!)
What Was Stock Like?  Well stocked
What Is Included?  Legendary Night Shift, Stat Card, Sticker Sheet with Webcode

Unboxing Legendary Night Shift

Legendary Night Shift
Undead Element, SWAP Force,
-SWAP Zone Power: Teleport

Slogan: "Roll with the Punches!"

Card Stats
Power: 190/200 (+10 over Night Shift)
Armor: 95/200 (-5 under Night Shift)
Agility: 150/200 (+5 over Night Shift)
Luck: 50/200 (+5 over Night Shift)
Totals: 485/800 (+15 over Night Shift)

Legendary Night Shift was released Sunday, November 10th, 2013 here in the US.  I got to my local TRU a little after lunch time and was surprised to see a LOT of stock in terms of Legendary Night Shift.  Similarly, it looked as if the other Legendary figures had been restocked, most notably Legendary Free Ranger, who had been quite slim the last few weeks. 

Legendary SWAP Force Skylanders

I must again stress that if you plan to collect or acquire the Legendary Skylanders, be it a duplicate of your favorite, the Swappers to explore their other paths etc, or just in place of the regular counterparts, I suggest you pick them up now.  The BOGO40% is a good deal and waiting post Black Friday might not result in any better of a deal, but more headaches.  If SWAP Force follows suit with what we have seen with SSA and Giants, stock could start to take a significant hit and those "shelf warmers" you were waiting on, might become tough to find...You never know, but that is the gamble you take in waiting.  I'm more than comfortable with the 40% Off promo and don't think I'll see a better deal outside of close out sales come late next summer.

Undead Element SWAP Force: Rattle Shake, Legendary Night Shift, Night Shift

The good news, however, is that Legendary Night Shift came in just as expected and in ample quantity.  He is a nice addition to any collection and works well for Night Shift fans as he allows you to explore the other top and bottom upgrade paths.  Good luck landing Legendary Night Shift for your collection!

Teleport Skylanders: Enchanted Hoot Loop, Legendary Night Shift, and Hoot Loop

Here is a little bonus video that my Nephew, thewalkthruking, and I shot after initially unboxing Legendary Night Shift...It naturally features Night Shift vs Legendary  Night Shift, and other Legendary matches:

Night Shift vs Legendary Night Shift

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Unboxing Flynn's Ship a Skylanders SWAP Force FunPlay HIdeAway fromPowerA

What? PowerA's FunPlayHideAway Flynn's Ship
Where Can You Get It? Toys'R'Us
What Does It Cost? $49.99 plus tax
What is Included? Ship, Deck, Cannon, Control Room and Stickers, Sail, Spotlight, Oars, Back Room, Rudder, and Propeller,

Unboxing PowerA's FunPlayHideAway Flynn's Ship

Right on the heels of unboxing the FunPlayHideAway Skylands, here we are opening up Flynn's Ship.

Once again, I have to stress what  nice piece this is...It will make a great addition for any Portal Master.  Whether your goal is to have the most realistic display to show off your collection, or just something durable and practical for your kids to enjoy during playtime (that then doubles as storage), this is the ticket.

Just like the Skylands set, Flynn's Ship is going to be a Toys'R'Us Exclusive here in the US.  The price point of $49.99 is slight less than the companion Skylands, but lacks the secondary piece and about half the storage.

That said, for many the ship might be preferential, or at least the starting point.  There are a few reasons for this...The ship serves as more of a vehicle than the Skylands, but can handle that static end as well.  I honestly think that anyone that picks the ship, or Skylands set up, will ultimately wind up purchasing the other.  They work very well in conjunction together, give you maximum storage, maximum display space, and really tie a display together while offering the most play space.

Let's take a look at the ship itself.  It is pretty much just as if you were playing Skylanders and Flynn crashed thru your TV set.  It is the trademark green, just a little cleaner without the patchwork and rusted panels, haha.  The front features the balcony above a view port and the swiveling cannon. 

The stern is even adorned with the trademark tires/lifesavers around the perimeter.

The control room is pretty solid and has a few accessories to add-on for an even better end result.  You clip the spotlight into the circular slot up top and then snap the sail into place.

The rest of the control room gets full on graphics thanks in part to 6 Stickers!  Up front we get kind of the reflective glass that Flynn pilots the ship from...The sides each get a vertical and horizontal sticker to complete the look.

On the backside, we have a sticker that mirrors what you see from Flynn's perspective...You've got a lot of knobs, stickers, and the steering wheel.

It all combines for a very nice piece.

The deck of the ship is a smooth, slate gray, but features rises for the various patches and trap doors in the deck of the ship as seen on Giants.  There are even doors for the Cabin Rooms like Persephone and Cali reside within...

The Back Tower features the two iconic Red Doors...the back one even stair steps to the high point of the ship's deck. 

Down below we have an adjustable rudder with a very slick plastic insert that mimics a canvas.

At the back of the ship is a spinning propeller...

Up front you've got some oars to row thru Skylands should an engine fail.

Inside you have quite a bit of storage...I really think you can fit more than 10 inside, but it comfortably stands 6 in the main portion of the ship and 2 on the riser.  Then of course, you have the deck for display.

All-in-all Flynn's Ship makes a real BOOM!  for any Skylanders fan.  It isn't the playset aspect, the display aspect, or the intricate details, but rather a combination of those three (plus storage!), that make this item so versatile.

I had a lot of fun just staging it in the video and taking pics...No doubt as a kid I would have spent hours flying this thru the house and backyard taking my favorite Skylanders on adventures.

I have to say, once more, this is a very cool piece for Skylander fans...It and the Skylands set are really our first, real, "accessories" to the characters.  I know some parents have CNC machined displays, or have enough artsy in them to do some cool murals, but for the masses, this is the hot ticket.  You can expect to see Flynn's Ship as a staple on the pool table!

Definitely be on the lookout for this at your local TRU.  Flynn's Ship is really a great addition and will open up a world of "off screen" playtime for kids and open up infinite photo-ops for hard core collectors.  It is rare that a non-playable character takes on such a prominent roll in a game, but Flynn has been a staple since SSA and is now, fittingly, getting even more time in the limelight via SWAP Force 3DS and PowerA's Flynn's Ship.  I whole-heartedly recommend it for Portal Masters young and old...It will be a great addition to any collection!

Currently Playing

  • Skylanders Imaginators
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • NBA Playgrounds
  • Minelogix-Minecraft PC
  • Stardew Valley - PC
  • Wii Fit U (Wii U)
  • Animal Crossing amiibo Festival (Wii U)
  • Yoshi's Wooly World
  • Animal Crossing New Leaf 3DS

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