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Combining virtual and real-world toys into hours of fun playtime

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Posted: Monday, June 16, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:36 am, Fri Aug 15, 2014.

(BPT) - Do your children have imaginary friends or pretend the characters from their favorite TV show or video game are real and in the room? Many children creatively stage playful interactions with fictional and imaginary characters during their developmental years, but now those imaginary characters don’t have to be quite so imaginary.

You can buy your kids toys of their favorite characters from many TV shows and movies. But now your children can use those toys both in the game and the real world through video games. The Skylanders Trap Team video game, which was showcased at the E3 video game convention in Los Angeles, captures children’s interest and imaginations as they choose their favorite heroes to protect Skylands from villains. The Skylanders franchise first introduced the Toys to Life category in 2011 with Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure, and they continue to drive its amazing innovation by providing children a way to play with toys both virtually and in the real world. What makes Skylanders Trap Team so special though is that it advances the idea of bringing toys to life by reversing that innovation and actually bring life to toys by letting kids capture villains, pull them out of the game into a physical toy trap, and then play as that villain. This level of imagination can easily extend beyond a simple game session. Consider the following:

* Organize a playdate for several children to bring their favorite heroes to protect and defend Skylands or some new territory in your backyard. Give them the crafting materials they need to create shelters and set up a good defense. They’ll be occupied for hours building and playing with their heroes.

* Team up with your children to play the games they love. For instance, in Skylanders, find your favorite hero and team up with your child’s favorite character and embark on a mission to trap the villains and turn them into good characters in the battle to protect Skylands.

* Skylanders Trap Team officially hits store shelves this October, so schedule a Skylanders marathon featuring all four Skylanders games. Invite friends and family over for the marathon, and rotate play schedules so everyone can participate in the mission. Ask everyone to bring their collection of heroes as well so kids can play with them both virtually and as standalone toys. To make it a great afternoon of fun, have plenty of refreshments and snack foods handy to keep energy levels going strong.

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