So Disney Infinity 2.0 is a thing. And it’s a pretty cool thing too. There are several different game styles and mechanics all mashed together in the game including, hack-and-slash, navel warfare, skateboarding, stealth, escort, tower defense, vehicle racing, and others. There’s also a “toy box” feature that lets you build your own maps and play with all your characters together. 2.0 has embraced the Marvel pantheon with open arms, but they’re hardly the only franchise in the game. You’ve got your Disney Princesses, Muppets, Pirates of the Caribbean, Monsters Incorporated, The Incredibles, and there are others I’ve missed in this list as well. And it’s cross platform, available on the PS4, Wii U, XBox One, and PC. There’s no Mac client available just yet, but given enough demand, you can bet one will appear.
Out in meat space my youngest son, who just turned 5, continues to amaze me. He’s fallen in love with the Playmates Imaginext toy action figure line. The line is great. Not too heavily articulated and very cutesy and happy looking. Batman is always smiling. It’s perfect for young kids. The line includes genres like medieval knights, cops and robbers/cityscapes, and pirates. But it also includes (and much more importantly) Batman and the DC super heroes, Marvel super heroes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and also other things that I’m sure I’ve missed. There’s such a huge variety.
For his birthday he got a set of DC super heroes and villains that included Superman, Green Lantern, Batman, Birdman, and also the Joker, Penguin, Mr Freeze, and The Riddler. All eight figures under 20 dollars. Did I mention the accessories? The Heroes came with 2 batarangs, Krypto the super dog (complete with cape), a chunk of Kryptonite, and Bird-guy’s mace. The villains came with a helmet and claw decorated in Joker’s colors, a penguin for Penguin, and a target with Batman’s face on it. A TARGET WITH BATMAN’S FACE ON IT!!! That is unbelievable. And this is just part of an entire line of playsets, vehicles, and accessories. The figures are sturdy, interchangeable, and just big enough that while they can be lost under furniture, they’re not so small as to disappear forever.
My son is also a dedicated Youtube fan. His current favorite sites being Toys Review Toys and Just4fun290. These guys are a joy to watch. They take time to “review” these Playmates action figure lines (as well as other toys), but they don’t do the stale, boring, and awful reviews you see for typical toy review websites. You know the ones where people talk about paint jobs, and mold details, collect-ability, and somehow turn a show about a toy into the most boring thing ever. Instead, the people running these channels show off the toys, and then they play with the toys. They actually play with the toys. Dude, they PLAY WITH THE TOYS! And they have AMAZING adventures with them. Sound effects are all basically the narrator, who’s also the one PLAYING WITH THE TOYS, making punching sounds with his mouth the way we used to when we were kids. I’m so jealous.
My favorite review was when the dude was talking about how he wished he could play with the toys rather then “reviewing them.” The site covers all ranges of toys from Toy Story to Cars, to DC and Marvel heroes to Barbie. The Spiderman-Barbie cross-overs are rather fun. And they even have continuity. Spider-man appears frequently in these videos, and tends to come off as a huge jerk, having once brought the robot from Big Hero 6 to a super hero meeting and then letting him smash all the other heroes. Spidey gets ostracized from the group after that little fiasco. And none of these videos are what you would call “Professional” quality either. Just a couple of people making videos of playing with toys on their iPhones. My 5 year old is completely hooked. He will watch a video for 5 minutes, and then run over and play with the toys from that video, finish playing, back for another video, and then back to the toys again.
By now though, you should see what I’m driving at here. Disney is freely cross-pollinating between it’s properties and even though there’s still a hard-line between the official Marvel and DC universes, there are cracks in the armor. These Youtube sites are just the beginning. Our young kids are watching these vidoes where everybody is playing together and having a blast. Just as they should.
It makes me very hopeful because there’s an increasingly likelihood that in my lifetime I’m going to get to see this live and on the big screen:
And if you don’t think a live action version of this isn’t something to get excited about, go away, we don’t need you. It won’t happen in the next 10 years, let’s be real. DC and Marvel already have huge plans in place for their movies. And there are still plenty of old guard traditionalists around that would consider it a crime to blend the universes. But with Spider-Man coming back in the fold for the next phase of Marvel Movies, it’s only a matter of time before someone asks the question, “Hey Sony and Marvel got together and “shared” characters. Why can’t Marvel and Warner Bros do it? Better yet, why can’t Disney and Warner Bros do it? They’ve done it before, there’s nothing stopping them.”
Someday soon my 5 year old is going to get wise enough to ask, why don’t we ever see Marvel and DC heroes together fighting villains? And when I tell him that it’s because the companies that own those characters don’t want to share, he will look right back at me and tell me how stupid that is. I can’t wait for him to be running the show.
The future is coming and it’s going to be so exciting. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have target practice to get to.