Activision’s Ingenious Skylanders Franchise Hits iOS in Skylanders Cloud Patrol

In 2011, Activision took the console world by storm with Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures. This simple action-RPG features interactivity with a line of toys; players can purchase (physical) action figures and use them in the game through an RFID code embedded in the toys. This simple feature was extremely popular with kids of all ages. It seems silly, but there’s something cool about seeing your toy come to life in a videogame. Those same toys can now be enjoyed on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch in Skylanders Cloud Patrol for iOS.

Like the console game, there’s nothing too complex about Skylanders Cloud Patrol. It’s a simple shooter. Your goal is to beat the baddies by tapping and swiping. And like the console game, Skylanders Cloud Patrol becomes a lot more fun if you buy more action figures.

Players can type in codes that are included with each toy to import their action figures into the game. After downloading the game, I immediately imported two of my favorite characters: Stealth Elf and Flameslinger. The gameplay didn’t change at all, but it was more fun knowing that I was shooting the bad guys as my favorite Skylanders.

The ingenious part is that the game features an element of the day. For the uninitiated, Skylanders are divided into different elements — water, fire, air, etc. Each day, a certain element gets a coin-multiplyer bonus. This encourages players to have action figures that cover every one of the eight elements. While the game only costs 99 cents, Activision stands to make loads more on action-figure sales.

In October 2011, I wrote a bit about the Skylanders business model on my personal blog. Back then, I thought it was brilliant and felt that it would do killer sales over the holidays. It did. Activision is extending the reach of the franchise and increasing the longevity of the toys’ popularity with Skylanders Cloud Patrol. It’s such a smart and fascinating business model.

Any of you play Skylanders? Who are some of your favorites? Are you excited to bring your Skylanders to your iOS device with Skylanders Cloud Patrol?

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