I am a giant Disney nerd. I really enjoy their movies, theme parks, collectibles, etc, but their Console Video Games generally tend to suck. Disney Interactive usually makes cheap games based off a movie or television show, like “The Princess and the Frog” or “Maters Tall Tales“. Disney knows that they can sell them simply because they have a child’s favorite character on the box. Even some of their larger efforts, like Epic Mickey, just felt unpolished. Consumers will only put up with so much before they finally wise up and these practices are finally starting to catch up with them. Disney Interactive lost $234 million in the most recent fiscal year and $1.25 billion over the last 2 years.
Disney has decided to circle the wagons and refocus on quality. In the last 2 months Disney has laid off staff, shuttered under performing divisions, and most importantly announced a new game that looks to be more then worthy of my hard earned dollars. In fact, my entire family is excited about getting this game so that we can play it together, which is what a Disney game should be. The only problem for me is this game could get expensive. Very expensive.
Disney Toys + Videogame = Fun
So what is this exciting new console game? It’s called Disney Infinity and it should be a game changer for Disney Interactive. It marks Disney’s move into video games that also incorporate real world toys. The basic concept is similar to Skylander. You are given a portal that plugs into your gaming system and when you place a toy character on the console they appear in the video game. Disney does things differently from there. First, there is a multi-player option where you can place two characters on one portal. Disney will also be selling discs that players can stack under the characters that will give special items or powers. Lastly, there is a spot on the portal for a Playset piece (more on Playsets below).
Disney Infinity will be broken up into two sections, Playsets and Toy Box. Playsets are lands for specific characters where those characters play different missions to unlock items for the toybox. Like Mike and Sully get to play in the Monsters University playset. Mater and his cars friends can play in the Radiator Springs playset. Each Playset offers different gameplay styles. For example, in the Monsters University Playset you sneak around and play pranks on each other trying not to get caught. Radiator Springs will offer racing. Each Playset gives you 6 to 10 hours of game play and additional Playsets can be purchased. Game missions won’t change within the playsets for each character, but the characters will all have different abilities. Certain abilities will unlock certain items, which means that you will need all the characters to fully unlock the Playset.
The other part of the game is the toyboy box. All of the different gadgets, vehicles, characters and worlds that you unlock in the Playsets will be available in the Toybox mode. It is a giant free for all where characters can cross lands and interact with items from different movies in an open sandbox environments. Gamers will also be able to create there own worlds.
So How Much?
All of this fun comes with a price, and for Disney Infinity, it can be hefty. First you will need the starter pack, which comes with 3 playsets that unlock environments for Monsters University, The Incredibles and Pirates of the Caribbean. The starter pack comes with the game disk, 3 playsets and 3 toy figures: Sully, Mr. Incredible, and Jack Sparrow. Starter Pack Price – $74.99
Once you have played through the original 3 playsets, you will need more worlds. New Play Sets will be sold in Playset Packs and will come with two toy figures. There will be 2 additional Playsets in the first wave – $34.99
Next you will need more toy characters so that you can unlock more items. There will be 17 figures in the first series. Individual figures – 12.99. Figure three-pack – $29.99
Then you will need power discs so that you can get special abilities and items. Disney says that these will be sold in blind packs and that certain discs will be more rare than others. This will be done to encourage trading, adding even more real world fun to the game. This also means you will end up with a bunch of duplicates They will come two discs to a pack and the first wave will have a total of 20. Blind Power Disc pack – $4.99
Because Disney owns so many different properties and are constantly adding more, Disney plans to release a new game disc every year, to incorporate new Disney movies as they are released. Don’t worry though because the old characters will be compatible with the toybox mode on the new disc and the characters produced for the new disc will be compatible on the old. New game disc – price unknown
My quick math show that buying the complete first series would set you back at minimum $350. That doesn’t include any limited edition characters or special Power Discs packed inside Disney fruit chewies or cereal. I think my wallet just started sobbing.
Both my daughter and my son collect Disney merchandise with me. Up until now, it has been a relatively cheap hobby. We usually pick out a piece once or twice a year when we go to Disneyland. Upon seeing the trailer for this, both of them started making plans on how we were going to collect them and where we would store them. The real danger is that this stuff is going to be available in my local Walmart, staring at me every time I go grocery shopping. Something tells me that Disney Infinity is going to be able to turn the tide on their loses rather quickly.