If Disney Infinity is the pipe, the power discs are the crack rocks
Disney has a habit of not messing around when it comes to separating you from your money, and the plans for the upcoming Skylanders-esque Disney Infinity continue that proud tradition.
The base game will consist of toys you place on the portal to access new characters and settings, just like Skylanders, but the twist is that you’ll also be able to add “power discs” under each toy that add certain effects and buffs to your character.
The first wave of 20 discs will be available at the game’s launch on August 18, and they’ll be sold in blind packs of two for $5 each. So you’ll be able to trade them! You’ll spend money without knowing what discs you’ll get!
It could be a power-up from the Wreck-It Ralph character Fix it Felix that gives you 20 percent more health, or you could be given Stitch’s blaster to fire in the Toy Box mode. You could get the Sugar Rush Theme from Wreck-It Ralph, or the ability to drive Cinderella’s Coach. You want Carl’s cane from Up? That’s a possibility!
Here’s the kicker: There are three rare hexagonal lenticular discs that add the Dumbo Ride from the Disney parks in your toy box mode, or the elephant version of Abu. Or the Astro Blaster vehicle from the Buzz Lightyear ride.
This is just the first set of 20, remember. More are coming. You’ll be able to stack up to two power discs or up to three hexagonal discs under your player to add items or powers to your game, and the header image shows how that will look in action. You're going to want the rare ones, because they're rare. It says so right in the press release. Rarity is special, and you'll pay for special, won't you? Yes, precious.
I'm not proud of the fact I'm likely going to buy a ton of these, especially since they're so clearly designed to manipulate you to do just that. The trick is that Disney can add any power-up, item, vehicle, or theme from any number of their park attractions, movies, TV shows, video games… and remember that they own Marvel and Lucasfilm now as well.
The $5 per pack of two, sold blindly, means that you'll need to buy many more than 10 packs to collect all of them, and this is going to lead to an incredible market of traders, both online with adult enthusiasts and during lunch time when kids bring their favorite discs to school.
The whole system is set up to be addictive, just on the right side of affordable, while bringing new content into the game from characters and franchises you already love. Will these toys be able to get you fun stuff when you go on your magical Disney vacation? It's very possible!
You want to know what's really diabolical? During a press event before E3, Disney gave the press a set of Lone Ranger toys for Disney Infinity. The first hit was, quite literally, free.