Activision's bringing back the Spyro franchise, and by blending the world of toys and games, the company thinks the little purple dragon can lead it to a "breakthrough" union of the real and the virtual.
"By pairing world class character design, world class video game design and world class story telling into one entertainment experience, we've given players a whole new genre that bridges the gap between the real and virtual worlds," says Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg.
The project is called Skylanders Spyro's Adventure, debuting at the New York City Toy Fair next week. The game and tech was developed by Activision's Toys for Bob studio -- with story penned by Toy Story film writers Alek Sokolow and Joel Cohen.
Collectible character toys will be readable by the game by placing them on a "Portal of Power" accessory; players collect the toys and then play as those characters in the game world. Activision says each toy will "remember" the things it's done in a game, logging achievements and abilities gained through gameplay.
There is a disc-based console game with which the toys are compatible, but Activision also plans to roll out a browser game as well as a mobile app that allows users to play differently with the same toys.
To support the launch of the game, Toys "R" Us will join forces with Activision for a global marketing partnership in which stores across the globe will feature several Skylanders Spyro's Adventure exclusives this fall.
"We began discussing this concept with Activision and immediately knew merging the world of toys and video games together in Skylanders Spyro's Adventure would capture the imagination of a wide range of consumers, including kids, toy collectors and video game enthusiasts," enthuses Toys 'R' Us chairman Jerry Storch. Activision is partnering with Toys 'R' Us on global marketing initiatives for the game.