Ready or Not, Here Comes 2.0!

The next wave of Disney Infinity is about to hit the market

Here we go! With just over a year under its belt, Disney Infinity and its entourage of Marvel characters is about to jump to hyper-drive with its 2.0 hitting the market on September 23. While Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, Thor, Hulk and others within the universe took center stage as the initial marketing focus of the next generation, Disney Interactive leadership took note to early criticism and integrated Disney classics – Donald, Maleficent, Merida, Tinker Bell and Stitch of note. It was clear, Infinity 2.0 is taking Skylanders head-on this holiday season as THE “cool factor” for the 12-and-under boy demographic.

Infinity 2.0 has several gameplay upgrades, including introduce skill trees and attributes, which will allow players to customize their characters further as they gain experience. A nice update is also how unique each 2.0 character is. Groot looks and plays completely different from Drax, another heavy character. Every toy is completely unique, both in design and gameplay -- a nice difference from Disney Infinity 1.0. For the younger crowd, the Toy Box has some major changes to take advantage, such as the option to auto-generate environments via special pieces. Those with small children remember hours of road and building construction – block, by block, by block, only to then climb up and down the same structure with no purpose nor destination.

And just when I thought no Power Disc could be cooler than the Disneyland Parking Lot Tram, Infinity 2.0 is set to include the Pigs In Space Ship. A total of 80 discs were announced divided between 40 with Marvel and 40 Disney Classic themes. Both will be made available in different blind packs as to avoid mixed appearances. (And sorry, 2.0 rare discs will no longer be lenticular and easily found by picking through retail racks…) The Marvel array includes the white-hot popular Guardians of the Galaxy (with a Yondu team-up rare disc) and those for the Marvel comic fans, such as Black Panther and Ghost Rider’s chain. The Disney Classics set includes an unexpected yet welcomed vast array of past and present favorites, from Darkwing Duck to Bed Knobs & Broomsticks, Rescuers to Lion King.

What does that mean for first generation figures and power discs? First and foremost, all of the previous figures and discs will move forward and work with the 2.0 game system. However, from the looks of the shelves at Toys R US, Target, etc., Disney’s plans for the original Infinity products will be extinction. With Marvel in the mix, the ridiculous character, vehicle and environment combinations will certainly provide comic relief (ie, Hulk, Elsa riding about in Disneyland’s Dumbo attraction…). Undoubtedly, the collectability for early releases will steadily climb. It’s not too long ago when the first generation of Vinylmation blanketed Disney Parks and online markets, until series 2, 3, 4, and on were released. We know what happened to the value of Park #1 Vinylmation…

Pre-orders for Infinity 2.0 began last week, with the Marvel figures and playset premiering on September 23 and the Disney classics releasing later on November 4. The Disney Store also are selling the remaining inventory of first generation figures. There are a few noticeable absences, which is consistent with secondary sales and scarcity at retailers – Randy and Syndrome are far and away more difficult to locate, and have dried up – likely for good. Series #2 and #3 rare orange Power Discs (Condorman, Muppets Electric Mayhem Bus, Wall-E’s Fire Extinguisher) are also good bets to disappear soon.

Also, don’t expect to see as many variants or chase figures this time around. Infinity announced there are no plans to create Toys R Us exclusive “Crystal” characters again. Instead, a universe of companion – or team-up – characters will be available (ie., Winter Soldier) and additional variations of in-game characters to changes costumes (Iron Man, Gamora).

And as if incorporating Marvel, Disney Classics and Pixar into one game system wasn’t enough, yes Disney Interactive executive John Vignocchi made a not-so-veiled tease last week to Star Wars and Princess Leia joining the Infinity universe in 2015. So long, Skylanders…

Disney Infinity Hot list:

1) Syndrome Figure

2) Randy Figure

3) Villains Figure Set (Barbosa, Randy & Syndrome)

3) Toys R Us Crystal Figure Exclusives

4) Series #2 and #3 Rare Orange Power Discs

What do you think? Are you a collector or player?