Disney Infinity follows Skylanders lead with toy – and digital – heroes.
This year's most popular action figures blur the lines between toys and games.
The new video game Disney Infinity comes with a plastic pedestal and three action figures, each of a different Disney character. Place Lightning McQueen atop the pedestal and the "Cars" hot rod appears inside the game. Swap in the Jack Sparrow figurine for a swashbuckling romp through "Pirates of the Caribbean."
Each character comes with its own story and several hours of game play. If players grow tired of the starter set, they can unlock new worlds by purchasing additional action figures. New figures cost between $10 and $17 each.
At a time when toy sales have been flat for years, this melding of the digital and the physical has shaken up both industries.
While it's too soon to tell if Disney Infinity is a hit, its chief competitor has dominated toy stores. Skylanders follows essentially the same formula. Players swap through a menagerie of monsters that exist both in pixel and toy form. Additional figures, which are available at major retailers, unlock new areas and challenges.