It will cost you $125 to see everything Skylanders: Giants has to offer
We’ve established that Skylanders: Giants is a fun game and more than worth your time in this busy holiday season, especially if you have some kids who are interested in co-op. The game also exists to sell you toys, however, and certain areas of the levels are locked off unless you have a certain type of Skylander or a giant on the portal. So, if you want to see everything the game has to offer, how much will you have to pay? It’s an interesting question, and I had to put my thinking cap on to answer it. The good news is that the $75 base set comes with the game, a portal, and three Skylanders figures. You need a Giant to interact with certain elements of the game, but you get a Giant figure in that first bundle, so you’re all set. The Giant you receive, Tree Rex, is also a “life” type Skylander, so you just knocked out two birds with one packaged-in stone. The other two Skylanders you get, Cynder and Jet Pac, are undead and air types, respectively. So you can take those off your list. There are ten types of characters: Life, Water, Tech, Earth, Magic, Fire, Undead, Air, Giants, and Lightcore. You already have a Giant, and the lightcore characters are a few dollars more and light up when you put them on the portal. Unless you like glowy things, you don’t need any lightcore characters. You were given three of the eight basic types of Skylanders with your initial investment, so you need to buy five more to get to the rest of the game’s areas. Since the basic toys are $10 each, although some stores may raise the prices if stock runs low, that means you’ll pay $50 more for one of each of the remaining types of toys. That brings your total up to $125, and your collection will include the single Giant and nine of the standard figures. It doesn’t matter which you buy, as long as you have one of each type. The price for your collection will go up if you want to buy more than one of each type, in which case the game will give you a slight buff, or if you want to pay $12 for lightcore figures or $15 for giants. That’s nice, but you don’t need anything of the fancy characters to see everything. You already have a giant and the lightcore characters are just kind of neat when they glow. You can safely skip them if you don't want to pay the premium. Now, if you have any Skylanders from the previous game, you can use those as well, and they will be able to go up to level 15 when played with Giants. If you’re at a store and building your collection for the first time, however, be sure to get the series two toys that came out with Skylanders: Giants if you can; they come with an extra move called their “Wow Pow.” Be sure to get your money’s worth! Also, characters released alongside Giants also come with heroic challenges, but I'm more focused on opening all the campaign areas. That being said, if you want all the heroic challenges, you need to buy all the characters with the orange bases. So there you go. If you want to see everything Skylanders: Giants has to offer, if you want to be able to enter every area and interact with every inch of the game, the minimum amount you can pay is $125. It’s not as bad as some people make it out to be, especially since swapping the characters in and out and testing their unique attacks and powers is so much fun. You also get neat toys to play with or display on your desk. If you don't mind missing a few small sections of the game and some power-ups, you can easily play through the entire campaign with the pack-in Skylanders, or by getting one or two more for co-op. To see everything though? $125. Start saving your pennies.