Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure was one of the surprise Wii hits of last year. Spyro hadn't been in action since 2008's The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon but he returned in an innovative game that was accompanied by a toy range. By placing your Skylanders toy on the Portal Of Power, you could play as it in the game which saw you battling to save the world from evil Portal Master Kaos.
The idea took off and soon Activision were planning a sequel - Skylanders Giants - which is set for release on Wii later this year. Spyro's name isn't on the box any more but as Toys For Bob producer Alex Ness tells us, the little purple dragon still has a role to play in the game but he'll be joined by some bigger Skylanders called the Giants.
Were you pleased with the reception from the fans for Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure? Did you think it would be so popular?
Yes, we were pleased! We were also in a bit of disbelief. Of course, all of us at Toys for Bob hoped it would prove to be this popular, and we worked harder and longer than we ever had before, but it's still one of those things that just seems so surreal when it actually happens. We also feel lucky and honoured to know that we've got a lot of Skylanders fans out there and we hope they continue to enjoy the franchise.
What would you say is the main appeal of Skylanders? The adventure itself or collecting all the toys?
I'd say the answer is actually both - I think it's the connection between the collection of toys and the adventure that makes Skylanders Spyro's Adventure so appealing. It's about bringing toys to life in a video game adventure.
That said, we also wanted to make great toys and a great game that could both stand alone if they needed to. We didn't sacrifice quality on either end (the toys or the game itself) just because the connection was our main hook. In fact, I would say that, if anything, we increased quality on both ends for that reason.
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure focused on the Spyro character. Seeing as the next saga is called Skylanders Giants, are you confident that you can now sell the game under the Skylanders name rather than the Spyro name?
I am not sure that I would say that Skylanders Spyro's Adventure focused on the Spyro character. Spyro is a character that we all liked and that fans would recognise from previous Spyro videogames, but Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure was not necessarily tailored towards any particular skylander. Our goal was always to make this fun to play with every character and hopefully even more fun when you switch among them.
When naming Skylanders Giants, we wanted the title to focus on the new big thing - the giants.
There are lots of Spyro fans out there. How much of a role does he play in Skylanders Giants?
Spyro will definitely have a role in Skylanders Giants. And you'll be able to use your original Spyro toy in the Giants game as well.