Let’s face it, underneath all the talk of leaving a legacy, building a brighter future, or having extra hands for the farm, the real reason we have kids is to justify playing with toys again, right?
At a certain point, it was no longer OK to play with action figures (THEY’RE NOT DOLLS, MOM!) and we had to leave the toy store before someone called security.
When I was a kid, two of my favourite types of toys were action figures and video games. Two types of toys at opposite ends of the spectrum. Physical vs. virtual. Creating your own worlds vs. exploring someone else’s. It’s too bad these two play styles could never be…OH EM GEE, DISNEY INTERACTIVE COMBINED THEM!
Disney Infinity 3.0 edition is the latest collision that links the virtual and physical worlds of Disney’s vast number of characters, franchises, and movies including Marvel, Disney•Pixar, and Star Wars. That’s right, freakin’ STAR WARS!
This last point was critical, as I was just having a conversation the other day with a fellow dad on how to properly introduce Star Wars to my kids. Of course, at ages 3 and 5, they are still a bit too young for the movies (original trilogy first, always) but it's inevitable that with a new movie coming out in any day now, they were going to find out.
Upon receiving my Disney Infinity 3.0 package, I made some quick judgements about which characters my girls would gravitate towards. My eldest, I figured, would love Joy, the bubbly bundle of positive energy from Inside Out.
My youngest I figured, was a lock for Olaf. Although Frozen's Arendelle sisters tend to be the big draw, Olaf the snowman has always been her favourite.
To my surprise, upon seeing the cast of characters laid out before them, my youngest yelled out “SKYWALKER!” and I was immediately filled with enormous pride. My eldest mistakenly called young Anakin Skywalker “Darth Vader” which I nearly corrected before realizing she was technically right.
While I loaded up the Disney Infinity 3.0 game on our PS4, the girls began playing with the figurines on the coffee table. As I watched them crash the toys together and listened to them make pew pew sounds, I realized the true genius of Disney Infinity 3.0 – multiple play styles. While I could very well be referring to the various game modes – Play Sets, Toy Box mode – the fact that at this point they didn’t even know a video game was part of the deal and were still having a blast? Awesome.
As a child of the 80s, I was amongst the first generation of kids to play video games. So, as a dad, being the one to introduce my kids to video games was a treat. While I’m not really the kind of parent who gets worked up by technology, it's part of our world and, in moderation, I want my kids to be comfortable with it.
Watching my daughter’s jaw drop when she realized it was her that was moving Joy around in the virtual world with her controller was a real treat. Before long, she was decorating her virtual INterior in the Toy Box mode and having a blast.
No matter how many times my Wayne Gretzky doll, errr...I mean action figure, scored a goal as a kid, it never translated to the screen. However, thanks to the Infinity Base, which literally transports the physical characters into the virtual world, the characters interact in your hand and on the screen. This adds a whole new dimension to play. Having so many different ways to play, including some that appeal more to dad (hello lightsabers!) makes Disney Infinity 3.0 a great way to introduce kids to the expanded world of Disney and video games.
Disney Infinity is not only fun, it's also infinitely expandable as each new Disney Infinity edition that is released builds on the last. As much as possible, we always try to steer the girls towards toys that build upon each other so they can have longer staying power. Disney Infinity not only falls into this category because of the endless hours of game play the Play Sets, Toy Box mode and Toy Box expansion games offers, but also because of how many different games, modes, and play styles it encourages.
Clearly, it doesn’t hurt that Disney Infinity gives me an excuse to play with toys again, but the best part is that it’s something we can all play together in completely different ways and still have fun. With a new Star Wars movie coming just before Christmas, it's great to be able to revisit the characters from my childhood and introduce them in a way that is fun for my girls. No matter who you are shopping for this holiday, there is something for everyone in Disney Infinity 3.0.
Now I can begin the years long process of fully educating them about the Star Wars universe—including the most important fact: Han shot first.