A Skylanders Guide: Too Addicting For Kids?

Skylanders Games Teach Problem Solving…And Addiction Behavior.

Skylanders Figures and Characters
If you have a child over the age of 5, you’ve likely already heard of Skylanders. The video game/action figure hybrid has been a home-run for game-maker Activision.

The basic idea behind Skylanders is innocent enough: there are action-figures, or ‘Skylanders’, that you put on a portal and that toy becomes a living character inside the video game. Each Skylander has its own microchip to keep track of stats.

Only certain characters can perform certain tasks, so in order to get a more complete video game experience, your child needs to collect more and more toys.

This helps your child learn problem solving skills. Ask him which Skylander he needs, and he’ll tell you. And he’ll tell you what part of the game it will unlock.

But I bet you can tell the problem with this business model: it teaches your kids to collect more and more Skylanders. They can become addicted to the idea of buying them, because the game itself will reward that purchase with more entertainment.

And these aren’t cheap. They retail for about $10 USD each, which in itself isn’t that bad. But when you consider that there are 30 or more characters to choose from (as well as limited edition versions that can cost hundreds of dollars!), these costs add up. And that’s not even including the cost of the video game itself.

Parent Help Center:

These resources will help you save money on Skylanders:

Addiction Behavior:

Let’s face it: big toy companies love getting your kids hooked on their products, and these Skylanders are no different. Instead of collecting all 4 Ninja Turtles (and the Van for them to sit in!), this collection is just a little more elaborate.

Handling your kids’ over-exuberance for these toys is as simple as setting limits. Understanding that he can’t collect them all, and he should be happy for the ones he has, is part of him learning to delay gratification (a valuable life skill).

If you buy him all 30 because he whines and complains, you’re teaching him a dangerous lesson about how to get what he wants.

Websites used in this article:

https://www.activision.com/ – video game maker of Skylanders

http://skylandersguide.com/ – Site with all the descriptions of Skylanders characters.