Why Disney's New Toy Could Cost You Much More Than $120
The starter kit -- themed to Marvel's Avengers -- will set buyers back $120. It includes an Iron Man-inspired arm attachment that uses motion-based controls for those wearing it to blast, block and dodge obstacles in order to complete missions. The starter kit also comes with a pair of Power Activator docks with action figures of Captain America and Iron Skull that can be mounted on the dock to unlock new missions.
One can argue that this is the logical evolution of the Disney Infinity video game series that it introduced two years ago, raising the bar by replacing the video game console component with real-world play. Disney has big plans for Playmation. It plans to roll out "Frozen" and "Star Wars" starter systems in the future.
With Great Spending Power Comes Great Spending Responsibility
Spending $120 for an interactive toy that gets kids moving isn't cheap, and unfortunately it's not a one-time expense. The starter kit's three components require a total of 12 AA batteries, something that perhaps will make parents long for the days of video games where everything outside of the controller was typically powered from the console.
Then we get to the add-ons. Just as Disney Infinity offers players the opportunity to purchase new action figures that can be incorporated into the game, there are a half-dozen figures that can be bought separately. Players can pay $15 apiece for additional "smart" figures -- from Hulk to Falcon Hero -- that can introduce new missions and gameplay options once they are docked on the Power Activator base.
You might be perfectly fine with limiting yourself to the starter kit. It comes with four locations and 25 missions out of the box, packing plenty of gaming action. You might also already have a rechargeable system for AA batteries to save you money and time on that front. However, an investment in Playmation may also be an investment in supporting future accessories.
Pay to the Order of Mickey Mouse
It won't stop with Avengers. A "Star Wars" starter kit will roll out next year, following what will likely be a huge blockbuster showing for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" later this year. Then, just when you thought Disney had milked all it could out of sisters Anna and Elsa, "Frozen" will get a crack at the Playmation platform come 2017.
There's no way around the fact that Disney will be making a ton of dough in consumer products this year. Last month it introduced new toy lines dedicated to the upcoming "Star Wars" revival. Spend wisely, because there's only so much of your money that you can afford to give to Mickey Mouse.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Check out The Motley Fool's one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.